CRAIG Cook defends the national title on his home track of Belle Vue in the British Final tonight (Monday).
Cook had come close to gold on several previous occasions before his triumph last year, and the Aces star now looks to join the ranks of double winners.
A further incentive is the highest finisher with the exception of Cook, who is already a Grand Prix rider, will take the Wild Cad for the British GP at Cardiff next month.
Cook said: “The sense of national pride is always strong among the riders in the British Final.
“It’s not just another individual meeting, it’s 16 countrymen battling to call himself Britain’s best.
“There’s no such thing as an easy race, especially this year. There’s no one individual there to make up the numbers. It’s a strong field and everyone competing in it has earned his place.”
OTHER SELECTED QUOTES:
ROBERT LAMBERT (King’s Lynn): “Winning the British title is enough in itself, but the chance to get to Cardiff is just added motivation I suppose.
“It would be something else to put on the CV, a big learning curve for me and another great experience so it’s somewhere I want to be.”
CHRIS HARRIS (Rye House/Glasgow): “Over the years I've put too much pressure on myself in wanting to win it. I'm just going to go there and enjoy it.
"I've won it three times, I'd love to win it a fourth, but I'm going to take every race as it comes and at the end of the night, we'll have a look at the points tally and see where we are."
JASON GARRITY (Scunthorpe): “I’ve put a lot into my machinery for the meeting at Belle Vue – I’ve invested heavily.
“I’ve been to Cardiff twice as a reserve, and had one ride around the place, but I wasn’t ready for it. I’m now ready for that next step and I want that wildcard place and to take full part in the meeting.
“Anybody can win the British Final at Belle Vue - it’s a wide-open meeting. It’s about making those starts and doing the deed.”
PETERBOROUGH completed a productive weekend with a comeback 49-41 win over Glasgow at the East of England Arena on Sunday.
The result moved the Panthers up to second place in the Championship table as they recovered from an early 9-15 deficit to leave the Tigers point-less from the meeting.
The visitors were left to rue a string of falls and mechanical issues which blighted their chances as they still led by four points with five heats to go.
Scott Nicholls top-scored for the hosts with 12 points and Ulrich Ostergaard added 10+1. Chris Harris notched 13 from six rides for the Tigers.
Peterborough boss Carl Johnson said: “We always knew it would be tough here, and in all honesty I thought they would take a point just as we took a point up at their place.
“But with them going away with nothing, it’s a point gained for us on Glasgow, and it’s fantastic for us to get four points against a team which is highly fancied for the title.
“The track was different tonight, but I think once they realised it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was, they then started performing.”
Stand-in Glasgow boss Michael Max said: “It was most definitely one that got away.
“Over the last few weeks we've contributed a little bit to our own downfall with silly mistakes or engine failures, and no teams are doing it against us.
“It's perhaps a sign that we need to be a little bit more on the ball off the track - because on the track we're as good as anybody, but we're throwing away points.”
CRADLEY kept their National Trophy hopes alive with a 49-40 win at Coventry – to reverse an identical home defeat against the Bees last month.
The result means the Heathens can still reach the Final if they have the better of their crucial clashes with Birmingham later in the season.
Skipper Adam Roynon scored a paid maximum with 14+1, including a Heat 15 win which ensured all four league points, whilst flying reserve Drew Kemp racked up 16. Bees heat-leaders Jon Armstrong and Connor Mountain both scored 11+1.
Roynon said: “Our main objective today was to come here and do what they did to us at Monmore - beat them and get four points. We succeeded and the whole team were brilliant.
“A couple of the boys struggled in the latter part of the meeting but on the whole we were a unit again and nothing fazes us.
“We’re just continuing to build momentum for the next few meetings ahead of hopefully winning that trophy at the end of the season
Coventry boss Martyn Macdonald said: “It was really tough right from when I looked at their line-up in midweek, and from then it looked like a David v Goliath encounter – and unfortunately we didn’t have any big rocks to chuck at them!
“Obviously I’m disappointed because I’d like to win everything, but I’m not too disappointed, as they’re such a good team.”
KENT reserve Jacob Clouting returns from injury in the Kings’ National Trophy clash with Eastbourne at Central Park tonight (Monday).
The Eagles make the short trip without Charlie Brooks due to school exams and Charley Powell who has ridden three matches in four days with a collarbone injury. Nick Laurence steps in at reserve.
Eastbourne boss Connor Dugard said: “We are building momentum all the time and Plymouth gave us a good work out on Saturday at Arlington.
“This run of meetings really helps the boys and we head off to Kent in great spirits.”
MONDAY JUNE 11:
BRITISH FINAL: Belle Vue 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Eastbourne 6.30
TUESDAY JUNE 12:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Plymouth 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 13:
PREMIERSHIP: Leicester v Swindon 7.30, Poole v King’s Lynn 7.30, Somerset v Wolverhampton 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Birmingham v Buxton 7.30
Results Sunday June 10, 2018
Peterborough 49 (Scott Nicholls 12)
Glasgow 41 (Chris Harris 13)
Championship points: Peterborough 3 Glasgow 0
Coventry 40 (Jon Armstrong 11+1)
Cradley 49 (Drew Kemp 16)
National Trophy: Coventry 0 Cradley 4