Matt Hall and Pete McLeod set the standard in today's Free Practice sessions with McLeod setting a time almost a second faster than any other pilot.
In FP3 McLeod, who flew early in the session, set a blistering 55.262s run time, which no other pilot could come close to. Matt Hall, who took the top spot in FP2, was closest in the later session but was 0.793s behind the Canadian pilot.
Martin Sonka came in third in FP3 with Kirby Chambliss in in fourth. World Champion and home race hero Yoshihide Muroya found himself down in 10th when he picked up a two second penalty for incorrect level flying.
And Michael Goulian, the current championship leader, was given a DNF for exceeding the G-limit during his run.
Free Practice 2, the earlier session, was a much tighter affair with the top eight pilots all finishing within a second of each other. Hall's session winning time of 56.236s was the fastest of the 2018 Chiba track at that point. Martin Sonka finished second, + 0.158s. The Czech pilot will be one to watch in Qualifying as he has finished in the top three in every session so far in Japan. McLeod was third, 0.551s off the top and Kirby Chambliss was fourth.
With his new tail on his raceplane, it seems as if Muroya can't settle into the track and found himself in eighth. He'll be hoping to iron out any issues for Qualifying.
You can follow all the Qualifying action, which begins at 16:00 local time, right HERE.
Chiba 2018 Free Practice 2 results
Chiba 2018 Free Practice 3 results