Sheffield Speedway looking to hit ground running against title favourites
Sheffield launch a run of three meetings in 11 days to round off their regular league programme when they face title favourites Peterborough at Owlerton tonight (7.30).
In what could be a rehearsal for the play-off semi-finals, Simon Stead’s men face a bang in-form Panthers outfit who became the first time to win at Wolverhampton this season on Monday night.
One man who is looking to continue his fine form since joining the club is Aussie ace Josh Pickering who has been working on his gating skills to good effect.
A 13-point haul from five rides at King’s Lynn last week took Pickering to 69 points from 39 races in nine meetings for the Tru Plant Tigers – an average of 7.08 that puts him on par with the league’s heat leaders.
Pickering puts his surge down to improving from the tapes, something the bosses at his Championship club Edinburgh had highlighted during the winter, but he admits to sometimes enjoying the thrill of the chase.
“It is something I have worked on and it was great to make a few starts (at King’s Lynn) and win from the front instead of doing it the hard way like I normally do,” said Pickering.
“Sometimes you don’t know how quick you are when you are in front. If you make the start, that can make you attack the track a lot more.
“I find that if I am second, I am watching the person in front of me and if they start turning then I will run that bit harder.
“When I am in front, I am turning where they are and it is good to chase sometimes because it helps you to know where you are at.
“If I am starting to turn a little bit earlier sometimes it is good to see what the opposition does. If they are leading me then they are obviously quicker but that gives me the chance to look at that, rewrite the script and do it better.”
Peterborough have booked King’s Lynn man Thomas Jorgensen to deputise for Ulrich Ostergaard tonight and Connor Mountain is in for youngster Jordan Palin..
Sheffield have brought back James Wright, who started the season with them, at reserve to replace the man who replaced him, Stefan Nielsen.
Tigers have one more regular season home fixture after tonight with King’s Lynn visiting Owlerton on Sunday, September 26 (5pm) before the play-off semi-finals kick in. They head to Peterborough on Monday for another appearance live on Eurosport.
SHEFFIELD: Jack Holder, Troy Batchelor, Kyle Howarth, Josh Pickering, Adam Ellis, Danyon Hume, James Wright.
PETERBOROUGH: Thomas Jorgensen, Bjarne Pedersen, Michael Palm Toft, Scott Nicholls, Chris Harris, Connor Mountain, Hans Andersen.