NGK-sponsored Daniil Ivanov narrowly failed to make the podium at the 2021 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship finals in his Russian homeland.
Ivanov, the defending and four-time champion, finished fourth in Togliatti behind winner and fellow countryman Dinar Valeev.
He said: “I failed to defend the title and I could not even get into the top three. Fourth place.
“The season of 2021 can probably be called the most unfortunate of my career.”
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a long-standing supporter of Speedway on shale and also sponsors Ivanov in Ice Speedway which sees riders racing on 500cc motorcycles with spiked tyres and no brakes.
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “Daniil fought hard to retain his title but unfortunately the luck was against him.
“I’m sure he’ll be raring to get back in action and to work hard to regain the title next year.”