After three very successful years of partnership with the unique FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship, one of the most dynamic of the FIM Championships, Motul has renewed its involvement from 2016 as Main Partner.
The eight-round, seven-weekend championship started on January 9 2016 in Ylitornio in Finland, and runs through to March 19-20 at Inzell in Germany. As would be expected for a motorsport series which is run on ice, the calendar includes Northern-European countries such as Sweden (January 15-16 at Östersund) and Russia (February 6-7 at Krasnorgorsk) but it also visits Kazakhstan (February 20-21 at Almaty), the Netherlands (March 12-13 in Assen) and Germany (twice, the first being March 5-6 in Berlin and the final round being at Inzell). In 2016, the Championship features two qualification rounds, a Challenge round and five finals. The Astana Expo FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship will take place on February 13-14 in Togliatti, Russia.
Ice Speedway, which has had FIM World Championship status since the 1960s, is based on motor speedway and racing take place on a flat oval track covered with natural or artificial ice. The bikes resemble normal speedway machines that do not have brakes, but feature a longer wheelbase and more rigid frame. Motorcycles are customised, use pure methanol-burning 500cc engines (speeds of 0-100km/h within 3 seconds) and up to 400 sharp spikes 28mm in length, embedded in handmade tyres.
The fearless riders, or ‘Gladiators’, protect themselves with Kevlar armour, and take bends at maximum speed, ripping up the ice with their powerful prototypes at an angle where the handlebars just skim the track surface.
The punishing cold and icy, extreme sub-zero conditions in which both riders and bikes operate get spectators’ blood and adrenalin pumping, and put Motul’s specialist lubricants to the ultimate test.
2015 FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Champion, Dmitry Koltakov, will once again receive technical support from Motul, and wear the company’s distinctive red and white colours. The Russian rider will be looking to defend his title with another strong, victory-filled season which was achieved despite a serious leg injury early on. His recovery to produce a season where he qualified for every final proved him to be a champion worthy of the title.