With temperatures in Krasnogorsk rising to -8o, track conditions on day 2 of the first round had improved and spectators were treated to some exciting racing with the Russians again dominating the meeting.
Daniil Ivanov may be at the head of the leader board after today’s meeting but the star of the afternoon was undoubtedly the current world champion Nikolay Krasnikov. He was involved in nearly every one of several good races and although his starting was an improvement from the previous day he was still giving his opponents a vital few centimetres at the gate. However he overcame this with some breathtaking passes and twice he came from behind to overtake Ivanov thrilling the crowd who had braved the Moscow winter weather.
In Heat 18 when the pair met Krasnikov having passed Ivanov, was unfortunate in suffering a machine failure on the third lap which cost him a valuable 3 points and left him punching his handlebars in frustration. Despite this setback he qualified for the Final where he again gave ground to Ivanov at the start but after stalking him for three laps he made a superb pass on the home straight to secure his position on the winners’ rostrum. Sergey Karachintsev was third in the Final as a result of a daring dive underneath Dmitri Khomitsevich.
Krasnikov’s battle with Ivanov seems likely to intensify during the course of the championships as he will maintain a strong challenge and is unlikely to concede his title without a fight. The current five points difference could very easily be eroded before the series ends.
Leading scores after Day 2:
1. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 41 (21+20 points)
2. Nikolay Krasnikov (Russia) 36 (18+18)
3. Dmitry Khomitsevich (Russia) 29 (15+14)
4. Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 27 (15+12)
5. Sergey Karachintsev (Russia) 23 (9+14)
6. Vitaly Khomitsevich (Russia) 23 (12+11)
7. Eduard Krysov (Russia) 22 (11+11)
8. Harald Simon (Austria) 17 (9+8)
9. Antti Aakko (Finland) 15 (7+8)
10. Robert Henderson (Sweden) 9 (6+3)
Battle resumes when Round 2 of the competition is held next weekend 11th and 12th February in Ufa and a preview with the draw will be published shortly on this website.