SHEFFIELD star Ricky Wells admits his Speedway World Cup debut was a tough baptism of fire as his USA side crashed out.
The US were making their first World Cup appearance since 2007 and Wells had played a major part in their qualifying with 12 points in the first qualifier in Slovenia.
There was no fairytale ending for the Americans though as they came fourth in Bydgoszcz on Saturday in a strong round won by Russia.
And Wells admits he found his night pretty difficult: “It was so tough, the track was so hard to work out. The set-up you need round there is tough to get right.
“We kept making small changes all night but nothing seemed to work in the way we needed it to. I made a good start in my first one and felt good but after that it was hard, the track was so slick.
“The other three sides were strong but we stayed with them all night, we were never out of sight.”
It was a valiant effort by the underdogs, and the future of USA speedway looks a lot brighter than in previous years.
Wells continued: “We’re a lot further on now than before, we have a lot more younger guys coming through now because of the impact of people like Greg and Billy.
“They have tried to show us the way and this year there has been a lot more interest in the US national team than in recent years.
“We put some pride back in to the team I hope and it’s a good starting point. We wanted to make the race-off and we thought we could, but on the night the other teams were just too strong. We gave it everything and we’ll do the same next year.”