Getting back on a speedway bike could be seen as an achievement in itself for Sam Bebee but that is not enough for the talented teenager who hopes to make up for lost time in 2018, writes Graham Clark.
Having sat out last season after sustaining multiple injuries on his last start in Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ colours at Coventry in August 2016, the 17-year-old is now determined to bounce back and reward the faith placed in him by the management team at the West Row-based outfit.
“Mildenhall have looked after me really well the whole time I’ve been injured. It is really good going back there as that is where I wanted to be,” said Bebee.
“I just want to try and get as many points as I can and be consistent throughout the season and just try smash it at Mildenhall.
“I’ve been out on the bike but not as much as I have wanted to be. I’ve been in the gym and I’ve had a lot of help. I feel like I’ve got a lot of strength back and it feels all good.”
Reflecting on that season-ending night at the now defunct Brandon Stadium the Feltwell-based rider, who was left nursing a broken left leg among a host of other injuries, reveals there was only one thing on his mind.
“The pain was one thing but I remember the first thing I said to my dad was that I won’t be riding for ages and that hurt as I just wanted to get back on my bike,” said Bebee.
“In total I broke eight bones and I’ve still got a rod in my left leg and plate in my left shoulder.
“I think having that year off has helped a lot mentally as well as physically.
“I didn’t want to be rushing back and I wanted to be thinking straight before getting back on the bike.
“Taking the time out just made me want it more.”
With a raft of new riders drafted in and Phil Kirk taking over as manager of the team, Bebee is looking forward to taking to the tapes once again and completing his road to recovery.
“I can’t wait to get riding again this year with Mildenhall. We have got a good team on paper — now got to prove it on track,” said Bebee.
“Phil (Kirk) was the manager of the Tigers Cubs when I first went there so there should be a really good atmosphere in the pits with him and all the new riders.”