Kozza back at Saddlebow for Stars

KING'S Lynn racer Kozza Smith aims to make up for lost time in tonight's Premier League KO Cup quarter- final, first leg against Berwick at the Norfolk Arena (7.

KING'S Lynn racer Kozza Smith aims to make up for lost time in tonight's Premier League KO Cup quarter- final, first leg against Berwick at the Norfolk Arena (7.45pm).

The young Aussie returns for his first competitive outing on home shale since last year's play-off final defeat to Edinburgh after a serious pre-season injury at Ipswich.

Smith notched paid six on his Stars' comeback at Somerset recently before missing out on the World U21 semi-finals over the weekend in a race-off for the final qualifying spot.

Now the popular Aussie wants to turn it on in front of the Saddlebow faithful as Rob Lyon's men look for a big lead to take north.


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“I can't wait to ride at Lynn again with the crowd behind me,” said Smith. “Hopefully I can make some starts and score some points. I've had a couple of meetings back now so I've got the usual aches and pains but so far no problem with the injuries.

“I don't really know how long it will take to get that sharpness back. I just have to keep plugging away and hopefully jump straight back on the pace. I felt in my last two rides at Rye House over the weekend I wasn't quite as sharp as I would like to be but that will come.”

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Smith admits Lynn's last heat 46-44 defeat at Somerset took some of the edge off his return after finally recovering from broken arm, ribs and shoulder injuries in a pre-season shunt at Ipswich.

“I don't know what it is but we always seem to bomb it in the last heat,” said Smith. “You couldn't believe the same thing would happen to us as in the televised meeting. I scored paid six so I guess I can't be too disappointed with that as it was my first race back. I was hoping for a few more but there was nothing to get disheartened about.”

Swedish racer Linus Eklof is also in line for a Norfolk Arena bow against the Bandits after an impressive paid 12 haul on his Somerset debut.

“Hopefully he can keep it going,” said Smith. “He was so sharp out of the gates and making some cracking starts. It would be great if he could do a similar sort of job wherever we go.”

Berwick track Andre Compton as a guest at number one with William Lawson on British Final duty.

Lyon's Premier Trophy semi-finalists are bidding to re-gain the KO Cup trophy they won for three consecutive seasons before Somerset dethroned them last year.

STARS: 1 Tomas Topinka, 2 Linus Eklof, 3 Emiliano Sanchez, 4 Chris Schramm, 5 Darcy Ward, 6 Kozza Smith, 7 Jan Graversen.

BANDITS: 1 Andre Compton, 2 Tero Aarnio, 3 Paul Clews, 4 Joseph Franc, 5 Michal Makovsky, 6 Greg Blair, 7 Gino Francetti.

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