Speedway: Improving Bates seeks to hit the ground running
Tigers ace Josh Bates has returned to the UK desperate for the season to get underway after a winter 'living the dream' in Australia.
The Barnsley-based rider won the Rob Woffinden Classic in Perth in January and says he is heading into the new season high on confidence.
He enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2015, adding over two points to his starting average and making a successful transition to the main body of the Sheffield side.
Although he knows he will enter this season with much higher expectations, he is nonetheless eyeing similar levels of improvement.
Bates, 20, will be put through his paces alongside his new team-mates as the Tigers host their press and practice on Wednesday, March 9 before riding in the Ben Fund Bonanza at King’s Lynn three days later.
And he is looking to hit the ground running as he aims to make 2016 another year to remember.
“Being out in Australia was an awesome experience,” said Bates.
“I had a great time out there, just riding, having fun and living the dream.
“As everybody knows, I won the Rob Woffinden meeting which I was really happy about, so I’ve come back just before the new season high on confidence and ready to get started.
“It’s only a couple of weeks until we get together for press and practice at Sheffield and then my first meeting is a few days later, the Ben Fund, at King’s Lynn.
“It’s going to be a tough one with a strong line-up, but I’ll go there and give it my best shot and hopefully get off to a good start.
“I had a good season last year, putting two points on my average and I felt like I developed a lot as a rider.
“Hopefully I can just build on that this season and keep my momentum going from the end of last year.
“It’s going to be difficult but I’m aiming to try and put another two points on my average, that would be brilliant.
“If I can just keep improving like that every year then it would be great, so I’m aiming high and looking to make 2016 another successful season.”