If you are having difficulty finding information about the 19-year-old Russian it maybe because he has more than one name in the Polish media. There he is signed with 2 Speedway League leaders, Wilki Krosno and is called either Witalij, or Vitaly, Kotlar.
However, he has not had the chance to race in speedway’s unofficial home country. Instead, he has stayed in Russia with his club Vostok Vladivostok, who are the team of Grigorij and Artem Laguta. The club are in third place out of four at the moment. But for Kotlyar it has been a good season as the club has had to rely on its junior riders in this year which has been affected by COVID-19. It means that, among others, he has been racing alongside the Laguta brothers’ 20-year-old nephew, Pawel.
Despite the long distance from Europe, he also got the chance to race with Krzysztof Buczkowski, Andzej Lebedevs and Norbert Kosciuch who came out to help the team to take 2019 Russian championship.
But distance and money also played a factor in the fact that the young Russian has not had the chance to race in Europe yet. “Last season I came to Poland, but due to financial problems I couldn’t provide myself with good equipment and a van that I could use. So, I was not able to come to training at my club from Krosno”, he says disappointedly. “But Sergey Logachev [ROW Rybnik] helped me and I went everywhere with him, so I was able to try out some tracks in Poland,” he added on a positive note.
It means that October will be the first time he has raced on the track in Czech Republic, “I am looking forward to it,” he says with a smile.
And does he think he can win? “I do not like to make plans, but the goal of this race is to show oneself, show one’s strengths and capabilities.” And with determination in his voice he adds, “I will do the best as possible and give everything -100%”.
Kotlyar comes to Pardubice as an unknown to his rivals, but with youth on his side it might not be the last time we see him at U21 World Championships in the red, white and blue of Russia.