FIM Ice Speedway World Championship
Final 3 Berlin – 2 / 3 March 2019
With Kazakhstan and Russia in the distance, the 2019 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship moves into Western Europe for the next three rounds, firstly returning to Berlin where the three hundred and eighty six metre artificial ice track at Horst-Dohm-Eisstadion is the venue.
With the Russian season now completed with the Super League title decided in favour of the Mega-Lada team their top riders can now concentrate on the World Championship. Having safely secured the team title by winning the Ice Speedway of Nations in Togliatti, the three Russians who lead the current classification now abandon thoughts of team racing as they renew their rivalry for individual honours.
Only four points separate holder Dmitry Koltakov, Daniil Ivanov, Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dinar Valeev at the top of the leader board and it is a measure of the skills of these racers that only Valeev has yet to win a medal in this competition. Predicting the result of this year’s title chase is increasingly difficult as fortunes fluctuate from race to race although three of these four seem likely to fill the podium places at the end of the series.
In recent years Franz Zorn has been one of the few western riders to make any impression on the Russian dominance and he usually enjoys his visits to Berlin. He has had a disappointing season so far, collecting a leg injury in Almaty which caused his withdrawal from the second round. He returned in style in Togliatti where he helped Austria to the bronze medal and will be keen to begin his climb up the points table with some good scores in Berlin.
Martin Haarahiltunen is another who has matched the Russians on several occasions and was close to causing a major upset when he led Ivanov and Koltakov for two laps in the final race in Togliatti. The Swede appears to have recovered from the rib and hand injuries from his big fall in Shadrinsk and after helping his national team to a silver medal in the FIM Ice Speedway of Nations he won the Swedish Championship in Ornskoldsvik over the weekend. He will surely be in the thick of the action during Final 3.
Johan Weber, Max Niedermaier and Stefan Pletschacher complete the list of home riders with Tobias Busch and Marcus Jell on standby as reserves.
Leading scorers are:
1. Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 64
2. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 64
3. Dmitry Khomitsevich. (Russia) 60
4. Dinar Valeev (Russia) 60
5. Nikita Toloknov (Russia) 45
6. Martin Haarahiltunen (Sweden) 36
7. Johan Weber (Germany) 31
8. Andrei Shishegov (Russia) 26
Action commences at 17.00 CET on Saturday with the traditional 14.00 CET start on Sunday afternoon.