Cannes 2018: Master Class Qualifying reactions

The closest Qualifying the sport has seen was spectacular for all, even the pilots

Goulian topped Quali

The excitement builds here in Cannes as the pilots took part in one of the most spectacular Qualifying sessions in the sport's history. Here's what they thought of today's session...

Michael Goulian
"To be honest, I didn't expect to win Quali here today, it seemed to take longer to adjust to this track. I think if we can do this again tomorrow, we'll be sitting pretty. That's the goal – to keep everyone chasing us."

Yoshihide Muroya
"First run I was trying to get the best time, but I pulled up a little early and got a penalty, so in the second run I took it a little bit slower with safer lines. Same as Abu Dhabi, I don't care who I'm racing against, I'll just go as fast as I can."

Kirby Chambliss
"It's going to be a tight race as it's a simple track. Once everyone figures out the best lines in the racetrack the times get really tight. Everybody is really good out here so it could be anybody's race. You just got to race tomorrow that's why I'm here – I'm going to go as fast as I can."

Martin Sonka
"It was just 0.2G and it's a good lesson for tomorrow. I was racing too hard in the first run. I should've been more conservative in the first run and tried something like this in the second run. It was simply the wrong strategy, and we will see tomorrow. We're up against Kirby and he started flying very quickly today. It will depend on how he sleeps tonight and how I sleep tonight, so it will be a good duel that hopefully is not decided by a stupid mistake."

Matt Hall
"I am satisfied with the run and today was a bit of a lottery with the Qualifying session. We were really quick, but it just got faster and faster. That's the way racing is, it is so very close, and you need to take every thousandth of a second. I think the track has been speeding up, and not to say that the other guys haven't done a brilliant job, but there's some fast times coming out here. There's going to be some big matchups tomorrow. Each time I race, I am racing against a friend of mine. But there are three French pilots out there and it would be nice to qualify for the Round of 8 tomorrow and push for our first podium of the year."

Ben Murphy
"Not quite the end to the day we wanted. In the VTM on the first lap I was pulling up over the top and my display failed and blinked on and off – it shouldn't have distracted me, but it did for a split second before I discounted it, but by that point I was just too high for the next gate. I was pulling down towards it and it looked all wrong so I pulled off and flew over it. So I had the thought process of either continuing with the lap because it's good practice or pull out of the track and start my second run. I elected to stay in the track even though we knew it wouldn't count. But I got an over-G at the end of it and didn't get that second run. Obviously we're not in the place we want to be, but we've got a tough challenge tomorrow and anything can happen."

François Le Vot
"I was very surprised with my DQ. The plan on those runs was to be as smooth as possible and I was, but it ended up in a DQ for crossing the safety line. I just don't know where I went over the line; I will have to figure this out. It was not particularly a good day. We are scratching our heads – almost down to the brain – to work out what is going on."

Mika Brageot
"It's such an amazing feeling to be racing in my own country representing France and the French aeronautical community, it's a big pleasure. But it's also big pressure. It's been a long-term preparation, we've been aiming for Cannes for a long time. After a nice first round in Abu Dhabi, getting through to the Round of 8, we've had two months to prepare, working with the team, working on the aircraft and also taking the plane home to work on it. I've been chasing the other guys for quite some years. I cannot relax for a second and we'll always push to the maximum as a team to reach our goals. We're acting professionally to do the best with what we have and what we can. The work's paid off so far. To reach the Final 4 and get on the podium in front of the home crowd would be amazing."

Petr Kopfstein
"It was better than we expected even though it's not the fastest time out there, but we're pleased with our improvements. We were one second faster than this morning and two seconds faster than yesterday. So we are slowly trying to find the groove and the right strategy and we're almost there. I think we can improve it even more tomorrow and we will be even more confident."

Nicolas Ivanoff
"The first flight today was really slow, it was really bad. It felt like the plane wasn't fast but after I checked the video I saw that it wasn't the plane, it was me! I tried to avoid my mistakes in Qualifying and I did better, and was almost two seconds faster, but it wasn't enough. We've had so many problems so far, including a radio issue. Every day we've had a problem so we will see tomorrow."

Juan Velarde
"I was happy with my flight and my time but sadly everybody went faster. It was really surprising. I was where I wanted to be, but the rest of the teams have secrets we didn't get. Also I think the wind conditions dropped during the session, but we'll see what we come up against tomorrow. I was convinced we had the best lines this morning, but six guys were faster, so we'll have to look at the data."

Cristian Bolton
"It was great today; we're happy. It's been a great improvement since Free Practice 1 until Quali, we've been shaving off almost two seconds per flight. We don't care who we fly against tomorrow, we obviously respect them all, but we don't think about who we'll race against. We'll just look at where we can improve and try and keep around where we were in terms of timing today."

Matthias Dolderer
"I felt really good, which will bring a lot of confidence for tomorrow. I think the wind has changed a little bit as well as the temperature, so the guys were so much faster, but hats off to them. It will be an interesting race tomorrow and I'm happy with the position I'm in at the moment. I would rather fly against Nicolas than Martin, but anything is possible. The first goal is to win the heat in the Round of 14 and go from there."

Pete McLeod
"It was fun to watch today. I went first so I got to see what happened after that. I was pleased with my runs, but it was obviously not enough, things kept getting faster and faster so maybe the track sped up a bit, but I think the guys are just flying well out there. I'm losing pace in the second lap, I'm competitive in the first lap, but then drop. And I get to fly against Yoshi again. It seems I see a lot of Yoshi in the first round, but I'll just go out there and fly."

You can watch the Master Class pilots as they battle it out in the Round of 14 tomorrow right HERE. Don't miss a moment of the action.