Matt Hall knows a thing or two about races over land, all four of his career triumphs have occurred over solid ground, and this weekend he looks to make it two from two in Lausitz.
Hall is buoyed by his third place in Porto earlier this month – his first in his new Edge 540 V3 – it came at the perfect time for the Australian as we return to Laustiz where he won in 2016 and collected one of his 16 career podiums, back in 2010.
Out of the current crop of Master Class pilots, Hall is the most successful over land with four wins and a total of seven podiums. He is the man to beat. But when asked if he feels he flies better over land Hall was quick to say they come along at the right time. "I don't notice if I'm over land or over water, I'm just interested in my altitude management," said Hall. "I do enjoy the land tracks, but it seems that they normally come in the second half of the season, just when we're getting into our groove."
Hall was quick to also point out that he has had to deal with lots of disruptions over the last few seasons. "In 2015, when I was up against Paul [Bonhomme] for the title, that was a good year. We were learning and building up knowledge of the winglets," Hall explained. "Last year was very disruptive. We had injuries, and a lack of training before the season started. But as we got to the second half of the season we started to bring it back up again.
"It's been the same this year, very disruptive. We're a new team, with a new raceplane and then once again the land races start to turn up and once again we're starting to get comfortable! So I'd say it's more of a timing of when the over-land races occur rather than them being over land," he said.
Hall's win at the Lausitzring in 2016 was an impressive display – he was 0.775s faster than his closest rival in the Final 4 and it's a track he enjoys. "The Lausitzring is a high-speed track with different lines, and it is much more technical than Porto was," Hall said. "This weekend the track will have three places that will either bite you, or carry you all the way to the podium. The first is between gates two and three, which set you up for a good line into gate four and the subsequent chicane at five."
While 2016 saw Hall blitz the win, he comes into this year's event realistic about his chances of a second-straight win at the German location. "We get great crowds in Germany and this is a thrilling track. Coming in as the defending winner I think we have the potential to win again, but our gameplan will be to fly clean and continue pushing harder this second half of the season," he said.
"A podium last race in Porto was nice, but it would be inaccurate to call it a confidence booster. The result reaffirmed that our strategy ever since our slow start to the new year in February has been the right one," concluded Hall.
Hall will be flying against his rivals this weekend on 16-17 September, you can follow all the action HERE!