Speedway: Berge can help Sheffield Tigers' silverware hunt
Flying Frenchman Dimitir Berge believes his winter move to Sheffield Tigers can allow him to unlock his potential.
The all-action has made the switch to Owlerton having gained two years of Premier League experience with Glasgow and Redcar.
Berge, who only last month turned 20 years old, has spoken of his desire to enjoy a breakthrough season on British soil as he aims to build on what he has learnt in his first two seasons.
After earning a third place finish in the 2015 World Long Track Championship, he is confident the fast, sweeping Owlerton circuit can bring out the best in him.
And he has also backed the new-look Tigers to be right in the mix for Premier League title glory as the countdown continues to the start of their season later this month.
“I’m really happy to be riding for Sheffield, and it’s a new challenge for me,” the man from Marmande said.
“I’ve had two years riding in Britain now and I’ve learned a lot, but now I want to really focus and push on.
“I want to build on the experience I’ve got already and add some points to my average, that’s my goal.
“If I am winning racing and riding fast then I will be happy, so I hope it will be a great season.
“Sheffield is a big, fast track which I think suits me and should help me to ride well at home, and I’ve got to know the away tracks a bit the last two years as well.
“We’ve got a good team so I think we should be winning lots of meetings. I think we can be challenging towards the top of the table, and maybe we can even end up being the very top and winning the league.”
Meanwhile skipper Simon Stead will miss Saturday’s trip to Leicester in an inter-league Challenge after suffering concussion in the Ben Fund charity meeting at the weekend.
He is, however, expected to be fit for the Owlerton opener against Leicester on March 24.
Stead was involved in a collision with team-mate Josh Bates and was ruled out of the meeting with concussion.
He said: “Under the new regulations I am automatically ruled out for nine days from the time of the accident.
“It was my first meeting back in almost a year and I couldn’t believe it, talk about rotten luck.
“I’m back home in Sheffield but I’m feeling sore, battered and bruised so I need to rest up for the moment and see where that takes us.
“It means I’m missing some practice with the lads too, but it can’t be helped and I just need to make sure I’m ready for the competitive action.
“I’ve certainly felt better, but thankfully nothing is broken and I can get back into the swing of things pretty soon.”