MILDENHALL Fen Tigers co-promoter Michael Lee hopes to make new signing Josh Bates a success and therefore start a legacy for the Mildenhall Academy.
Bates — who does not turn 16 until the start of next month — will ride from reserve for the Tigers in 2012 after signing a deal at the end of last week.
And Lee insists there is no pressure on the Yorkshire-based teenager, other than what he places upon himself, when the Tigers return to the track in the spring.
“It would be nice to get the ball rolling where we take on 15-year-olds then two or three years down the line they are good enough for the Premier League or even the Elite League,” said Lee. “It would be great for Josh to be a real success.
“He’s the first one who has done the academies and been signed up for the main team — if we could move his ability along during the season it would be great.”
Bates, the sixth confirmed member of the Tigers’ 2012 side, has made startling progress since first getting on a 125cc speedway bike at the start of 2010. He moved up to a 250cc bike in June 2010, before taking part in the 2011 250cc British Championship and finishing fourth.
As well as competing in the British Championship, Bates rode in the amateur summer championship at Scunthorpe, which he won, and also competed in the 250cc World Championship in Sweden.
n Lee hopes to announce the final member of Mildenhall’s team at the Meet the Tigers night on Saturday, February 18 (7pm). All fans welcome.