'This is a massive opportunity' - Cook looking to make his mark with Witches

New signing Craig Cook pictured ahead of the Panthers clash

Craig Cook is an Ipswich Witch - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Craig Cook is excited to have the opportunity to make his mark after joining Ipswich Witches. 

The former Grand Prix rider has had an eventful start to the new season which saw him released by King’s Lynn Stars after just two meetings before joining the Foxhall club. 

He’s started well, too, scoring 14+1 on his debut against Peterborough last Thursday. 

“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Cook when discussing the reasons behind his early exit from the Stars. “I don’t know exactly what happened, it was a bit of a strange one. I was very happy at King’s Lynn and was enjoying the track and everything was great there. I have no idea what happened, but I am happy to join Ipswich, they are a great team with a great leader. I have always wanted to ride with Danny (King) and I’m happy that it has happened. 

Craig Cook ahead of Scott Nicholls in heat 7.

Craig Cook impressed on his Ipswich Witches debut - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

“Riding with Crumpy (Jason Crump) and Danny is a massive opportunity and hopefully I can learn from the pair of them and move forward and put it into my future racing and it will help me progress as a rider and a racer.” 

The 2017 British champion has found his home in the Championship with Glasgow and admits he enjoys being settled at a club. 

“I have never ever wanted to move around. I was happy at Belle Vue but unfortunately, they didn’t want me there, but we move forward again, and I was happy at King’s Lynn. I’m not one to ever want to move clubs and switch about. I want to get settled at one place and stay there for a number of years, but it is what it is. We have dealt with the situation of moving around but I’m not a rider who wants to keep switching clubs, I want to get settled at one place. 

Most Read

“We have dealt with the hand we have been dealt and I’m happy to be at Ipswich now. We have got a big opportunity to work with Crumpy and Danny and I am happy the opportunity has come up and hopefully I can grab it with both hands and do the business for Ipswich.” 

The 34-year-old says he is looking forward to working with promoter Chris Louis despite having exchanged words on occasions over the years at Foxhall. 

“Me and Chris have had a few words over the years, I think it was the other year the track wasn’t great, and the meeting was called off. I will always be one of those people that speak my mind and say the truth and I will always express my feelings. I am not always appreciated, and I think it is difficult when you are a rider who speaks their mind and speaks the truth about how they feel. 

“A lot of riders keep it bottled up and say things to please the media. I’m not one of those, I will always say how I feel, and I think Chris and Ritchie (Hawkins) appreciate me for who I am. I’m looking forward to working with both of them moving forward.” 

The GB Speedway international made his debut for the Witches last week at Foxhall and is excited to be riding alongside captain King and hopes the club can get back to a full septet in the near future. 

“Danny is one of the most genuine riders in British Speedway, if not the most,” Cook said. “Riding with him is golden and I have known him since I started racing and I have always wanted to race with him. He made me feel very welcome. 

Craig Cook Picture: Ian Burt

Cook was released by King's Lynn after just two meetings - Credit: Archant

“Jake (Allen) is a good guy as well; I have raced against him a couple of times at the weekend and it was nice to see him. He is a very talented rider and he has a lot to offer the team. I think we have got a great team, but we just need our number one back. Me doing seven rides is not ideal but hopefully we can move forward from that.” 

Cook is aiming to set a better example in 2021 and believes that the Ipswich team is the strongest in the Premiership. 

“To be honest I think I am a different person over these last couple of years. The things that have happened with me in 2019, people know that I have issues and I have not set a great example over the last couple of years. I want to set a better example for myself and be a better rider and racer. I want to move forward for myself and be a better racer. I am going to knuckle down, keep my head down and work hard on myself and for my racing. 

“I want to see the club succeed because we have a great squad, if not the best in the league. We just need to get everyone firing at the right time and on our day, there is nobody better than Ipswich. I believe that we are the strongest team in the league so we need to knuckle down and work hard and get everyone firing at the right time and we should be up there at the end of the season.” 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter