Scunthorpe Scorpions are the visitors to Armadale Stadium tonight as Edinburgh Monarchs launch their Championship speedway programme.
The Scorpions have lost their opening three fixtures, including a two-point home defeat by Peterborough Panthers last weekend, and they are already living up to many people’s assertion that they are possibly one of the weakest sides in the league. Time will tell.
But Monarchs reserve star Mitchell Davey is urging caution. “They have got a handful of riders who can perform pretty well. Some of them have not been to Armadale before so they could be something of a surprise package,” he said.
“We need to work together in order to get the job done.”
Davey and his tailend partner Mark Riss are expected to dominate around the Lothian Arena. Said Davey: “I’d like to think we can. I was watching how Mark did in the Scottish Open last week and he rode very well and certainly did not disgrace himself.
“If I can find my form at Championship level there should not be any problem, I just need to focus all my attention on myself.”
Davey admits this year is a massive one for him and he knows he must perform to the best of his capabilities. “I have been given the chance at No.7 because of my experience and I must make that count,” said Davey. “I must beat opposing reserves and pick off other riders as well.
“I need to make sure I nullify the other teams No.7’s, that is my main goal.”
Davey is also riding for Stoke in the National League, and is aware he must produce for Monarchs.
“It’s a massive year for me because it’s the first time I have taken on two leagues. I can’t keep staying at reserve I need to progress and show why Edinburgh signed me and do the job they employed me for.
“There is no point in me staying at reserve, I need to show I have improvement in me.”
Davey says that riding in two leagues should give him the platform to build on. “The big thing is the amount of bike time I get this year. I’m going to riding several times a week, it’s going to be busy. Some people say the more bike time you get, you can only get better and that’s what I’m hoping for.
“And my commitments for Stoke are not going to clash with any Monarchs fixtures.”
Davey also competed in the Scottish Open last week but found it a bit of a struggle. “I was too tough on myself,” he said. “It was a quality field they had put together. I put too much pressure on myself and it showed in my riding.
“I made too many mistakes. But if I can take those mistakes out of my racing I can get the results I want.”
Edinburgh’s priority is to make sure they get off to a winning start. Said Davey: “I hope we can, it gives you a good base for the season ahead.
“But we need to show Scunthorpe some respect and not just assume they will be pushovers.”
Monarchs also travel to Berwick Bandits on Saturday night and Davey knows Shielfield Park having raced half a season for Berwick in 2011.
“I just need to make sure I find that consistency and score the points I need,” he summed up.
Monarchs will need to be on guard for a possible backlash after the Bandits were turfed out of the KO Cup last weekend at the hands of Ipswich Witches.
Davey added: “The Bandits riders heads may well be down after their cup exit and they might be looking for revenge. But we are looking to run them close or even beat them. That would be a great and good start to the season for us.”