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Brian White  Friday, August 16, 2002  06:09 GMT

Rye House Raider James Cockle celebrated his first-ever maximum on Monday and put it all down to getting some early nights.

The Edmonton-based racer reeled off six straight wins against Carmarthen, including victories in all of the last three heats, the most impressive of which was a Heat 15 success where he came from behind to take the flag.

An elated Cockle said: “This feels absolutely brilliant, words can’t describe how good it is.

“I thought I had blown it in the last one when Dean Felton rode a great first corner and I had to shut off. But I managed to get my wheels in line quickly down the back straight and then went for it around the outside.

“At the start of the season, I felt I could be riding better than I was so I decided to take things seriously and really make a go of it.

“I’ve got to thank Shaun Tacey for doing my engines and my sponsors Paul March and my parents for helping out financially once I’d made the decision to try and be a speedway rider.

“I’ve even been going to bed early so that I’d be fit for race-days and I can’t believe how much energy I’ve got now!”

Raiders skipper Simon Wolstenholme said: “I’m delighted for James as he really deserved that tonight.

“Last year, he was a bit too fiery, shall we say, and he would dive into corners and lock up, but now he’s showing that he’s got a head on him and he’s really quick.”

Cockle’s performance over the last couple of weeks has been steadily improving and he is determined to prove to Rye House promoter Len Silver that his name should be in the hat of Rye House teenagers who are competing for a Premier League berth next year.


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