Edinburgh Monarchs ace Josh Pickering suddenly found top gear at Newcastle Diamonds on Sunday with a return if nine points, including two wins, and he is hoping this will galvanise him for the second half of the season.
As Monarchs head to Ipswich Witches tonight without skipper Erik Riss who is out with concussion following a heavy tumble at Newcastle, Pickering revealed his slow start to the 2018 campaign has been down to problems with his bike set-up.
He explained: “It’s not that I have been doing anything different this year, it’s been purely down to me trying out different engines. I tried an engine at Armadale last Friday and it wasn’t good. I tried another engine at Berwick 24 hours later, a newer one, and I haven’t been able to get a set-up with it.
“So I put my other engine back in at Newcastle and suddenly things were good again. I have sent my new engine away to get fixed and hopefully I can improve on it when I get it back. My riding has not changed it’s just down to bike set-ups.”
Although Monarchs went down 53-37 at Newcastle there were signs that progress is being made within the team. Said Pickering: “Everybody is still learning, at the end of the day it’s the management who pick the team. It’s not down to me or the other riders. We are all trying our best and sometimes that is not good enough, myself included.”
Ipswich are one point ahead of Monarchs in the Championship table, but Pickering admitted it will be hard to get anything out of the match.
He said: “Erik would probably have scored 13 points so for him to be ruled out is a bit of pain.
“You can’t rely on just one rider anyway, two if you count Ricky (Wells) who has been fantastic, and that’s the problem we have got at the moment, none of us are firing together on the same night.
“But it may not be a bad thing, all the boys will rock up at Ipswich knowing we will be without Erik and this may just spur them on into giving that little bit extra out on the track.
“I like the Ipswich circuit and I’m looking forward to the meeting.”