A RESURGENT Joe Jacobs is hoping a successful period spent down under will enable him to put the Mildenhall Fen Tigers back on top.
Despite being part of the team who enjoyed Knockout Cup glory, the 18-year-old, who will ride at number three, endured a torrid season last year and struggled to find a prolonged period of consistent form.
However, after spending the winter over in Australia, riding with team mate Cameron Heeps, Jacobs, who admitted to not enjoying last term, believes his passion for riding has been reignited and even warned close friend Heeps he will be gunning for his number one jersey.
“I didn’t really enjoy my racing last year and I think that was one of the main reasons why I was struggling,” he said.
“However in Australia I just focused on purely riding as opposed to what is going on with the bike and since then things have been better, I have never rode so well and I am really looking forward to this season.
“I have a whole new attitude now and have learnt to love it and have fun, because when you are enjoying yourself the points come a lot easier.
“It was a great experience and I can’t thank Cameron and his parents enough for having me over there with them, we are like brothers these days and we have become really close.
“Michael Lee has been saying about Lewis (Blackbird) challenging Cameron for the number one slot but I would like to be doing it myself and if I can carrying on doing what I was doing in Australia then there is no reason why I can’t.
“There is no harm in healthy competition between us and it is really looking good for a successful season.
“I think we look really strong and if we can all push on and keep improving then there is no reason why we can’t challenge for the double.”
Despite being two-years younger than Jacobs, Australian Heeps was happy to pass on his experience to his team mate and believes the changes in him are certainly noticeable. “I noticed when I came here last year that Joe would worry about things with his bike so in Australia I told him not to worry about so much and he has started to enjoy it a lot more,” he said.
“You can see he is a better rider for it already and hopefully he can take that into the season and do well.”
The 16-year-old, who was voted most entertaining rider by Mildenhall fans last season, will also be riding for Premier League side Ipswich Witches this year but revealed he won’t miss any meeting for the Tigers, as he aims to lead the team to a much coveted double.
“It has been worked out so that I don’t miss any meetings here or at Ipswich and I am fully focused on both,” he added.
“I honestly believe we can eclipse what we achieved last year, we have a strong team and although we are young we will keep improving.
“It should be a good season and there is no reason why we can’t do the double.”