Sheffield speedway's young gun seeks top six finish

Josh Bates, Sheffield Tigers speedway and U21 champJosh Bates, Sheffield Tigers speedway and U21 champ
Josh Bates, Sheffield Tigers speedway and U21 champ
Sheffield young-gun Josh Bates insists he's got nothing to lose ahead of tonight's opening round of the U21 World Championship Final.

Sixteen of the sport’s future stars go head-to-head at King’s Lynn’s Adrian Flux Arena as they look to make a positive start to the mini-series.

Barnsley racer Bates, who was crowned U21 British Champion for a second time at Owlerton in April, admits he is relaxed ahead of the competition and hopes he can give a good account of himself.

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“While they’re a big few meetings, I’ve got nothing to prove yet nothing to lose all at the same time and that in itself makes it all very interesting,” said Bates, 20. “I’m feeling very relaxed ahead of these World U21s and I can’t say I’ve set myself any specific goals.

“It’s a very strong, competitive line-up and in Championships like these I think you’d have to be more than happy with a top six finish.

“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 and end up in a good place, then I know my career really is going places and it will make me even more determined to work my way to the top. A lot of the riders have been racing since they were six, seven or eight whereas I only got on a speedway bike for the first time at 15. They’ve had more time to learn than me so that does make me proud of how far I’ve come. I’m just going to give it everything I’ve got and we’ll see if that’s good enough.”