SWINDON ROBINS: No pressure for Stead in British Final
ROBINS charger Simon Stead believes he can go under the radar and earn a place at the Millennium Stadium at tonight’s British Final at Monmore Green.
Stead lines up alongside the likes of reigning champion Scott Nicholls, Chris Harris and Tai Woffinden in a bid to become national champion, with the rider who wins the event, or comes second behind GP regular Harris, also receiving the bonus of a place at the British Grand Prix in Cardiff next month.
And although Stead admits he faces a tough task in Wolverhampton, the chance to compete against the best riders in the world once again is a huge incentive for him to perform to his best at Monmore Green.
“It would be awesome to be involved in the British Grand Prix, it’s been a few years since I was there when I was a wildcard a couple of times,” he said.
“That in itself is another challenge, but I’ve got to win a British Final before that can happen.
“I’m going to have my work cut out, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
“I’ve ridden well in the British Final in the past and there’s no real reason why I can’t have a good meeting.
“There’s no pressure on me as such, everyone’s looking at Tai Woffinden, Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris and I can understand that because they are proven performers year in, year out.
“But I’ve beaten all of them this year, so there’s no reason why I can’t do something on the day.
“If you get through to the semi-final, everyone starts from scratch and you never know.”
The competition has been dominated by Nicholls and Harris in recent years, with those men between them having won every British Final since 2002, except for 2004 when Joe Screen took the honours.
The duo’s dominance looked set to come to an end last year at Monmore Green when Woffinden scored 15 perfect points in his first five rides, only for Nicholls to take his sixth title.
But when asked if anyone could break the dominance of Harris and Nicholls tonight, Stead stated that Woffinden had it within him to become Wolverhampton’s first-ever British champion.
“I think you’ve got to look at Tai, he’s a home rider and the British Final has been there for the last few seasons,” said Stead.
“I think it’s tailor-made for him really, he ought to be able to win it on his own track so the pressure is certainly on him.
“If I was putting my own money on somebody then it might possibly be Tai, but to beat Bomber (Harris) and Scotty on the day, he will have to be riding well.”