Sheffield Tigers: Bates earns British Grand Prix call

Josh Bates
Josh Bates
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Sheffield youngster Josh Bates says he feels better than ever – after being named as track reserve for the British Grand Prix.

The two-time British U21 champion has been rewarded for his recent run of form and will walk out in front of 45,000 people in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday, July 22.

Despite not being guaranteed a ride, Bates has revealed how he will now be investing in more equipment just in case an opportunity arises.

“When I got the ‘phone call on Thursday I was over the moon and I couldn’t believe it at first to be honest,” he said. “It’s the best ‘phone call I’ve ever had and I’ve been buzzing ever since.

“Because I’m reserve I might not even get a ride – but there’s every chance that I could if someone goes through the tapes or has to pull out so I’ll be making sure I’m ready.

“It’s time for me to take it to that next step now, upgrade some equipment and show that I can mix it with the even bigger boys.

“Just walking out in front of all those people with the stadium roof closed is going to be one of the best moments of my life.

“I just wish it would hurry up already now.”

Meanwhile, Josh and middle order partner Lasse Bjerre have received particular praise from Sheffield promoter Damien Bates, claiming they’re becoming one of the most dangerous partnerships in the Championship.

The pairing combined for another two 5-1 heat advantages in Thursday’s home win over Peterborough as they both racked up ten points apiece.

Bates feels they are both going from strength to strength and reckons they could be key to the Tigers’ title chances later in the year.

“They’ve had a fair few meetings with each other now and they’re getting used to how the other one rides,” Bates said.

“We switched Josh and Todd (Kurtz) around the other month and I think it’s starting to pay off all ends now.

“There were a lot of 3-3s against Peterborough but the races that gave us the breathing space were the two 5-1s that Lasse and Josh got.

“They’re so dangerous and they’re adding all the time to what is an already super strong team with plenty of strength in depth.”