Home hero Kyle Howarth is taking nothing for granted in Thursday’s British semi-final at Owlerton.
Howarth, along with Tigers colleagues Josh Bates and Rob Branford, will battle it out for the eight places available for next month’s British Final at Belle Vue. It’s a top quality field with former Grand Prix stars Chris Harris and Scott Nicholls included along with GB World Cup star Craig Cook.
For that reason, Howarth admits he will simply settle for a top eight place and isn’t setting any targets above that despite having home track advantage. He said: “It’s a quality line-up with some top riders and it should be a fantastic meeting to be involved in.”
Howarth has been scoring well so far this season, both for Sheffield and his Premiership club Wolverhampton who demolished King’s Lynn on Monday.
He was the hero of Sheffield’s play-off charge to the final last October and has continued that form, but he’s still playing it down.
“I’m really happy with how I’ve been going this season, but I’m not going to be greedy,” he said. “I may have a bit of home track advantage but that doesn’t help you too much when the line-up is as strong as it is this year.
“Of course it would be nice if I could push for a top three finish, but realistically I just need to make sure I get one of those qualifying spots.”
He added: “When you look at the standard of the line-up very race will be a tough one but I’ll go into the meeting the same as I always do, just to give it my best.
“I try and adopt a sensible attitude these days, I don’t shout my mouth off or anything like that, I try and be cautious and keep things in perspective.
“I like to do my talking on the track and if I can reach the British Final, which is such a massive meeting and is live on TV, then it would be great for me.”
Meanwhile Bates missed Leicester’s Bank Holiday trip to Rye House but is expected to be fit for Thursday.
Bates is strongly fancied to make the top eight even though he’s expressed some worries over his starting skills this season.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 7.30 and will feature 22 races – seven more than a standard league match.