Never been to speedway? Don't worry, it's simple to follow. Four riders keep turning left over four laps of an oval track and each race is over in less than a minute. Easy! but not for the riders. They race 500cc single-geared machines with no brakes.
It's hectic, dangerous and exciting...
Speedway bikes have no brakes and are powered by 500cc engines manufactured by either Jawa of the Czech Republic or GM of Italy.
The engines are single cylinder, fixed gear power units, fitted into the chassis of the bike frame horizontally and fuelled by methanol. The engine makes up the major weight of the bike as there are few other parts to the machine. They are not allowed to weigh less than 80 kilogrammes.
View Bike Setup Video
SIXTEEN riders compete in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix Series of which 15 are regulars, the other one is a wild card nomination in each of the 11 rounds. Riders wear the same number in every meeting for example, 2012 World Champion Chris Holder is No. 1. The wild card is number 16. There are also two reserve riders at each meeting, numbered 17 and 18. Numbers 1 to 8 finished in that order at the end of the 2012 season and were automatically seeded through to this year's competition. Four other riders were nominated by the FIM Speedway Grand Prix Promoter and the SGP Commission and three others qualified from the 2012 FIM GP Challenge. The top eight at the end of this season will automatically go through to the 2014 series. The remaining field will be made up from the FIM Speedway Grand Prix qualification system (3 riders) and four more will again be nominated by the FIM Speedway Grand Prix Promoter and the SGP Commission.
The starting positions for the 16 riders in each round are determined by a FIM ballot that takes place in the SGP pits before Friday's practice session.