Matthias Dolderer finished the first day of track flying in Abu Dhabi by topping the timesheet in Free Practice 2, a complete turnaround from his DNF for an over G in the earlier session.
World Champion Dolderer posted the fastest time of the day with a 52.564s run, but the surprising result was seeing Petr Kopfstein, starting his second Master Class season finishing in second place just 0.182s behind the German.
Juan Velarde also had a successful day finishing second in Free Practice 1 and third in the later session, his times were getting quicker with more runs in the track.
Free Practice 2 saw the top seven pilots all finish within 0.9s of each other. With Michael Goulian in fourth and Yoshihide Muroya in fifth. Another surprise was how well new Master Class pilot, Mikael Brageot performed finishing sixth on the timesheet just 0.828s behind the fastest time, with Peter Podlunsek finishing just behind.
Juan Velarde's Free Practice run
It was an afternoon to forget for both Martin Sonka and Pete McLeod who were given DNFs for exceeding the maximum G limit in the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre.
Kirby Chambliss blitzed the opposition in the early session when he crossed the finish line in just 53.084s. Chambliss was closely followed by Velarde, who was only 0.136s behind. Third place on the Free Practice 1 timesheet went to 2016 Abu Dhabi race winner, Nicolas Ivanoff.
Brageot and Cristian Bolton finished strongly in the first session by claiming 8th and 10th on the timesheet of Free Practice 1. Matt Hall, who is getting used to his 'rental' raceplane finished in 11th, but was in good spirits as he is still learning how to fly an Edge.
There were surprise DNFs for World Champion Matthias Dolderer and François Le Vot who both exceeded the maximum G-limit in the track, leaving them 13th and 14th on the timesheet.
Master Class Free Practice 1 results
Master Class Free Practice 2 results
The pilots have one more practice session tomorrow before Qualifying, follow all the action LIVE, right here!