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SWINDON ROBINS: Birks aims to maintain form
RESERVE Ashley Birks wants to pick up where he left off in the Robins’ last home meeting against Poole when he takes to the track against Lakeside.
The Yorkshireman scored 2+2 against the Pirates and put in a better all-round display than his points score suggests, and rode well to beat Swede Tomas H Jonasson in heat 14 at Blunsdon in his final outing.
Birks is the first to admit his first season in the Elite League has been a steep learning curve but is keen to focus on the positives when the Robins host the Hammers tonight.
“We just want to get a nice win over them and hopefully we can all ride well and go into the play-offs on a high,” he said.
“Every meeting has been a chance for me and sometimes I’ve done well and sometimes I haven’t, and this is another chance for me to get some laps going round Swindon.
“I went really well in my last race when I was at Swindon and hopefully I can pick up where I left off that night, and if I can that would be good.
“I don’t think there are too many negatives for the team because we’ve had a good season although there was a bit of a rough patch, and everyone’s aware of a few issues which have gone on. I’m a three-point rider and I’ve had some good meetings and I’ve had some bad ones, and I’ve been going round some tracks for the first time which has obviously been hard.
“I think I’ve done okay, but obviously I still have a lot to learn.”
Birks expects the visiting Hammers to be pumped up this evening as they chase the last remaining play-off place, but isn’t expecting the visiting riders’ desire to make the post season overawe them.
“Every time a rider’s on the track they try as hard as they can because it’s their job and how they earn a living, and people say riders try hard in play-offs which is a bit strange,” he said.
“It means a lot to Lakeside so maybe the pressure put on them by the team might make things hard, rather than the riders trying too hard.
“It should be a good one and hopefully we can go out there and get a good win which will give us a boost.”
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