Sheffield Tigers ace targets big score tonight

Josh Bates in the lead.
Josh Bates in the lead.
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Josh Bates is hoping to celebrate his British Final call-up with a bumper score for Sheffield in tonight’s Owlerton clash with Rye House (7.30).

Bates has been handed one of the two wildcard spots for the showpiece event at Belle Vue on Monday, June 13 – after narrowly missing out on automatic qualification.

Now he’s concentrating on tonight’s racing and is backing Tigers for another home win.

He said: “We’ve had two good wins in our last two meetings and started to ride as well as we can.

“We are coming into form as a team now, so hopefully we can all keep that going and get another three points against Rye House.”

He will be joined in the British Final by Sheffield colleagues Simon Stead, Jason Garrity and Kyle Howarth in what is always one of the highlights of the British speedway season.

Heading into the meeting as an underdog, the British Under 21 Champion is desperate to spring a surprise with a strong showing.

Bates said: “To get a wildcard for the British Final is amazing, and it will be one of the biggest meetings of my career so I’m looking forward to it.

“I was disappointed I didn’t qualify, because I thought I rode well but I had bike problems in the run-off with Richard Hall.

“I’m over the moon to still get a chance, and I’ll just give it my all like I always do. It’s a big track up at Belle Vue, which I like, so I hope I can do myself proud. I can go there with no pressure on me, so I’ll be trying to make some good starts, mix it with the top riders and upset a few people.”

SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead, Dimitri Berge, Kyle Howarth, Josh Bates, Jason Garrity, Arthur Sissis, Nathan Greaves.

RYE HOUSE: Edward Kennett, Kasper Lykke, Cameron Heeps, Leigh Lanham, Stuart Robson, Peter Karger, Ben Morley.