Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Lack of Track Time Won't Hamper Us Pledges Bears Pair

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Lack of Track Time Won't Hamper Us Pledges Bears Pair

Article excerpt

Byline: KEITH MCGHIE

BEN Barker and Charles Wright are determined not to let a lack of recent racing or new venue affect their chances of becoming Redcar's first ever Championship Pairs finalists when they travel to Sheffield tomorrow, 3pm start.

The annual battle of the top two riders from each track in Britain's second tier of racing was originally washed out in July when Somerset's Oak Tree Arena was rendered unfit by rain.

It was eventually rescheduled for the South Yorkshire circuit which SG Petch Bears fans will hope proved more fruitful than a predecessor that saw the Teesside pairing make it through the qualifying groups just twice in 11 stagings.

Jason Lyons and Aaron Summers made the semi-finals in 2011, only to lose out to a Workington pair including Wright's elder brother James, while Lasse Bjerre and Stuart Robson also made it through the 20 qualifying heats before losing to eventual winners Ipswich at the last four stage two years ago.

Additionally Barker and Wright have the perceived handicap of limited racing since Redcar finished their home fixtures last month.

But Barker, who is still nursing a broken wrist, insists they are not going to Owlerton to make up the numbers.

He commented: "I'm still recovering from a broken wrist so the rest has come at a good time in a way.

"My left hand is strapped up and in a brace and I'm having lots of treatment so I'm happy that it's heading in the right direction.

"We're going there to win and several riders have pulled out, which is a shame because Britain doesn't appear to be the priority as they want to race in Poland, but I don't tend to look at the opposition.

"It's nice to go there with a good partner as the few times that I've done the Pairs before I haven't had sufficient back-up."

Wright, who along with Barker joined the Bears last winter, would have had an added advantage at Somerset, as it has been his 'home' track since 2013. …

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