Speedway: Sheffield Tigers' Josh Bates ready to take on the world
Sheffield young gun Josh Bates will begin his bid for World Under 21 Championship glory this weekend.
The Barnsley boy travels to Pocking, Germany for his qualifier where he will be battling for a top four finish needed to book his place in the three-round finals series.
Bates, 20, will face a stern test as he takes on the likes of Belle Vue star Max Fricke, Polish talent Krystian Pieszczek and German star Michael Hartel in a strong field.
However, the British Under 21 Champion is desperate to earn one of the biggest results of his career so far with a battling display.
“I’ll set off this morning ready for a big weekend,” Bates said. “I’m really looking forward to it and I’m feeling confident.
“It’s my second attempt at the World Under 21s, so I desperately want to make it through this time.
“I just real hope I get to grips with the track quickly, everything comes together and I can manage to qualify.
“If I could make it to the finals it would be an amazing experience for me, and it would be great for British speedway if I could qualify as well.
“We don’t get riders making the World Under 21 Final really often, so I want to do it not just for me but for everyone.
“To be riding against the best young riders in the world would be a brilliant challenge, so I’ll be doing everything I can to make it through this weekend.
“I went to Poland a few days ago to get my engine served by Ash-Tech (Ashley Holloway), he knows what he’s doing so I’m thankful for his help and hope that pays off.
“I’m going to give it my best shot and do everything I can, I just hope it will be enough on the day.”
Meanwhile, Sheffield saw their Premier League clash with Rye House at Owlerton postponed at the last-minute last night.
Persistent, heavy rainfall left club bosses devastated as they were forced to pull the plug on the meeting just moments before the start.