Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

THE ONLY WAY IS UP; Wilkinson Expects Bears Improvement Speedway

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

THE ONLY WAY IS UP; Wilkinson Expects Bears Improvement Speedway

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN NEAL

HE'S battered and bruised after an opening night crash, but Carl Wilkinson believes Redcar Bears will have benefitted from their opening night derby clash with Newcastle.

Thursday's curtain raiser was a baptism of fire for the Ecco Finishing Bears who went down 57-38 at home to the Diamonds in the first leg of the Tyne Tees Trophy.

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Now they must pick themselves up as they visit Workington in their Premier League Cup opener tonight (7pm start) before heading to Tyneside for the return leg of the Tyne Tees Trophy tomorrow (6.30pm).

They'll be without reserve Max Dilger for the next three to four weeks after he broke his left tibia just above the ankle in the crash also involving Wilkinson, so they'll need to rely on National League guests in his place.

But Wilkinson believes the rest of the side can take a positive out of the meeting in that it gave them the chance to regain some match sharpness after the close season.

And the 2012 Bears Rider of the Year believes fans will see the benefits of that this weekend as they head to two venues known for their home track advantage.

"We had a few teething problems throughout the night as we tried to get things back on song and dialled in properly," reflected Wilkinson.

"I've got new frames and things, and it takes a while to find that sweet spot.

"I was making steady progress and in my last race I felt I was more in the mix until I had a big off and collected a stray bike!

"Most extremities of my body took a bit of a bash but I'll be ready to fight another day this weekend.

"You do all you can to get ready for your first meeting but you can never quite determine exactly what's going to happen.

"Newcastle were stiff competition anyway and they were already a couple of meetings in. …

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