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TAPES-UP: Now Birks is firing on all cylinders
6:00am Monday 2nd September 2013 in Sport
ASHLEY Birks has admitted the Robins’ cash flow problems have caused him a few issues with his equipment but praised teammate Troy Batchelor for helping him get things right.
During the Elite League champions’ loss to Belle Vue 10 days ago a number of the Robins riders had only one bike in the pits to highlight the fact they were owed a substantial amount of money dating back eight weeks.
Birks chose to track two bikes in the meeting with the Aces but like the rest of his teammates was still owed money, and the reserve admitted the fact he was waiting to be paid has had an impact on the quality of his equipment.
“I’ve been struggling with equipment really but I just have to keep riding and need to stay on the bike,” he said.
“The money has been an issue for all of us, although I don’t want to go into detail because I feel privileged to be a member of the Swindon team and to have this opportunity, but you need paying to keep on top of your equipment.
“We all made our point and what was said in the meeting will stay in there, but now we are in the play-offs we need to concentrate on them and stay focused on the track.”
As Birks continues to do all he can to get to grips with the jump up to Elite League speedway he has been quick to seek advice from his more experienced teammates, in particular Australian Batchelor who this week lent the reserve an engine.
“I’ve had a lot of help behind the scenes from Troy which has been really helpful, and I had a bit of an improvement against Poole which is a plus for me,” he said.
“Troy has lent me an engine because I’ve been struggling for one, although I do have an engine I’ve been happy with which I got from Ashley Holloway.
“Swindon seems to be a special place and I went out after the meeting last week and Troy came out and watched and he told me he has an engine which might be better here which he has ridden at Blunsdon a few times.
“It’s definitely helped, because my other engine is really good at other tracks but not so good for Swindon.
“Troy’s the kind of guy you can approach and he’s offered me some help, I really appreciate that because I am still new to the sport.
“I struggled out the start with a different engine although I’m usually making good starts, but I put new clutch plates in and everything was new in my clutch and it all felt very different.
“Maybe we could do with some practice to get used to it, and that’s something to work with.”
Birks was in Premier League action for Scunthorpe on Saturday night and managed 12 points in the Scorpions’ 50-40 loss at Rye House.
Also in second tier action was Australian Nick Morris as he guested for Plymouth, and although he managed 15 points from his five rides he couldn’t stop the Devils falling to a heavy 62-31 defeat at Foxhall.
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