Muroya quickest in Round of 14

The World Champion on fine form at season opener

Muroya was quickest

Yoshihide Muroya set the fastest time in the Round of 14, showing his rivals that he's ready to win this championship again. Ben Murphy made it through to his first Round of 8 after beating Juan Velarde and François Le Vot made it through as the Fastest Loser. Here's how the Round of 14 went...

Heat 1
Le Vot vs Chambliss
François Le Vot flew a spectacular round and set a time of 53.823s and looked to be heading through straight away. However when Chambliss went into the track the split times started green, turned red and then went green again as he flew through the finishing gate. He beat Le Vot's time by just 0.064s. The Frenchman had done enough to to make it through as the Fastest Loser though.

Heat 2
Bolton vs Brageot
Bolton was strong in his run, but he hit the pylon at Gate 8 adding three seconds to his time, giving him a finish time of 57.359s. That meant that all Mika Brageot had to do was fly cleanly in his run. He flew conservatively but smoothly and when he crossed the finish line he was 2.494s quicker than Bolton.

Heat 3
Murphy vs Velarde
Ben Murphy must have been feeling nervous before entering his first Round of 14, but he was flying smoothly. He collected an over-G penalty early on, but continued to play it cool and ended with a 55.790s. Velarde only had to fly clean to get his place in the Round of 8 but he too over-G'd and collected a penalty. After that he couldn't catch the Brit.

Heat 4
McLeod vs Muroya
Pete McLeod had mentioned that he would need to push hard to keep up with the fast raceplanes and as he pushed into the VTM he exceeded maximum G and was given a DNF straight away. This meant Muroya only had to get round the track. Muorya looked to be taking it easy but set a 53.41.7s – the fastest time of the day at that point.

Heat 5
Kopfstein vs Sonka
It was a Czech head-to-head and both pilots had been setting similar times. Kopfstein set a competitive time of 54.928s for his fellow countryman to beat. Sonka was slower at the first split time but managed to keep his raceplane's energy better than Kopfstein and beat him by 0.467s.

Heat 6
Ivanoff vs Goulian
Nicolas Ivanoff was always going to be hindered by using the backup raceplane, but he still went all out. He flew cleanly but could only set a 56.168s run. Michael Goulian has been near the top of the timesheets all week and knew what he needed to do – fly clean and he'd be through. And that's exactly what happened. When he crossed the finish line he was 1.867s quicker.

Heat 7
Hall vs Dolderer
Mat Hall was unable to set a time in Qualifying due to his DNF so had to fly first in his heat. He flew cleanly and set the fourth fastest time of the day at that point, throwing the gauntlet down for Dolderer to pick up. He did that in fine style and with it set the fastest time of the day... but after he crossed the finish line it was deemed he had exceeded the G-limit in the last turn and was given a DNF ending his Race Day.

The Round of 8 begins at 16:00 local time. Don't miss a moment of the action – follow every second HERE.

Abu Dhabi 2018 Round of 14 results