Craig Cook, right and inset, is expecting a bumpy ride on the Togliatti track in Russia for the Speedway of Nations final.Pictures: IAN BURT.

Craig Cook says it is an honour to be named Great Britain captain for the Speedway of Nations Final in Russia.

The Poultec Stars’ racer takes over the captaincy from three-time world champion Tai Woffinden – who misses the two-day event in Togliatti next weekend with a broken back.

Cook said: “It is a massive honour. To be captain of your country is a massive opportunity

Craig Cook, right and inset, is expecting a bumpy ride on the Togliatti track in Russia for the Speedway of Nations final.Pictures: IAN BURT.

for me. It is something I have done in the past and I am looking forward to it again.

“Obviously, Tai is missing and we all wish him the very best and that he is fighting fit very soon but it is a massive opportunity for me, which I am looking forward to. 

“Being without Tai means the pressure is off us because nobody is going to expect anything of myself, Robert Lambert and Chris Harris.

“We have just got to go there and enjoy it, and hopefully it is going to work to our advantage.

“The format is a little bit different but I think it is going to be good because there is a lot more racing than you would do in a league meeting with seven rides possible. 

“It is going to be busy but I am fit and I have worked on my fitness a lot.

“The track in Togliatti has long straights and tight corners, and it was a little bit choppy when I was there before so we are taking bikes that won’t be too aggressive to ride. Hopefully that should help me.

“I think my track knowledge there is going to help me so I can pass some of this on to the boys and help them get the set-up right from the start.

“With the winners of this year’s final hosting the final in 2020, it would be nice to have it at Belle Vue. I think Belle Vue is a brilliant track and it would be great to bring it back to the UK.

“We just have to go there and do our thing. I think that is when you get the best results out of someone when they have no pressure on them.

“You could say it is difficult with the event running over two days but we’re used to racing several days in a row.”

  •  Robert Lambert sits 14th in the Speedway GP standings after a disappointing evening at the Swedish Grand Prix in Hallstavik at the weekend.

The Poultec Stars captain suffered an early elimination and scored just three points.

However, the teen ace remains in the middle of the pack overall with 24 points.

Emil Sayfutdinov leads the standings, with 47 points, after winning in Sweden, picking up 17 points.

Stars of the future heading for Lynn

King’s Lynn host the sixth round of the British Youth Championship on Sunday, 2pm.

The event features 500cc, 250cc and 125cc classes with a bumper 40 races lined up in a hectic afternoon.

Poultec Stars promoter Keith Chapman said: “We are pleased to host this event and give the youngsters the opportunity to enjoy some competitive racing on the Lynn track.

“I believe it will be a great day out and, with admission just £8 and under 16s free, I hope to see plenty of people here to enjoy the afternoon, which we hope will be done by 6pm.”

Pirates sunk by Stars’ German ace

King’s Lynn shone in front of the BT Sport cameras as they thrashed a heavily depleted Poole Pirates team 57-33 at the Norfolk Arena on Monday, reports Chris Milsom. 

A strong start sealed the deal for the Poultec Stars with back-to-back heat maximums seeing them race into a 10-point lead after four races.

Erik Riss showed what the team has been missing while he has been out through injury. The German ace top-scored for the hosts, racking up 11+2 from his five rides.

But it was a strong team with all seven contributing good points, especially at reserve with Lewis Kerr scoring 7+3 from four rides and Simon Lambert 8+1 from five. 

But there was one piece of bad news with Thomas Jorgensen forced to withdraw from the meeting, feeling the effects of a crash at Poole last week. 

Jubilant manager Peter Schroeck said: “We’ve done the business. I’m very pleased with the levels of consistency.

“I know Poole had their injury problems but you can only beat what’s in front of you. The riders brought in weren’t bad ones, it just proves how well we rode.” 

It was sweet revenge for the Stars, who had suffered a 49-41 on their bogey track at Poole last Thursday, despite outstanding performances from top two Robert Lambert and Craig Cook.

Sadly for Lynn, their dynamic Brit duo received little back up.

Schroeck said: “Craig and Robert kept us in the match and we kept battling. However we just lacked an extra cutting edge. We needed one of the other boys to step up.”

Stars at Poole: Lambert 15+2, Palm-Toft 3, Riss 5, Jorgensen 2+1, Cook 11, Kerr 5, Ayres 0.

Stars v Poole: R Lambert 11+1, Palm-Toft 9+1, Riss 11+2, Jorgensen 3 Cook 8, Kerr 7+3, S Lambert 8+1.