Not so long ago, one foreign publication was amused, which wrote that the peculiarities of Russia are in old Lada cars (not modern ones!), Nesting dolls, vodka, spies and … motorcycle races on ice! It’s strange how it is without bears and balalaikas, but with motorcycle racing they are definitely right! Did you know that motorcycle racing on ice dates back to before the Second World War and our pilots still hold leading positions in this discipline around the world?
How it all began?
If you believe the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) – the international motorcycle federation, the pilots were the first in motorcycle racing on ice in Sweden in 1924. Rumor has it that the movement began with the outings of motorcyclists at stadiums / hippodromes after the skaters.
In the vastness of the USSR, Sergei Buchin was the first to go on the ice, and on March 13, 1939, the first official races were already held on the territory of the Moscow Running Hippodrome. There are enough references to those times, most often they talk about an article from the newspaper “Red Sport”. And then … War. It is known that Sergei himself died, and his brother, the same motorcycle racer – a master of sports in motocross – spent the whole war as the personal driver of G.K. Zhukov himself!
After the war, the culture of motorsport began to develop further. Oddly enough, our dashing pilots are favorites in this business, host many international tournaments! And if you pay attention, it is noticeable how a very active sports life is in full swing in the direction of this species. Driving on icy, oval-shaped tracks, as it went with the shape of stadiums and racetracks, constantly brings people to the analogy with Speedway. Yes, they are indeed very similar, but now they are divided as separate types of motorsport. The controversy about the correct name does not subside, so there are different names from simple “motorcycle racing on ice” to Ice Racing, Ice Speedway, and some collect everything into one – Ice Speedway Racing.
Where does this popularity come from?
Speed, risk, skill are the top three reasons to pursue one of the most spectacular and dangerous areas in motorsport.
Tracks in other areas of motorsport often require a lot of preparation. And the road racing tracks and challenging enduro routes are often so long that spectators can’t see them in their entirety. Which is certainly frustrating if you wanted to follow the whole race at a glance, but instead you stand and wait for the pilots to come in from your side for a maneuver. However, the motorcycle ice track fits into a simple stadium, which means you can see the participants with the naked eye! This makes the audience very happy!
In addition, ice races are also carried out on the surface of frozen rivers or lakes. Not always according to all the rules, especially among amateurs, but nevertheless, it is in demand.
The driving speed itself is not great, but the highlight is the controlled drift. Is it a joke to maneuver when you go sideways at a speed of about 80 km / h, and you also need to knock yourself out the best position, bypass your opponent and not fly off the track!
By the way, the direction in races is strictly defined – it goes counterclockwise with constant left turns! Therefore, the whole danger here is not in the speed of movement, but in the speed of maneuvering!
Motorcycle ice racing is one of the top traumatic areas. Of course, on the bends of the track, the installation of soft bumpers, trampolines and various mats is a prerequisite, but this is not a guarantee that the pilot will not receive serious injuries! The spikes of other motorcycles have scarred many pilots. A wheel breakdown leads to a departure from the track and frequent collisions with other riders.
It is extremely difficult to keep the motorcycle in a controlled skid for almost the entire race. Since the track is small and the corners are constant, the angles of these corners often exceed the slopes in professional road racing. Can you imagine these guys cut corners harder than pilots in MotoGP! Sometimes they catch the ice with the handlebars! Few places like this!
Belonging to culture
Motorcycle ice racing has its own schools, if we talk about a professional approach. There is a whole system for professional growth and self-realization as an athlete! The problem is that not every city has official associations, but this does not negate the charm of the opportunity to participate in major events or strive for it.
A motorcycle for ice motorcycle racing is cheaper, since it does not require the same costs as in road-circuit races or motocross, enduro. Initially, the creators of the direction had an idea for a sport that would show the skill of the pilot, and not the power of the motorcycle. According to this logic, the technique was made quite simple. But that doesn’t mean any spike bike is good for this!
Read about the features of motorcycles for motorcycle racing on ice in the next article!