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RIDER REVIEW | CRAIG COOK

Today SpeedwayGP.com launches its Rider Review series, taking a look back at how the SGP class of 2018 fared. We start with Craig Cook.

13 / 10 / 2018, 16:01

Today SpeedwayGP.com launches its Rider Review series, taking a look back at how the SGP class of 2018 fared. We start with GB star Craig Cook.

The Cumbrian earned his place in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series for the first time after finishing fourth at the 2017 GP Challenge in Togliatti. With Patryk Dudek taking third place in Russia and second in the World Championship, this handed Cookie a dream call-up into the main field.

It’s fair to say the season was a baptism of fire for a man who only took his first laps in the old British Conference League with Scunthorpe in 2008.

In the eight SGPs Cook completed this year, he scored an average of 3.75 points and always registered at least two.

But there’s no doubt his average was bumped up considerably by a night the Belle Vue man will never forget, as he stormed to three race wins and nine points to qualify for the Adrian Flux British SGP semis in Cardiff.

Despite a last place in his opener, Cook – to use his words – “went to Trap City.” And he cleaned up with three straight heat victories, including a special triumph over four-time world champion Greg Hancock, Tai Woffinden and Maciej Janowski in heat 13.

Things didn’t end so well as a heavy crash saw him excluded from heat 20, and with man and machine taking a knock, he was unable to give his best in the semi-final.

But that July night in Cardiff proved Cook has the potential to mix it with the best riders in the world.

Sadly his SGP season was curtailed by a wrist injured suffered at the German SGP in Teterow, which kept him out of the series finale in Torun.

Cook ended the year 16th in the final standings on 30 points. But there’s no doubt the 31-year-old gained plenty from his first taste of life on the big stage as he targets a comeback for 2020.

 

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