LEE Complin is relishing the prospect of a third successive season with Berwick - but the gritty Yorkshireman is warning fans to expect a different rider when he rolls up to the tapes in March.
“I am going to take a much more mature approach to my racing,” he said.
“I know the fans love to see me blasting around the boards from the back, but I am starting to realise that if I want to be a more successful rider I have to get out of the gate and do it from the front.
“Towards the end of last season I had a couple of meetings with King’s Lynn in the Elite League and that made me realise just how important gating is.
“I know it has been part of my game which has let me down in the past, that is why I will be putting in a lot of practice during the winter to try and get it right.”
Complin has developed something of a cavalier reputation around Shielfield, with his daring bursts from the back having fans on the edge of their seats.
“I am able to do that because I think I have now mastered the Shielfield track,” he said.
“I have confidence in it and the people who prepare it, and that means I know I can attack it.
“I have also started to develop a few new lines, which I am hoping willl help me win a few more points next season.
“But I know that if I want to be more consistent I have to get out of the starts.
“Last season I got a maximum against a good Workington side, but most of the points were from the front - I only had to make one passing move all night (against Richard Lawson) and I think it hit home then just how important it is to gate.”
Complin says he plans to go ‘back to basics’ in his build-up to the new season.
“The fans will definitely see a different Lee Complin next year,” he said. “I will still go out and enjoy my racing, but I know now that concentration is key.”
Complin plans to have a new Sean Wilson prepared engine under him when the season gets underway.
“Having a good engine is vital,” he said, “but of course no one knows how well they are going to go until they actually start racing. There are so many different factors to be taken into consideration, but if you have a good motor it is half the battle, and hopefully if I can improve my gating as well, it should help me in my performances away from home, which I know need to be stronger.”
Complin says he is happy with the way the Berwick team is shaping up for 2012, with four of last year’s side already named as definite starters.
“It’s good to have that continuity,” he said, “because all the lads know each other and we get on so well together.
“I’m particularly pleased that Kozza (Smith) is coming back because we developed a good relationship last season and it will be great for that to continue.
“Ian Rae (Berwick team manager) has asked me to be captain again next season, and I am happy to take on the role.
“But I have already said that I would like Kozza to take on a joint-captain’s role. I am always there to help out the guys around the pits, as Kozza is as well, but he is so much better than me at organising things and I think we could benefit from that.
“It’s nice being captain, but at the end of the day we are a seven man team, and if we all gel and work together as one it is just like having seven captains in the side.”
As Complin continues his build-up to the new season he is pressing ahead with plans to try and attract new sponsors, and he is also hoping to ‘double up’ with a side in the Elite League.
“The rides I had last season certainly whetted my appetite,” he said, “and I would like to get a few more Elite League outings next season if I can.
“I haven’t had any offers yet, but any team which takes my on board knows that I will always give nothing less than 110 per cent.”