Red Bull Air Race 2017: Yoshihide Muroya is the home race hero
Yoshihide Muroya wowed his 55,000 fans with the perfect flight when it mattered most in Chiba over the weekend of 3-4 June 2017 – and won the third Red Bull Air Race of the season, and his second in a row.
The Japanese pilot picked up a penalty in the Round of 8, but when it came to the Final 4 he flew the perfect lines and crossed the Start/Finish Gate in 55.288 – one of his quickest times of the racing week.
He said: "We are really happy to win again in Chiba, and I want to thank everybody here in Japan for their support. I had some luck, but in the end some of the other pilots made mistakes. We have another five races, so we need to continue as we are doing. Our team setup is quite good, and we must stick with the same tactics, stay with the plan and go forward as normal to win more races."
Petr Kopfstein made the most of his first attempt at the Final 4 by storming through the track and crossing the finish line just 0.558s behind Muroya to claim second place and the first podium of his Master Class career.
With Muroya and Kopfstein flying cleanly it was up to Matthias Dolderer and Martin Sonka to try and spoil their party, but the Final 4 wasn't without incident.
Martin Sonka was looking to spoil the day for Muroya's fans, but a penalty at Gate 4 for incorrect level flying added two seconds to his time. If it wasn't for his mistake, he would have won.
Matthias Dolderer would have also seen himself on the podium, but for the second race in a row he clipped a pylon at one of the final gates and that saw him drop to fourth.
The race sees Muroya and Sonka both on 30 points at the top of the standings, with Matthias Dolderer seven points behind and with Kopfstein's second place it's pushed him up to fourth in the World Championship standings.
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Photo: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool