COOK SEEKS STARRING ROLE IN MONSTER ENERGY SON
Great Britain star Craig Cook says he’s ready to play a starring role for the Lions tonight as he returns to Manchester for Race Off 2.
11 / 05 / 2019, 10:30
Great Britain star Craig Cook says he’s ready to play a starring role for the Lions tonight as he returns to Manchester for Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Race off 2.
The Glasgow rider is no stranger to the National Speedway Stadium track, where he spent seven out of eight seasons with Belle Vue from 2011 to 2018.
But he faces stiff competition to feature for GB tonight. Triple world champion Tai Woffinden and under-21 rider Robert Lambert took the vast majority of rides in the 2018 Monster Energy SON as the Lions roared to second spot.
I feel like I’ve earned my place again this year and I want to play a big part in the team’s success. I love racing for Great Britain so it’s an honour to be involved again and I just can’t wait to get out there now.
Team manager Alun Rossiter plans to ensure both Cook and Lambert get a chance to prove their class alongside Woffinden as the team tackles Australia, Denmark, USA, Latvia, France and Finland.
A difficult 2018 season didn’t help Cook’s cause, but the Cumbrian says he has left no stone unturned in a quest to hit top speed this year.
He told GBSpeedwayTeam.com: “I’ve worked really hard to improve every angle of my racing and I feel great to be honest. Last year was a bit of a kick up the backside for me really and I have worked so hard over the winter.
“I’ve changed quite a lot, a different chassis, new clutch, I’ve lost a lot of weight – everything seems better really and I’m smoother and faster than last year.
“The testing at Loughborough showed how hard I’ve worked and I know how dedicated I am, so this is a good chance for me to show what I can do again.”
Cook was largely a spectator as Woffinden and Lambert starred in the 2018 Monster Energy SON Finals. While he played his part in Lions securing silver, he admits a watching brief was not what he had in mind.
“Last year was tough for me,” he said. “You put on a brave face and act professionally but inside I was hurting a lot. I don’t want to be in the team for nothing.
“I feel like I’ve earned my place again this year and I want to play a big part in the team’s success. I love racing for Great Britain so it’s an honour to be involved again and I just can’t wait to get out there now.”
Cook is certain the National Speedway Stadium will bring the best out of him once again.
He said: “I love racing there. I’ve done hundreds of laps there and to race for your country in front of a packed out home stadium, it’s awesome.
“Not many people get to represent their country so I’m honoured to be picked and feel very fortunate, but I know how hard I’ve worked to earn it too.
“Hopefully we’ll have a packed out crowd behind us and we can go and make a statement. We just want to go and win. That’s the only goal – go and win and book them flights to Russia!”