Speedway: Campbell backing Cook to advance

Craig Cook
Craig Cook
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Edinburgh Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell today tipped his No. 1 star Craig Cook to roar to glory in tomorrow night’s semi-final of the British Championship, which Armadale Stadium is hosting for the first time.

Campbell, a huge admirer of Cook, thinks the Cumbrian star will be the one to beat as 16 racers chase seven qualifying places for next month’s British final at Wolverhampton.

Campbell said: “ I think Craig is the favourite and if he gets out in front, nobody will catch him. I don’t know if Chris Harris will be his biggest challenger but he will not start yards in front of Craig and will not pass him. It would not surprise me if Craig went through the night unbeaten. I think Craig will go out to win the meeting, he wants to win every race and is upset if he doesn’t. That’s his mentality and it won’t change tomorrow night.”

Campbell admits, however, that the field is not of the highest calibre. “You look down the list and it tails off at the bottom, which simply reflects the state of British speedway at the moment. That doesn’t mean to say the guys at the top aren’t very good, though. There are a number of riders who are capable of claiming one of the qualifying spots and that’s what counts.”

Meanwhile, Campbell said he always knew Monarchs would run out victors against the highly-rated Leicester Lions in the Knockout Cup last weekend. “The result did not surprise me. I had read all the predictions beforehand about how close it would be, but I couldn’t see that happening. I believed it would be straightforward and that’s how it turned out.”

Monarchs hope to open their League Cup campaign at 
Berwick Bandits on Saturday following the postponement of their clash at Glasgow.

As they prepare to head for the Borders, they can take encouragement from Berwick’s shock 46-44 home reverse at the hands of Redcar Bears in the KO Cup last week. However, Campbell warned: “That result may not help us because Berwick will be out to make amends for it. I’d be happy with a point.

“Our squad, being the way it is right now, will get better and better. Some things are holding us back at the moment. Max (Fricke) hasn’t got there yet and Claus (Vissing), who is almost the master of Armadale now, can still do better away 
from home.

“We have got to work on Jozsef (Tabaka) and his equipment a bit to make sure it’s perfect for the job.

“If we overcome all those kinds of hurdles we’ll go everywhere with confidence. We are not quite there yet.”