Indianapolis 2018: Master Class Qualifying reactions

The pilots offer their opinions on a thrilling Qualifying

Sonka can be happy with today

It was a Qualifying to remember. Martin Sonka was top again and the pack were chasing hard. It all makes for a great race tomrrow, but here's what the Master Class pilots thought of today...

Martin Sonka
"It's a great feeling to win Qualifying, but on the other hand there are no points for winning Quali, so tomorrow is the day. I have no magic, it's just the experience probably, and especially the experience from the end of the season last year – we know how quickly you can lose. I hopefully will be fully concentrated for tomorrow, do my best, and we'll simply see what the result will bring."

Matt Hall
"I'm satisfied with how I flew, I was probably still a little bit too conservative in the VTMs with the roll. Watching Martin fly, he's cutting that corner out. I was probably also a bit soft on the G. Happy I'm flying consistently without penalties. You know, Martin goes to bed having just got a penalty, which always affects your flying, so I'm happy enough."

Michael Goulian
"I had the line down really well. It's just the Vertical Turn. I don't know if people are turning earlier than us. We're losing time in the VTM and that's where this race will be won or lost. So I'm not sure what we're going to do tomorrow, we're just going to look at our data and look at what everyone else is doing."

Yoshihide Muroya
"In the first run I rolled earlier, but the other two penalties are very questionable. So we'll look at the video on the tail cam. We'll have a steady run tomorrow, if we do that we're going to be on the podium."

Mika Brageot
"It was one of the best Qualifying sessions we have had so far in terms of time, but not efficiency. We were good on all our tactics, it's just that it wasn't all in one run. We know exactly what to do, but I focused too hard on one sector and didn't concentrate on the rest of the lap. It's going to be a French battle in the Round of 14 tomorrow."

Kirby Chambliss
"I wish I knew... even without our two second penalty we're slow. I don't understand it, we're trying to figure it out and that's about all I can say. We're going to have to go all in, I mean Martin's got it all figured out on this track, but anybody can make a mistake, so we'll see what happens."

François Le Vot
"It's been fantastic from the Free Practice flight, but less successful this afternoon. We'll now be working hard to figure out what happened, because we were expecting much better times, we'll see. But right now we don't know. The conditions weren't easy, but they weren't easy for everyone and I'm not that scared by difficult conditions."

Matthias  Dolderer
"I'm not really pleased with sixth, I think the wind played a factor and we have to find two seconds on Martin, he was unbelievably fast in these conditions. Tomorrow is a new day and all the chances are there. We'll look over the raceplane tonight and we should be all set for tomorrow."

Juan Velarde
"It felt very good, especially the first Quali run. I was very focused and I flew clean and aggressive, exactly the way I wanted, so the result was really good. The second one wasn't that good – the wind picked up and I also made a couple of mistakes. I stalled the aeroplane in the Vertical Turn, which I think is the most demanding VTM of the whole season, and I had an incorrect level – but the important thing is the result of the first Quali run, and we're happy with that. Last year was a very good result here. I was third in the Quali, and I was third in the race, so let's hope to repeat and be second tomorrow, or even win the race!"

Petr Kopfstein
"The plane was not performing well, we're losing power. I don't know what happened, probably the wrong engine setup, but we'll go through the data, analyse and check everything and hopefully we'll be ready for tomorrow. But for sure the plane was much slower and I could feel it wasn't performing well."

Pete McLeod
"I was hoping for a little bit more I think. But there was clean flying in tough conditions. As we saw today, it's really easy to give up a lot of time. I think I know where I did it, I just wasn't able to make the correction with the wind, but if it's blowing like today, I'll need to work on it."

Ben Murphy
"We'd worked out what the issue was in Free Practice – we weren't generating enough power. Quali 1 run was good, the track had slowed down, but our time was competitive and then we tried to eek out too much in run two and it didn't work. We're happy with the lines and the way we flew it, it's just the engine settings we need to work on."

Nicolas Ivanoff
"So far I'm satisfied. With my second flight I was almost two seconds faster than the first flight. We know exactly where I was faster, but it's quite good. I'm not as fast as Martin, but I've improved on my times from yesterday, so it's quite interesting."

Cristian Bolton
"We're happy with my clean run. We're in the middle which is good. I still need to study the VTM and the way to use the G-forces and try to increase the efficiency in that manoeuvre. I want to be more effective there and get my time down. That's what we're going to focus on tomorrow."