Sheffield Tigers: Bates keen to make mark at World Championships

Josh Bates
Josh Bates

Sheffield youngster Josh Bates says he is desperate to make an impact in this year’s World U21 Championships.

The Barnsley born racer finished tenth in last year’s series.

He’ll have to come through tonight’s qualifier in Terenzano, Italy where only a top four finish will see him reach the final stages.

And Bates has taken the positives out of Sheffield’s home rain-off against Ipswich on Thursday.

“It actually helped me in one way because it meant I didn’t have to get up early and wash my bikes,” Bates said.

“I’d got to leave first thing on Friday so it would have been a mad rush but because I didn’t have to spend time sorting my bikes out, I’ve had more time to relax and more time to focus on the meeting itself.

“It’s going to be a tough one I know that much but it’s hard to know how to approach it.

“I’m finding out that I seem to ride my best when I don’t put any pressure or expectation on my own shoulders.

“When I go out there and just try and enjoy it I seem to ride a lot better.

“But this is my last chance in the Under-21s so I have to give myself a bit of a kick up the backside.

“It’s now or never in this competition for me so of course I want and need to do well.

“As always, I’ll be giving it 110 per cent and more when I’m out there and I’ll do what I’ve got to do to try and get through.

“I’ve got the experience from last year and it taught me a lot. I need to take that, plus everything else I’ve learned over the last 12 months or so, and use it to my advantage.

“I feel a lot more prepared for it this year and if I qualify I know what my target is. But first of all I’ve got to make sure I get through the qualifier and then just take it from there.”

Poole and Peterborough racer Jack Holder and reigning Champion Max Fricke are among tonight’s other notable competitors.