Thursday February 21, 2019
CRAIG COOK insists he “doesn’t fear anyone” as Peterborough Panthers return to the top flight of British Speedway.

The Whitehaven wonder admits he is excited to be at the East of England Arena as the club moves back into the Premiership.

Former British Champion Cook is convinced Panthers have a strong side to challenge for silverware after his winter switch from Belle Vue.

He said: “It’s a massive season for the club. I’m really happy to be part of their return to the top flight.

“We have a solid team right the way through which I think could be important. I don’t think we need fear anyone.

“I know the boys really well. I’m pleased to be back in the same team as Rohan Tungate and I think we’re in for a good season.”

Cook is currently working hard to get fit by mountain biking around the beautiful countryside of Cumbria.

He said: “It’s fair to say it’s been pretty tiring. I’ve been on the mountain bike around Cumbria doing up to 15 miles at times. I’m lucky to have such amazing scenery on my doorstep. It’s not that picturesque when you are knackered though!

“The good thing is that the terrain really puts you through your paces. I really enjoy it as well. It’s far more interesting than just hitting a sweaty gym.

“It’s proper fresh air and I feel brilliant after I’ve been out for the day. I actually think it makes me use the muscles that I need for speedway as well.

“There’s not long to go now, only a month or so before the season starts. I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been now and I’ve still got another few weeks to get even sharper.

“It’s very important for me to feel right. I have to be right physically to feel 100 per cent mentally. The biggest challenge is keeping that state of mind during the season when it’s more difficult to actually keep fit other than racing.”

Cook is his own fiercest critic and he will want a big campaign for his clubs and individually.

He added: “I’ve made it fairly clear I have a 2020 Vision for the Grand Prix series. By the time I get to the end of this season, I will measure its success on whether I’m back in the series.

“That won’t be easy. It’s now probably tougher than ever to get into the GPs. But I know if I produce my top form, I will make it again.

“I’ve shown in the GP Challenge over the past couple of years that I’m good enough. I just need to produce that again.

“Last season was difficult because I never felt like I started well enough. That meant I was chasing my backside mechanically and financially all year. I just managed to get some form and consistency and then I got injured.

“It was just one of those years. I’ve put it behind me now. I’m in a really good place to be honest, the best I have felt for some time.”

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