'The pressure is on him' - Cook says Glasgow's Basso has a 'big job' in play-off semi-final

Poole Pirates v Scunthorpe Scorpions in Championship Speedway at Wimborne Road. Ben Cook.
Poole Pirates v Scunthorpe Scorpions in Championship Speedway at Wimborne Road. Ben Cook.

AUSSIE ace Ben Cook expressed his respect for the form shown by ex-Pirate Benjamin Basso this season but insisted “the pressure is on him” in the Glasgow camp.

Danish star Basso, a team-mate of Cook’s when Poole won the SGB Championship and Knockout Cup last season, is set to line up at number one when the sides contest the first leg of their SGB Championship play-off semi-final north of the border on Sunday (6pm).

Basso was part of the Vojens team which were crowned Danish champions this week and his impressive performances have been key for the Tigers finishing second in the regular league table.

But Cook, who banged in a paid maximum in the Knockout Cup semi-final against Leicester on Wednesday, insists the Odense-born racer would have “a lot of responsibility”.

Asked about Basso ahead of the trip to Ashfield, Cowra-born Cook told the Daily Echo: “I saw he has gone to number one. He’s a good rider, he has been doing a lot this year, on the bike a lot and that helps.

“He has been going good and fair play to him but he came down here earlier in the year and didn’t do so well.

“It can work both ways – it’s hard to come to Poole and be fast, especially when you are not on the same team. The pressure is on him.”

Quizzed on whether he felt Basso would feel the pressure, Cook added: “I guess so. Number one is a big job.

“You have got a bit of responsibility I could say. He will want to go out and win his heat one – that’s my job too, to go out and win heat one. We will see what happens.”

Poole were paired with Glasgow in the last four after table-toppers Leicester opted to select Edinburgh for their semi-final tie.

The Tigers have not turned a wheel as a team in more than a month, having seen meetings postponed and waiting for the quarter-finals of the play-offs to take place.

“They haven’t been on the bike a little bit I don’t think,” said Poole number two Cook.

“So, we have got to take the most of our good form at the minute and hopefully get a win – put a bit of pressure off us to come back home, not have to catch a lead.”

The second leg of the tie comes at Wimborne Road on Wednesday.