JOSH Grajczonek has warned Brady Kurtz he is gunning for the number one spot at Pirates next year.

The hard-charging Aussies join Kacper Woryna and Mateusz Szczepaniak in the 2018 SGB Premiership campaign with Kurtz guaranteed the spearhead role given his 8.08 average.

However, the 7.34-rated Grajczonek is not far behind and the 27-year-old is planning to give his compatriot more than a run for his money.

Grajczonek told the Daily Echo: "I rode with Brady for a couple of seasons at Somerset so it's going to be good pushing each other.

"I want to improve. I'm looking forward to getting out there and having some good battles.

"The closeness of our averages is going to help us. Brady will want to be at number one and I will want to get there as well, so there will be a good rivalry going on.

"I spent most of this year riding at number one for Somerset so I can't be too disappointed in my average.

"You want to be a lot higher but I think it might have been a blessing in disguise that it was that low because if it had been more than eight, I might have struggled for a team spot.

"Although they weren't the results we wanted at Somerset, it was a really good season for me. My consistency was a lot better. I really worked on that and I will work on it again for next year."

Twice an Elite League winner with Pirates, Grajczonek will next season be back in the skull and crossbones for the first time since 2014.

Having swiftly agreed a return to Wimborne Road with Poole owner Matt Ford, club asset Grajczonek is looking forward to linking up with team boss Neil Middleditch.

He said: "There is always a bit of added pressure with Middlo in the pits but it's a good pressure. You know what you have got to do when you get out on the track.

"It's been a couple of years since I've had to listen to Middlo! We have stayed good friends and always have a chat at meetings.

"There is an atmosphere at Poole which makes you give 100 per cent and that's not saying you don't give it anywhere else, but Poole are used to winning things so the pressure is on to keep that going."

Grajczonek first rode for Pirates in 2013 when he was brought in as a replacement for Kozza Smith.

The Townsville charger quickly became a firm favourite with the Pirates faithful and starred as the Dorset club sunk Birmingham in the play-off final.

Having completed a full transfer from Glasgow, Grajczonek was an unsung hero of the 2014 title-winning side but was cruelly denied the chance to ride in the play-offs after sustaining a broken collarbone in the Premier League Riders' Championship.

He returned for a four-meeting stint at the start of the following season, providing temporary cover for Davey Watt.