NEW Swindon Robins rider Rohan Tungate says that praise from speedway legend Jason Crump has given him the confidence he needs heading into the new season.

Tungate, who rode against the Robins for his Premier League side Somerset Robins last night, was tipped to surprise a few people this season by the three-time Speedway World Champion.

The 26-year-old Australian was brought in as a late replacement for countryman Dakota North, who has returned to Australia to help his father and is unlikely to return to racing in the UK, according to team manager Alun Rossiter.

“It made me feel pretty good to hear Jason Crump’s comments about me,” said Tungate.

“It was good for him to say something like that, you don’t always get that sort of thing.

“I raced with him a fair bit in Australia and had some good races and a lot of times I finished over the line before him which feels pretty good because I know how good of a rider he is.

“It made me feel good to go and beat somebody like that and then to get his compliments is nice.

“I think it makes your job easier a little bit if someone has that confidence in you.”

Despite the last-minute call-up, Tungate is confident he is ready for the campaign and is looking to put his own disappointment of finishing fourth at the Australian Championship earlier this year behind him.

“I am feeling good and I am ready for a big season,” he added.

“I tried a few things with my bike in Australia and brought them back here, so I am hoping to be better.

“I have just trained harder and harder since the Australian Championships - that is all you can do.

“It was frustrating but that has gone now and you have got to concentrate on something new.

“I am pretty confident that I was riding well in Australia and that I can continue on that path. I know what I can do and I have just got to put it on the track.”