Indianapolis 2017 reactions: Master Class Race Day

Wow, just wow! What a day we’ve had in the Red Bull Air Race

Yoshi celebrates

This was a race for the record books. The first Japanese Red Bull Air Race winner at Indianapolis and the first Japanese World Champion in the sport's history. Here's what the pilots thought, starting with the man of the moment...

1st Yoshihide Muroya
"We were aiming for the World Championship, but it's been the tightest ever. We were behind to start with, so it's been a long way and the hard way, but we won with just one point. This has been really amazing and a historic chapter in motorsport. I won the race here and I've become a champion here. It's amazing, I can't believe it! When I saw my time in the cockpit, I thought the timing system had broke, but it was a reality. I didn't think that time was possible so something was pushing me into this position. So thank you to the fans and my family – thanks to everyone that's helped."

2nd Matthias Dolderer
"The season final was amazing here. I was first last year and second this year. Of course it would've been better to have won and this is my goal for next year. Coming second helped Yoshi, who is a really good friend of mine, to win – congratulations to Yoshi and his team. Overall I'm happy and I'm pleased for Yoshi's whole team."

3rd Juan Velarde
"I'm very happy, the whole team is very happy, and I'm happy for them, they have been working very hard and the second half of the season has started to pay off. We started the season with a podium and we've ended the season with one as well. My approach for this race was to manage the difficulty of the weather and for the Round of 14 we almost had to improvise our lines. The idea was to be fast and of course no mistakes. Was I expecting to be in the Final 4? Well actually, yes. We were doing some very good times. You never know what's going to happen but it was my goal."

4th Martin Sonka
"Before the Round of 8, our Lambda Sensor stopped working so I didn't know what my mixture setting was so I had to do it by feeling and I stalled which cost me time. It was definitely flyable for the second place, but it didn't happen. We now have to analyse the engine and see what went wrong. When I hit the pylon in the Round of 14 I thought I was out, because I didn't believe we'd be the Fastest Loser with a pylon hit. The Round of 8 was good and I flew how I wanted, but I didn't replicate it in the Final 4. It's always harder when you're in the lead and then lose it, rather than being in second and not getting top. I'm very proud of my team and all the hard work they've done throughout the season, but of course it is a little disappointing for us."

5th Petr Kopfstein
"Matthias was very fast today, but we're super happy for fifth place overall – we want to start focusing for next season and we take it as a great satisfaction. In 2018 we want to be up in the front."

6th Mikael Brageot
"The plan was to get in the track and fly as fast as I could with a penalty-free run, which I did. We knew the line, but in the Round of 8 Yoshi was very fast. We are quite happy with three Round of 8s in a row for our team, so we have shown we are in the race. We are looking forward to flying in more Round of 8s and making it to the Final 4 in 2018."

7th Michael Goulian
"Today was a good day in that we flew to a plan and executed the plan, but on the other side it was a bad day because we were just six inches the wrong way to that Gate 2 and we had a time that would've seen us on the podium. It's an opportunity lost, but we'll start 2018 in a really positive way."

8th Matt Hall
"When I heard the time, I had to take Gate 2 tightly and at the max angle and that's where I clipped the pylon. I had a look over my shoulder to see if it was going down or not, because sometimes a nudge can feel like you didn't hit it. I then got distracted and blew the rest of the track. I had a chat with the team this morning and said regardless of what the result is today we've actually achieved and exceeded our goals. We said we want to develop the first half of the year, get the plane's handling sorted out in the middle of the year and then provide ourselves with a race winning team by the end of the year. Whether we win a race or not, we were able to win sessions and Quali. We're very happy with our performance this year."

9th Cristian Bolton
"The conditions out there are very demanding, very intense – the wind is really, really strong. The wind is pushing you toward a pylon or away from the track. It makes it very challenging to fly. It was really tough out there. Of course in the off-season we will be looking to improve so that we can be better, and more competitive – and for sure we are going to do it."

10th Kirby Chambliss
"We normally do better – normally – when conditions are bad. The conditions weren't really that bad, I was just trying to put pressure on Juan and made a mistake. People always think there's a home court advantage, and seeing all the family and friends is great, but it's a double-edged sword because there's so much to do. At the end, we had a shot at the World Championship, and even though it didn't work out, the team has been great this season."

11th Pete McLeod
"Wind got me at the end. It was a fun ride and I went through the second to last gate and got a little shift to the left and I felt the wingtip hit it. Overall It's been a great season, and I could've done without hitting a pylon. It was wild out there, and I expected that. I had a lot of fun, enjoying the run is all you can do on a day like today, and I'd go out there again if I could. The wind got me in the last gate. On the bright side, I made it all the way through the track before I hit my pylon, which is better than some of the guys out there. But that's how it was today. Overall, I'm really happy with the season – you're going to have ups and downs, but it was great."

12th François Le Vot
"That's the end of 2017, but I don't think about that. It's a continuous process and there's no stop for me, I have to think about the next one. I never think about seasons, I think race to race. The preparation for 2018 starts now."

13th Nicolas Ivanoff
"Right after the VTM I made a mistake. I tried to reduce the distance to reach the next gate, and it was a little bit too tight and then I was not on the right line for the gate after. It was not a good day, and it was exactly a picture of this season. The plan for next season is to change everything."

14th Peter Podlunšek
"I feel great, honestly. I'm happy with the flight despite the penalties. We had a really nice two years with all the pilots and everyone. We are very happy we got this opportunity with the Red Bull Air Race, but now it's time to leave. I have many, many plans. Of course I will not disappear from the aviation world – aviation is my passion and we will try to use the knowledge we have built. We are already planning a big event in Slovenia next year."