As many look to escape the cold and freezing temperatures of Northern Europe over the winter months, competitors and fans of the FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship revel in the sub-zero climate; -10°C is ideal for racing, and the thicker the ice, the better the racing.
Motul, which is a Main Partner of the championship and the Official Lubricant Partner of the governing body of motorcycling itself, the FIM, loves a challenge and the punishing cold and icy, extreme conditions in which both riders and bikes operate are just that – a true technical, physical and sporting challenge. Motul’s specialist lubricants are put to the ultimate test, the partnership now in its fifth season being perfect proof that the products pass the test with flying colors!
The Ice Speedway riders are called Gladiators for good reason. The specially designed bikes, all with highly tuned methanol-burning 500cc engines, have a minimum weight of 110kg and no brakes…They run on treadless tyres which have up to 120 very sharp, menacing looking, spikes screwed into the front, and up to 160 spikes on the rear tyres, to provide the best possible adherence and traction on the ice surface.
The fearless riders from 10 different nations each wear a tailor-made body armour of Kevlar and leather to protect them from being speared by the spikes at high speed as they race around the ice tracks within the 2017 calendar.
The minimum bank angle on the left-hand side of the motorcycle is 68 degrees and the riders view love living life on the edge – none more so than the Motul-supported Dmitry Koltakov. The former World Champion has recently won the Russian Championship and, having flown through the two qualifying races for the 2017 season, is now one of the favourites for the 2017 World title.
The Final series starts in Togliatti (RUS) on 4 February and then moves on in the same month to a second Russian round and one in Kazakhstan, before visiting Germany in March and culminating in the Netherlands on the 1st and 2nd of April. Who will win? It’s too soon to tell, but one thing for sure is that they will be standing under Motul’s colours on the podium.