05 Jun 2016

Red Bull Air Race 2016: Yoshi Muroya wins in Japan

Japan's Yoshihide Muroya took a decisive victory in front of 50,000 fans at his home race in Chiba, Japan at the third leg of the Red Bull Air Race 2016 on 5 June 2016.

Muroya's time of 1:04.992 was a display of “precision and perfection even when flying under pressure” organisers said.

Murray claimed that his fans' support gave him an extra half a second of time in the racetrack. “The fans pushed us into the win,” he said afterwards. "It feels very special. We prepared well and the team has been working really hard.”

The third leg of this year’s Red Bull Air Race is the only one of the whole tour held over open water – and it suffered for it on Saturday, the first scheduled race day, when strong wind and waves saw the race cancelled.

That meant all the racing was done on Sunday instead.

In the Challenger Cup – the smaller second tier of racing where pilots learn the skill and art of air racing before graduating to the Master Class – Chile’s Cristian Bolton kept the USA's Kevin Coleman at bay for a decisive win.

The Chilean military pilot held his nerve with a quick and clean error-free run, ultimately posting the fastest time of 1:15.747 on the coastal one-lap track.

The win scored him 10 points, which puts him fourth on the overall leaderboard after three competitions – Abu Dhabi, Austria and Japan. The USA’s Coleman is first, with a total of 24 points – he has consistently come second in all three races, scoring eight points each race.

In the Master Class, first out of the start gate in the final four was Nigel Lamb (GB), who was looking for a 1:04 time in the track. However, Lamb ultimately couldn't live up to his own expectations but still posted a quick 1:05.734.

Muroya was second to fly in the track, and his blistering pace put him in first place.

Two other pilots flew, but were unable to match him, meaning Muroya took the win.

“We were very close to Martin in the times, but the fans pushed us into the win,” Muroya said afterward. “I’ve been flying for 25 years and this is my first win, so it's taken a long time, but it feels very special – it's a big, big moment for me and the team.”

He added: “To celebrate, I might go to a noodle restaurant and have some beers!"

The podium saw Muroya, Martin Sonka (CZ) and Kirby Chambliss (US) in 1, 2, 3 spots.

The result means Muroya is now in fourth position in the series overall. Germany’s Mathias Dolderer is first, with Chambliss in second and France’s Nicolas Ivanoff in third.

See the results

Photos: Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool