In the final practice session before today's Qualifying, the pilots were bitten by the Kazan track that offered up much more testing conditions – meaning the pilots had to dig deep to set a good time in Free Practice 3.
Matt Hall was able to tame the track better than anyone else in a session that saw 11 pylons go down and three DNFs (Did Not Finish) for over-Gs. Hall finished in a time of 55.853s – the track record – and nobody could come close to the Australian, who said that this track suits his style.
Pete McLeod came closest to catching Hall, but he crossed the Finish Gate 0.797s behind. New Master Class pilot Mikael Brageot put in a stunning run that saw him third on the timesheet, only 0.929s behind Hall, and will give him a huge boost for Qualifying.
Petr Kopfstein was fourth and the last pilot, apart from Cristian Bolton (ninth), to put in a clean run in the session. Nicolas Ivanoff was the first pilot to post a time with a penalty – his being a pylon hit at Gate 11. Budapest winner Kirby Chambliss was fifth and was penalised for incorrect level flying through the gate.
Championship leader Yoshihide Muroya clipped two pylons in his run and found himself down in 11th position with a total time of 1:02.697. Without those two penalties he would've seen himself in third.
World Champion Matthias Dolderer, received a DNF for going over the G-limit and was told to knock it off, as was Martin Sonka and François Le Vot. All three teams will be working hard to ensure the same mistakes don't happen in Qualifying.
Qualifying takes place at 16:00 local time and you can follow all the action HERE!
Master Class Free Practice 3 results