PLYMOUTH Gladiators' Ben Barker produced a magnificent performance to finish third in the British Final at a very wet National Speedway Stadium in Manchester last night.
Barker earned a rostrum place behind Dan Bewley, who retained his British title, and Steve Worrall, who is awarded the wildcard for the British Grand Prix in Cardiff on Saturday, September 2.
Barker revelled in the wet conditions as he piled up 12 points in his five qualifying rides.
He missed out on the top two to Worrall on countback, which meant he had to take part in the semi-final, where he came second behind Richard Lawson, heading home GB duo Chris Harris and Adam Ellis.
Barker finished third for the third time in his career, with his previous rostrum places coming way back in 2010 and 2014,
He said: “It’s always nice to get on the podium. It’s been a long while since I’ve done it so to be third on the night is brilliant.
“I haven’t raced my bike in nearly six weeks so that makes this an even bigger achievement.
“Well done to both Dan (Bewley) and Stevie (Worrall), everyone got stuck in and it was a fantastic night in the end.”
Barker's Plymouth team-mate Kyle Howarth scored five points, while Richie Worrall chose not to take part in the meeting.
Barker will be in action for the Gladiators tonight as they return to Cab Direct Championship action for the first time in eight weeks at home when they take on Redcar Bears at The Coliseum (7pm).
The weather forecast is set fair for once, and they have called in Glasgow Tigers reserve Lee Complin as a guest for the injured Dan Thompson (dislocated shoulder), whilst James Pearson will finally make his home debut.
Luke Harrison continues to deputise for the injured Jake Mulford for the Bears, who currently sit in fourth place in the Championship table,
Plymouth: Kyle Howarth (captain) 2. Lee Complin (guest) 3. Ben Barker 4. Dan Gilkes 5. Richie Worrall 6. James Pearson 7. Ben Trigger. Team Manager: Garry May.
Redcar: 1. Charles Wright (Captain) 2. Danyon Hume 3. Connor Bailey 4. Erik Riss 5. Danny King 6. Jason Edwards 7. Luke Harrison (guest). Team Manager: Gavin Parr