|New British champion Craig Cook is determined to realise his dream of becoming world champion after booking his return to Cardiff as Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix wild card on July 22.
The Cumbrian topped the British Championship Final podium ahead of Belle Vue team mate Steven Worrall, Rory Schlein and Ben Barker in Manchester tonight to earn his fourth appearance at the Principality Stadium.
Cook heads to the Welsh capital in the form of his life, having also won the SGP qualification semi-final in Terenzano, Italy on Saturday to secure his place at the GP Challenge in Togliatti, Russia on August 19, where the top three riders earn World Championship places for 2018.
The 30-year-old only launched his career in 2009 at the relatively late age of 21, but has made rapid progress since switching motocross for speedway.
And he believes the time has come for him to make his mark against the best riders in the sport as he steps up his quest to become world champion.
Cook said: “I believe in my ability. Although I haven’t shown it consistently in previous years, I think this is my time. I’m getting older. I just need to push on and keep doing what I am doing.
“If I keep believing and pushing on, there is no reason why I can’t get to the top. Age is just a number. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. I have everything on my side; I have a great team behind me, sponsorship, support from family and fans and a fantastic engine tuner in Peter Johns.
“I have the full package behind me, so hopefully I can go on, achieve and become world champion.
“You can achieve anything in life and that’s not just in speedway. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. It depends how much you want to go out there and get it.”
Cook cannot wait for another taste of the famous Cardiff atmosphere as he goes for glory in the Adrian Flux British SGP.
He said: “It’ll be awesome. There is no better atmosphere than there is in Cardiff. I have been to football matches, but nothing compares.
“I can’t wait to see everybody there on July 22 and hopefully we can have a blockbuster crowd and I can win for GB.”
Cook appears to be a rider brimming with confidence, but he insists his success this season is simply down to loving life on the shale.
He said: “I’m just having a good time, lapping it all up and doing my thing. This doesn’t feel like a job to me; I’m just doing my hobby. Fortunately enough it’s my job and it pays as well. It’s an awesome time and I am really loving life right now.
“It’s not even a confidence thing with me. I don’t feel like I need confidence. I don’t get psyched out or anything like that. I just turn up, do my thing and ride my bike, and that’s what it’s all about.
“The winning doesn’t seem to be coming easy, but riding the bike is. When you’re enjoying it, it is easy. Hopefully it stays like this for a while and I keep banging in the big points.”
Join Cook and Great Britain’s double world champion Tai Woffinden at the Adrian Flux British SGP in Cardiff on July 22. Tickets are still available online here now: http://bit.ly/2rArWfw.