BRITISH FINAL: Cook second again as King rules
Peterborough Panthers number one Craig Cook was magnanimous in defeat after being forced to settle for a third successive runners-up finish in the British Final last night (June 13).
Cook followed home Huntingdon-based former Panthers rider Danny King in the final race at the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester.
And he refused to be disappointed at again coming so close to capturing the national crown after taking second spot behind world champion Tai Woffinden, who did not take part last night, in the previous two years.
Cook said: “I’m not disappointed to be beaten by Danny because he is a hell of a rider.
“He produced a great ride round the outside in the final and deserved to win the title.
“I’m happy that I’ve made some massive steps forward in the past few weeks.
“I’m still learning how to get the best out of my new engines and this was only the third meeting that I’ve used them in.
“I can promise everyone there is still a lot more to come from me for the rest of the season.”
Cook was stuck at the back as he failed to score in his opening ride, but he responded brilliantly to reel off four successive victories.
His 12-point haul earned direct qualification for the final along with King, who racked up 13 from his five rides.
Cook did hit the front early on as the final race was completed at the second attempt, but he was powerless to prevent King from roaring round the outside in conditions made increasingly difficult by heavy rain.
Another ex-Panthers rider, Robert Lambert, climbed onto the podium after finishing third with Steve Worrall bringing up the rear in the final.
Cook returns to league action against one of his former clubs tonight (June 14) when Panthers bid to return to the top of the Premier League.
The city side are chasing a sixth successive victory when they entertain Workington at the East of England Showground (7.30pm).
Captain Ulrich Ostergaard and fellow Danish ace Emil Grondal both return after missing a fine Friday (June 10) triumph against title rivals Glasgow due to fixtures in their homeland.
QUALIFYING SCORES: Danny King 13, Craig Cook 12, Robert Lambert 12, Richard Lawson 10, Steve Worrall 10, Scott Nicholls 10, Paul Starke 10, Josh Auty 8, Richie Worrall 7, Simon Stead 6, Jason Garrity 5, Chris Harris 5, Kyle Howarth 4, Richard Hall 3, Josh Bates 2, Ben Barker 2, Charles Wright (reserve) 1.
SEMI-FINAL: Lambert, S. Worrall, Lawson, Nicholls.
GRAND FINAL: King, Cook, Lambert, S.Worrall.