Ford: Cook will be one of the strongest reserves in the SGB Championship

·2-min read
Poole Pirates  v Plymouth Gladiators in Championship Speedway at Wimborne Road.  Ben Cook.
Poole Pirates v Plymouth Gladiators in Championship Speedway at Wimborne Road. Ben Cook.

PROMOTER Danny Ford insisted Aussie Ben Cook would be “ready” for the responsibility of spearheading Pirates’ power at reserve.

The Cowra-born racer, who helped Poole to an SGB Championship and Knockout Cup double in 2021, is set to move into the reserve berths this month – with Drew Kemp heading into the main body of the septet after improving his average.

That means Cook could be set to feature more prominently in the Poole line-up, with fellow reserve and British youngster Nathan Ablitt still finding his feet racing at Championship level.

Asked how much of a responsibility it would now be for Cook at reserve for Poole, Ford told the Daily Echo: “He could be taking up to seven rides. We have spoken about this at length with Ben.

“It’s funny, you’d think being at reserve would give you less responsibility but the way that we are built, we need one strong reserve and that probably does need to be Ben at this stage.

“That’s probably more responsibility on him.

“He has had a few difficult ones this season, but I think on the whole, he has been a lot more consistent than what we have seen so far.

“At home he has been particularly impressive. He is averaging more than seven at home, which is fantastic for a second string.

“I think he will be one of the strongest reserves in the league. It’s just a matter of how he goes away from home because he didn’t get a chance to ride at Berwick last year and Edinburgh wasn’t his favourite track.

“They are two places we have got to go away from home. It’s going to be interesting, but he is ready.”

Cook started at reserve alongside Danyon Hume for Pirates, during his debut season in Britain last year.

He then worked his way into the top five, with the likes of Stefan Nielsen and Ben Basso occupying the reserve spot later in the season.

Asked whether it was key for Cook to channel the freedom he previously had at reserve this time round, Ford said: “When he originally came in last year, there was no pressure on him at all. No-one really knew what to expect.

“He kind of far exceeded expectations, picked up an injury which curtailed his season a little bit last year.

“At home I don’t see any problem – it’s just we have two difficult away trips where we are going to need some points at reserve.

“Hopefully Ben can be that power at reserve for us.”

Poole visit Edinburgh on Friday, before a trip to Berwick the following night.

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