FIM Ice Speedway World Championship Final 5 and 6
Date of the meeting: 15 and 16/02/2020
Time: 15/02/2020 – 09:00 CET (13:00 local time)
16/02/2020 – 09:00 CET (13:00 local time)
The 2020 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship reaches its halfway point in Shadrinsk next weekend where Finals five and six will be held in the Torpedo Stadium. Shadrinsk, over one thousand kilometres from Togliatti and a fifteen-hour drive, is a city of nearly one hundred thousand people where ice speedway is very popular. Earlier this year the stadium was packed for the Russian Individual Championship and the organisers are confident of another big crowd for this event.
Championship leader Daniil Ivanov saw his winning run halted in Togliatti, but he still has a fourteen-point cushion ahead of his nearest rival Dmitry Khomitsevich whose gold medal hopes suffered a blow when he was eliminated at the semi final stage in Final four due to mechanical problems. Dinar Valeev was the winner there and will be hoping that this signals for him the start of a further upward climb in the Intermediate Classification.
Leading riders after Final four are:
1 Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 78
2 Dmitry Khomitsevich (Russia) 64
3 Dinar Valeev (Russia) 59
4 Igor Kononov (Russia) 56
5 Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 48
6 Harald Simon (Austria) 45
7 Martin Haarahiltunen (Sweden) 39
8 Johan Weber (Germany) 33
9 Stefan Svensson (Sweden) 28
10 Franky Zorn (Austria) 28
With the Russians in command it would be a major surprise if a western rider was in a medal winning position at the end of the season, but there is still much interest in racing for the minor places in the top eight.
Harald Simon with a steady performance in Togliatti remains the best of the western riders at this stage, but Martin Haarahiltunen has his sights on that position and so will not wish to be reminded of his visit to Shadrinsk in this competition last year when a hand injury forced his withdrawal on the second day marking the start of an injury affected season. Johan Weber has shown his best fighting qualities and fully justified his place in the top four at Togliatti.
Stefan Svensson and Franky Zorn have disappointed so far and will need to raise their game if they are to have any prospect of a medal at the end of the series. There also remain some doubts over the fitness of Niclas Svensson who did not ride in Finals three or four due to a foot injury. Dutchman Jasper Iwema also was a victim of falls in Togliatti both in practice and during the meetings and did not complete all his races. The few days break between the events may give him the opportunity to recover.
The Wild Card for this event will be Konstantin Kolenkin who rides alongside Dmitry Koltakov in the Shadrinsk team in the Russian Super League and is nominated to race in the European Championship in Poland next month. Ove Ledström is also a member of the same team and these three will provide added interest for the local fans.