Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race
A weekend total of 80,000 spectators at the Red Bull Air Race stop in Kazan, Russia saw Japan’s Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya tighten his grasp at the top of the overall standings with his second win in as many races. Finishing right behind, Australia’s Matt Hall firmly placed himself among the season favorites, while Muroya’s top rival, defending World Champion Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic, kept himself well in the hunt with third on the race podium.
Occasional rain and changeable winds made for challenging conditions at
the 92ndRed Bull Air Race, but the sun emerged for the Final 4, and it
shone strongest on the 2017 World Champion Muroya. After defeating
Qualifying winner Mika Brageot of France in the Round of 8, Muroya flew
first in the Final 4, and served up a cool 1:03.496. Flying next, Šonka
could manage only 1:04.238, and François Le Vot of France, who was in
his first Final 4 since 2016, was plagued by penalties. It all came down
to Hall, a three-time runner-up in the World Championship.
Hall’s run did not disappoint. His first split time was barely behind
Muroya, then at one point he slid to more than a half-second back, but
somehow the Aussie made up ground, leaving the crowds breathless as he
finished his run just 0.185 off the victorious Muroya.
Muroya joins a very exclusive club: only one other pilot has ever won
the first two races in a World Championship season, the three-time
titleholder Paul Bonhomme of Great Britain.
With a four-race calendar in 2019, the race in Kazan marked the
midpoint of the season. The World Championship standings heading into
the second half of the campaign see Muroya with a tally of 53 points, a
nine-point advantage over the second-place Šonka. At 36 points, Hall has
jumped up to third overall. With 25 points awarded for a win, and
points also available to the top three in Qualifying, the leaders will
be battling the rest of the 14-pilot pack as well as each other when the
Red Bull Air Race premieres in Lake Balaton, Hungary in just four
– The 2016 World Champion Matthias Dolderer
of Germany did not race in Kazan after a pylon hit in Qualifying saw
his raceplane damaged and unable to be repaired in time for Race Day.
Next up: The penultimate battle for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race World
Championship will take off at the resort city of Zamárdi on the shores
of Lake Balaton, Hungary, on 13-14 July, 2019.
Yoshihide Muroya (JPN): “We had a really good feeling from the beginning here. Today the wind had shifted, so it was very difficult to find the right line, but my tactician Ben helped me. The team is working really well. Everybody is working hard and I can be relaxed, so I can just fly like a robot. The plane is really fast and I simply do my job. Today we were so close together on the timesheet, and the points are still close in the standings, so I can’t relax for the next race. Of course I will go for the win in Lake Balaton.”
For ticket information and all the latest news on the Red Bull Air Race, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Results Master Class, Kazan 2019: 1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 2. Matt Hall (AUS), 3. Martin Šonka (CZE), 4. François Le Vot (FRA), 5. Ben Murphy (GBR), 6. Cristian Bolton (CHI), 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 8. Mika Brageot (FRA), 9. Pete McLeod (CAN), 10. Michael Goulian (USA), 11. Juan Velarde (ESP), 12. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE),14. Matthias Dolderer (GER)
World Championship standings after two races: 1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 53 points, 2. Martin Šonka (CZE) 44pts, 3. Matt Hall (AUS) 36 pts, 4. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 30 pts, 5. Mika Brageot (FRA) 26 pts, 6. Michael Goulian (USA) 25 pts, 7. François Le Vot (FRA) 21 pts, 8. Juan Velarde (ESP) 16 pts, 9. Ben Murphy (GBR) 15 pts, 10. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 13 pts, 11. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 13 pts, 12. Pete McLeod (CAN) 10 pts, 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 5 pts, 14. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 3 pts
Red Bull Air Race 2019 Calendar
8-9 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Lake Balaton, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan
About Red Bull Air Race
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an aerial motorsport series that demands a combination of speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, high performance raceplanes, pilots compete in iconic locations over water and land. The high speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability required make it accessible only to the world’s most exceptional pilots.
Flying just metres from the ground,
14 Master Class pilots race against the clock whilst reaching speeds of
up to 370 km/h, requiring a combination of precision and skill unmatched
in the world of aviation. Pilots must be in peak physical condition as
they endure forces up to 12G while navigating the technical racetracks
made up of air-filled pylons.
The Air Race was developed in 2003 and is accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), with more than 90 races completed across five continents. As the most advanced aerial challenge in existence, competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is the highest accolade for elite pilots. A Challenger Cup feeder series was introduced in 2014.