The race for the 2019 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship took another turn on Sunday as Dinar Valeev opened up a two-point lead at the top of the classification on the second day in Inzell. Predictably it was the four top Russians who qualified for the final but, unlike his disappointment in the final on Day 1, Valeev stormed to a victory over holder Dmitry Koltakov and Daniil Ivanov to stand at the top of the podium after an impressive weekend in Bavaria for the young contender. Dmitry Khomitsevich may have seen his medal hopes fade when finishing last in the final but the stage is set for a dramatic climax to the championship when Final 5 takes place in Heerenveen in two weeks’ time where only six points seperate the top four riders.
The organisers had worked hard to prepare another good track and were rewarded with some great races on a perfectly prepared surface in front of another big crowd. To please the home fans there was another impressive performance from Johan Weber who once again finished in the top half of the qualifiers but failed to progress after falling in his semi-final race. However, his 11 points placed him fifth on the day and he maintains the same position in the overall standings. Max Niedermaier failed to capitalise on heat wins in his first two rides and finished with 7 points alongside Markus Jell.
Gunther Bauer once again had to pull out of the meeting after a retirement and fall in his early rides and after the meeting in an emotional speech to spectators he announced that he will be retiring from Ice Speedway marking the end of a long and successful career which includes a silver medal in the 2003 World Championship.
Nikita Toloknov’s knee injury ruled him out of the event but Sweden’s Ove Ledström was passed fit to ride and scored 9 points to take him into the semi-finals along with father and son Stefan and Niclas Svensson. Unfortunately, none of the Swedes were able to move on to the final.
The title will now be decided at the final meeting of the series in Heerenveen, The Netherlands on 30th and 31st March.
Total series points after Final 4 now stand at:
1. Dinar Valeev (Russia) 134
2. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 132
3. Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 130
4. Dmitry Khomitsevich. (Russia) 128
5. Johan Weber (Germany) 76
6. Nikita Toloknov (Russia) 61
7. Stefan Svensson (Sweden) 60
8. Niclas Svensson (Sweden) 56