Red Bull Air Race 2016: Japan’s favourite scores a home run
Yoshi Muroya from Japan has his home-country podium in sight after winning the second of two practice sessions at the Red Bull Air Race in Chiba on Friday 3 June.
He came first among 14 pilots, beating Matthias Dolderer (DE) into second by a fraction of a second. Muroya completed his run in 1:05:059. Dolderer flew the course in 1:05:074.
Muroya was very happy to get off to such a good start in front of his home crowd. ”I was flying back and I didn't even realise I was the top in Free Practice 2, it's good to know!” he said after the race.
He added: “I think the track is a good setup and it felt like we were just cruising around, so tomorrow we need to do the same cruise … All the pilots are good and I hope the fans will come and watch!"
Earlier in the day Australian Matt Hall won the first practice session, setting the fastest time of the day at 1:04:072. Only Martin Sonka (CZ) showing any real competitive edge against Hall, in second place with 1:05.615.
Hall said he and his team were happy with how the day had gone. “We often fly well in the first session and we did that in Free Practice 1. We had the lines prepared and they worked out.
“In Free Practice 2 I was slightly more conservative but only 0.5s off the pace. The best news is my back feels good. I was nervous coming here because I wasn't sure how it would be, but I feel really confident after today."
Both Hannes Arch (AT) and Mike Goulian (US) appeared to struggle in their first practice sessions, with both pilots scoring DNF results due to exceeding maximum G. Arch completed just one run in the morning session, saying pulling “over-G” was expected.
“I was happy to get my over-G out of the way in the first practice session, but it's very easy to do on this track – I wasn't surprised that it happened. I'm looking for the rhythm and the flow of the track. You can't afford to lose energy because it's so fast you won't be able to get it back."
The race starts in anger on Saturday 4 June.
Photos: Joerg Mitter (top) and Yusuke Kashiwazaki / Red Bull Content Pool