What a race in round three in Japan! There were upsets, pylon hits and DNFs galore in Chiba today. Yoshihide Muroya made it two in a row and kept 55,000 fans on the edge of their seats. Here's what all the Master Class pilots thought of today's racing.
1st Yoshihide Muroya
"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."
2nd Petr Kopfstein
"It's amazing, I still can't believe it! To have two Czech guys on the podium is amazing. We worked really hard to get here so it's awesome. I didn't know that I was now fourth in the World Championship standings. Today we had a bit of luck but we were consistent and the other guys made mistakes, but that happens. We're really happy, but a title race? We're just happy with where we are right now."
3rd Martin Sonka
"It's kind of mixed feelings because normally I'd be super happy with a podium but as the whole week went so well and we were very fast, to make a stupid mistake in the Final 4 is something which is not making me happy. I have to calm down a little bit and it will cost us points in the standings, but it's still a podium. The wind was definitely an issue today because it was actually a 90 degree crosswind, which pushes you every way in the track. It was a big concentration issue to calculate every manoeuvre. It was picking up even more in the Final 4 making it tricky."
4th Matthias Dolderer
"Today was excellent, the run was superb and the net time would've been great. I was flying the line and I guess the wind pushed me into it. I have to watch the video. We have to analyse why I misjudged it. But it's just about inches or millimetres so we have to look at just this little bit of the track. So we will now look to Budapest and make the best out of that race."
5th Michael Goulian
"I honestly feel really disappointed. We talk in our team that if we're going to lose a race, lose it that way – we did one of the fastest times of the day, the second fastest in the Round of 8. It would've been the fastest round in the Final 4 so when you come up against Martin like that and he's flying so well, a tenth of a second is the difference between zero and hero. We climbed up the ladder all week. We were going faster, and faster, and faster. And when the pressure was there we did it. I'm so happy with the team's performance and mine and you just need a little bit of luck on your side and we didn't have that today, but it will come our way and we'll keep knocking on the door."
6th Matt Hall
"I was happy with the flight and happy that Yoshi won the race, but to be honest I don't see where I made the mistake and I don't think it was a penalty. If we could protest a judging decision, we would. I'm getting there in the new raceplane. I'm happy with my flying today and we deserved a result, I just can't see where it went wrong. It hasn't gone as I would've liked so far this season and there will be more changes to the raceplane. We're still trying to find the right settings, but I'm looking forward to Budapest."
7th Pete McLeod
"The wind picked up a little bit in the Round of 8, but I don't know if it was an issue. I think it's a racetrack issue. We've seen a ton of over-Gs on that corner and unfortunately it was my turn today. Our raceplane is performing better and we are flying really consistently. I just need to forget about this over-G and move on. It's always on the margin if you want to be competitive. Coming through a gate, you just go until there's no space. But there's a lot of positives to take away from this race."
8th Kirby Chambliss
"It was probably a little bit cooler in the Round of 8, and Petr put a bit of pressure on. I knew I could to it, but you've got to pull on the raceplane. You can't let up, because you have to be fast. There's even a little bit of luck involved – it could have been a gust. There's nobody here who hasn't over-G'd. And you don't even know about it until it's too late."
9th Mikael Brageot
"The week has been fantastic, we have an impressive machine that is working well. We have made some adjustments with the Skyracer and they seem to be working. Yesterday was really good – we flew well in Free Practice and Qualifying. Today we flew against Sonka and it was an honour as he's leading the championship. It's not the easiest thing, but we're confident going forward. We've got two more points in our pocket and we want to keep doing that at every race, and eventually we will get into the Final 4."
10th Juan Velarde
"Today was very frustrating. We analysed yesterday's flight and changed our line, but it didn't work. I was happy with the flight, but surprised with the time. I opened up at Gate 4, but it was slower and cost me. The safety line at Gate 3 meant I had to correct my line. I got a DQ in Free Practice and it was another thing I had to think about during today's flight."
11th François Le Vot
"For this Round of 14 everything ran very smoothly, Pete is not easy to fly against, but I was satisfied with the flight. I had nothing to lose and I really enjoyed it. It was my last flight with my old V2. Now after three years I am perfectly aware of what I could expect of the plane and myself, and I'm happy with how it went. The plane has always been slow after pulling a lot of Gs. In Budapest I will be starting from zero. For the time being I'm trying to set up the raceplane as I would like it to be, but it's long work and I'm not sure I'll come up with my ideal by Budapest, so I may have to adapt. The new raceplane sustains the energy better, but that has to be confirmed in the track."
12th Peter Podlunsek
"Over-banking in Gate 7, but I didn't realise I'd done it. We know we are really fast, but when you're flying against 13 of the world's best pilots you're not going to go through with a two second penalty. The track was not that challenging, but the changing winds is what makes it a challenge. Gates 5, 6, 7 are a challenge, but apart from that the track was flyable."
13th Nicolas Ivanoff
"I made a mistake in the gate. I was too low when I was at the gate, so I pulled up and collected a penalty. From the beginning to the end it was not a good week in Japan. I was a bit bumpy, but if you're feeling good in the plane it doesn't matter, but I didn't get the good feeling in the plane this race."
14th Cristian Bolton
"We have mixed emotions today. We are happy because it was a clean flight, and that was our primary goal. The only way you can beat Matthias is with a clean run. But when I saw the time, I thought 'something is going on here'. We looked at the preliminary data, and we were faster than Matthias on the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre, but then we started losing speed and I didn't have time to recover it. The raceplane can always be better. Our raceplane is the slowest or one of the slowest, but if you don't fly correctly, even with the best plane in the world you're not going to have a good time. So we have work to do with both the plane and the pilot."