JAMES Shanes is sure Swindon Robins’ reserve riders will make strides forward as they prepare to resume their SGB Premiership programme away at Belle Vue Aces tonight (7.30pm).

This evening’s meeting is the eighth of 2019 for Alun Rossiter’s side – although it is only their third in the league as the majority of fixtures have taken place in the Supporters’ Cup.

Although Swindon have collected at least a point in defeat from every meeting they have contested so far this year, there is still room for improvement.

Shanes and fellow reserve Zach Wajtknecht have found points hard to come by this season, largely chipping in with combined scores of three and four – although Wajtknecht did notch up a timely six away at King’s Lynn Stars on April 29.

Number seven Shanes admits things have been far from easy for the Robins’ bottom two riders, although the 22-year-old has seen progress being made.

“It has been tough – myself and Zach have been thrown in at the deep end,” said Shanes.

“I think it is a lot harder to be a reserve in the league this year than it has been for a long time.

“It is difficult to pick up points, but we are fighting hard for the ones we are getting and things are slowly starting to come together. Hopefully we can keep pushing forward.

“At home at Swindon, I have been trying to get to grips with the new track and it is almost like being an away rider every week.

“Then in away meetings, it is always harder to be a reserve, so it has been about adjusting every week.

“We have got a brilliant team. Jason (Doyle) and Troy (Batchelor) have helped me out no end with little bits of advice and some of the other lads’ mechanics have been brilliant as well.

“We are getting there and the team spirit is high. Everyone wants each other to do well and we are all chipping in.”

The Robins are returning to action this evening for the first time in a fortnight, having not ridden together since the 46-44 victory at home to Peterborough Panthers on May 6.

With the dynamics of the Belle Vue track at the National Speedway Stadium a favourite amongst riders, Shanes is optimistic Swindon can make a winning comeback in Manchester.

“It was been a while since we have raced. I haven’t really ridden much recently and it has been a quiet couple of weeks,” said Shanes.

“It is a brilliant track to race on. It is a bit of a nightmare when you are out in front as you have got people coming from all angles behind, but when you are behind, it is great fun as you can go from whichever line you want and really have a go.

“I can’t see a reason why we cannot win there. It is going to be hard – as every meeting is – but we are definitely going to give it our all.

“I know a few of the lads go well around there, so hopefully we can get a bit of speed going and see what we can do.”