Belle Vue Aces new boy, Ben Cook says he’s ready for the new challenge presented by the National Speedway Stadium after successfully launching his Premiership career with Peterborough in 2023.
The 26-year-old Aussie took his first top flight laps at the East of England Arena last year and found it a much more formidable animal than British Speedway’s Championship level.
But, after visiting tracks he’d never even seen before once, in the latter half of the season he demonstrated how quick of a learner he is and averaged over 7.5 points in Premiership R2 fixtures.
Cook said: “I’d spent a couple of good seasons with Poole at that point but I knew if I wanted more meetings I had to be riding in the Premiership, which is something I really wanted.
“I took a lot of positives from 2023. It was a steep learning experience, racing against riders who are not only experienced at that level but who are world championship contenders.
“That’s who I need to be competing against if I want to improve and I think I showed what I’m capable of in how I grew from the start of the season to the end of it.”
Individually, Cook excelled last year but that didn’t negate his frustrations at the situation surrounding Peterborough, who only had the chance to flex their muscle in the closing stages of the campaign.
He continued: “It was so frustrating, not only for the management team but for the riders too. Not having a consistent 1-7 for a good chunk of the season really affected the group dynamic.
“It wasn’t until too late that we got such a solid side together and really had chance to show what we could do. As I said, though, I was able to take positives from the year despite that.
“When I got the call from Lemo [Mark Lemon] it was a no brainer for me to join Belle Vue. I’d had a few other clubs put out the feelers but this is where I wanted to be.
“I’ve guested a few times at the National Stadium and it’s such a cool race track. I’ve know quite a lot of the boys for a long time, especially Brady [Kurtz] and Jaimon [Lidsey].
“I think once we get dialled in we’ll be tough to beat at home. I’m really excited for the new season but I’m not going to do much in the way of practice this side of Christmas.
“I’m looking forward to riding in the Australian Championships in January. It’s always a tough one with all of the travelling but it’ll be a good way to get back in the swing of things.”
2024 Season Tickets applications are now available online at BELLEVUE-SPEEDWAY.COM/SEASON-TICKETS, with the club offering a Premiership package or combined Premiership/NDL package.
Image: Belle Vue CEO Mark Lemon (L) with Connor Mountain (R); ©Ian Charles