Great Britain skipper Craig Cook said that becoming captain has helped him contain his “inner ball of fire”, ahead of the first leg of the FIM Speedway World Cup.
The Lions face Australia, USA and the Czech Republic, with the winners advancing to the Monster Energy SWC Final at Lezno in Poland on Saturday 8th July. The teams who finish second and third will enter the race off at the Alfred Smoczyk Stadium on Friday 7th July.
Cook has deservedly earned a wild card ride for the Adrian Flux British SGP in Cardiff on July 22nd. He won his SGP qualification quarter and semi-finals to reach the GP Challenge in Togliatti, Russia on August 19th. If the Brit can finish in the top three, he will earn a place in the 2018 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.
Cook has come on leaps and bounds after being named as captain for Belle Vue, and says that being a leader is bringing out the best in him. He said:
“It’s a real honour to be named captain. Obviously Rosco thinks I’m the man for the job and sees the way I am riding this year. I’m enjoying myself and hopefully that’s something I can rub off on to the team.
“You have to be a role model to other people. I haven’t always been the best role model – I’m pretty hot-headed at times. I feel I have taken a step back, taken a few chill pills and I’m just trying to enjoy my speedway.
“Inside I’m just a big ball of fire. I have a lot of heart, a lot of passion and I have a lot to give. I’m a fiery character inside, but I have managed to channel that in the right way and put it into my racing. I’m trying to stay calm and cool on the exterior.”
Cook teams up with Robert Lambert of King’s Lynn, Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris, and British Championship runner up Steve Worrall, with World under-21 finalist Adam Ellis named as their reserve.
The Lions skipper hopes they can take the pressure off his side, and just enjoy the racing during the week.
“I think the key to doing well in this World Cup is going to be enjoyment,” he said. “If we all go out, enjoy it, take the pressure out of it and ride like we all can, I think we can really get a result.”