Australia and Spain take the early lead in Russia

Matt Hall and Juan Velarde set the standard in Free Practice

Velarde in the track

In near perfect air racing conditions, Matt Hall set the track record in Free Practice 1 with Juan Velarde topping the Free Practice 2 timesheet with the second fastest time of the day.

Both pilots expressed how much they liked the 2018 Kazan, track saying that it was a great track to fly and completely different from last year's race.

In FP1 Hall was the last pilot into the track and knew the time to beat was 52.703s, set by Juan Velarde. An uncharacteristic pylon hit for Hall in his first run meant he needed to refocus, which he did instantly with a sensational second run time of 51.761s, nearly a second faster than his Spanish Rival.

Matthias Dolderer was third on the FP1 timesheet, just over a second slower than Hall. Kirby Chambliss was fourth, with Michael Goulian just behind him in fifth and Martin Sonka in sixth.

The early evening session was Juan Velarde's. The Spanish pilot flew fifth and set a time of 52.016s. He then had a long wait to see if his time was quick enough to keep him there.

Unsurprisingly Hall was closest to Velarde – the pair seem to have this track worked out already. Hall's FP2 time of 52.054s was just 0.038s slower than Velarde's. Chambliss and Goulian could not be separated again, finishing third and fourth respectively in FP2 with current World Champion Yoshihide Muroya in fifth.

Martin Sonka was sixth again and Mika Brageot in seventh. Matthias Dolderer was unable to repeat his performance in FP2 and could not put a clean run together. His later session saw him finish down in 13th, more than three seconds off the pace, but with two seconds' worth of penalties.

The Master Class pilots will be fully focused on tomorrow's Qualifying session taking place at 16:00 local time. Follow all the action, live, right HERE.

Kazan 2018 Master Class FP1 results

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Kazan 2018 Master Class FP2 results

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