Final 2 - Shadrinsk, Russia - 9th & 10th February
It is over two thousand kilometres from Almaty to the Russian city of Shadrinsk, a journey which will take around thirty hours by road and the riders together with their back up teams have now left Kazakhstan en route for the next round of the 2019 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship this coming weekend.
Practice for Final 2 at the Torpedo Stadium takes place on Friday with the main event on Saturday and Sunday and with temperatures expected to be around -30o the organisers are hard at work to prepare a suitable racing surface for the three-hundred and twenty-four metre track.
Of the riders who emerged from Almaty at the top of the points scores only Dinar Valeev has yet to win a FIM World Championship medal, but his success on the first day suggests that this could be the year in which he steps onto the winner’s podium at the end of the season. The leading group from Russia will be comfortable in their home country and will be joined by wild card and local favourite Konstantin Kolenkin.
Franky Zorn will be hoping to put behind him the disappointments of the first round as he recovers from the leg injuries he collected in Almaty. Instead of flying home to Austria as originally planned he will drive to Shadrinsk and test the extent of the injury before practice.
Martin Haarahiltunen’s all action style continues to win him new fans and he has been the best of the Swedish squad again this year. Ove Ledström still has to find the consistency that would make him a serious contender and Niclas Svensson needs to avoid incidents such as those that marked his first meetings.
Johan Weber is performing consistently, but Max Niedermaier has still to find his best form although with Stefan Pletschacher hopefully recovered from the illness which kept him away from Kazakhstan, Germany will be looking to make a greater impression on the leader board before the series moves out of Eastern Europe.
The leading scorers after the first event are:
1. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 38
2. Dmitry Khomitsevich (Russia) 35
3. Dinar Valeev (Russia) 32
4. Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 31
5. Martin Haarahiltunen (Sweden) 26
6. Nikita Toloknov (Russia) 21
7. Johan Weber (Germany) 18
8. Ove Ledström (Sweden) 13
The draw for the round two has taken place and can be found HERE
Racing in Shadrinsk starts at 09:10hrs (CET), 13.10hrs local time on both Saturday and Sunday.
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