Dmitry Khomitsevich leads the FIM Ice Speedway World Championship after his success on Day one of the event in Togliatti on Saturday and now has a real chance of regaining the title he last held in 2016. He holds a six-point lead over reigning champion Daniil Ivanov whose chances of retaining his title were severely dented when he managed only fourth place. Igor Kononov using his home track knowledge holds second place, two points behind Khomitsevich with Dinar Valeev in the bronze position.
These four riders emerged clearly at the top after the qualifying races having dropped points only to each other. This year the formula does not include semi-final eliminating races and the top four scorers are seeded straight into the final setting up the prospect of a hard fought last race for the important extra points.
Kononov held the lead from the start but Khomitsevich made a clever inside pass on the second lap and held on to his lead despite a strong challenge from Kononov and, briefly, Valeev. Ivanov looked unhappy at the back and was not able to make any real challenge.
With several riders having been forced to withdraw due to travel difficulties it was left to the Austrian pair of Franz Zorn and Harald Simon to provide the main opposition to the local riders with Finland’s Aki Ala-Riihimäki giving some support along with Marcus Jell the only remaining German in the field.
Realistically it will be one of the current top four who will lift the crown on Sunday when the final races of this year’s championship are held starting at 11.00 CET. We look forward to an exciting afternoon of ice speedway!
Full results can be found HERE
* Note: “The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) considered that in the circumstances, maintaining the FIM World Championship in Togliatti (Russia) was not in contradiction with the CAS decision mainly based on the extreme circumstances of the case, in particular considering that the FIM Ice Speedway World Championship is due to start in less than two weeks and only a few weeks passed since the issuance of the CAS decision in the Arbitration WADA v. RUSADA. WADA’s position expressed therein is without prejudice to WADA’s position in respect to other FIM events scheduled to be held during the Two Years Period (i.e. 2021 and 2022) in Russia.
Among the measures taken by the FIM are, the removal of the Russian national flag from the visual elements (backdrops, race jackets, TV graphics). The Russian nationality of the pilots will not be mentioned. The Russian national anthem shall not be played during these events.