Tigers ace Bates qualified for the biggest three meetings of his short career with a stunning display in Germany last month. Now he looks to make a solid start with a good score in the Norfolk event.
“While they’re a big few meetings for myself, I’ve got nothing to prove yet nothing to lose all at the same time” said Bates. “I’m feeling very relaxed ahead of these U21s and haven’t set myself any specific goals. It’s a competitive line-up and in Championships like these; you’d have to be more than happy with a top six finish.
“I’m just grateful to be here and I was very proud of my performance in the qualifier. I’d had a few second places but a couple of them should have been wins. It came down to my last two races and was told I needed to go out and win both races or I’d be packing up early and wouldn’t be a part of the rest of the tournament. I focused, went out there and smashed it!
“It was a tough meeting overall but I went there and did what I had to do to reach the mini-series. I’m not putting any pressure on me at all but at the same time, where I finish after the rounds are completed will tell me a lot that I need to know. If I achieve a decent finish then I know my career is going places and it will make me even more determined to work my way to the top. I’m just going to give it everything I’ve got as always and we’ll see if that’s good enough.”
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Bates will be back in action for Sheffield on Thursday when they face Rye House at Owlerton with three more Premier League points on the line.
Tigers are expected to be at full strength.