At the end of another crowded Ice Speedway season we caught up with a few of the riders before they returned home to a more normal life and asked them for their thoughts on the 2017 Championship, the highs and lows and the new venues at Shadrinsk and Heerenveen.
Fourth and final part: Swedish hopeful Niclas Svensson
Svensson was in his second season in the world championship although he needed a nomination from FIM after surprisingly failing to qualify.
“Well, the season started not so good; in the qualification round I had two exclusions and therefore didn’t qualify for the finals series. I was really lucky to get nominated by the FIM into the finals, to have a chance to prove that I’m a good rider and I can do more. To tell the truth I’m not satisfied with my results this year as I had some crashes and injuries but I’m more stable now compared to last year. I pushed the limits further. I feel that I’m stronger and my bike is a little better.
Perhaps the most difficult round for me was the race in Almaty, as I injured my knee. In Heerenveen when I changed the bike I felt so good, because I was able to compete against all the big boys together.
The two new venues were very enjoyable in different ways. It was great fun to compete in Shadrinsk where the organisers managed the race very professionally and smoothly. It was a nice place to be, and the people were very friendly and hospitable. I was really impressed to see the stands packed for hours during both days while it was minus 24 degrees outside. It was unbelievable. Heerenveen was just another great experience: modern covered arena, artificial ice, etc. I hope that both places will stay in the calendar in future!
My goal for next year is to be in the ISG Final Series again. Having all that experience with me, I’m sure I’ll do better next year, hopefully with fewer accidents! I’ll do my best to qualify into the final heats to be one of the top four. I aim to defend my Swedish championship title as well.
I think that there were two highlights for me this year. First, that feeling of absolute joy, when I got promoted into the Final series this year. Second, when I was finishing the last lap in the semi-final heat in Heerenveen, I was so close to getting to the final heat. I knew I was never that close to the final, and I felt that all my efforts, all the hard work done have paid off and I’ll take it with me next year!
And racing with my father? I’m already used to meeting him on the racetrack. It’s never easy to compete with him, and he is hard to beat!”