There will be no hat-trick of wins for Yoshihide Muroya here in Chiba as the local hero exceeded the G-limit in the first VTM chasing Matt Hall. There were six other nailbiting heats, here's how they played out...
Bolton vs McLeod
It's never fun being the first into the track on Race Day, but in near perfect flying conditions, Cristian Bolton was the one it fell to. Bolton flew very smoothly and penalty free, setting a time of 57.003s – his best of the week. Pete McLeod knew he could beat that time and flew a perfect run. One of his turns was under review, but he was deemed to be within the rules and collected his place in he Round of 8 beating Bolton by 0.812s.
Ivanoff vs Dolderer
Nicolas Ivanoff's flight looked smooth and the Frenchman had clearly settled into the track for Race Day. He posted a 57.671s for Matthias Dolderer, the 2016 World Champion, to beat. Dolderer, who loves the Chiba track and the Japanese fans, looked like he had taken it too easy in the VTMs but he showed that he knew what he was doing and set a time of 56.688s, 0.983s faster than Ivanoff.
Sonka vs Velarde
Martin Sonka needed a good start to Race Day and he flew very well setting a competitive time of 56.393s, putting the pressure on Juan Velarde. The Spanish pilot was faster at the first split time, but a soft pull in the VTM cost him time and saw him second in his heat, but he had done enough to go through as the Fastest Loser.
Hall vs Muroya
Matt Hall showed that a poor Qualifying didn't matter to him when his set a blistering 55.529s run, which Paul Bonhomme called "spectacular". Muroya had thousands of fans lined up along the beach to cheer on their hero. He had everything to do and in attempting to push as hard as possible he exceeded the G-limit and was given a DNF, ending his Race Day early.
Kopfstein vs Brageot
Petr Kopfstein flew an impressive 56.864s in his run. He was smooth in the track and kept to his lines. He left it up to Brageot to try and beat – and Brageot did just that. He was faster at the first split, but the light turned red for the second spilt, but Brageot pulled it back at the Finish Gate and beat Kopfstein by just 0.171s.
Le Vot vs Chambliss
This was to be the sixth time François Le Vot and Kirby Chambliss had faced each other. Le Vot was first to fly in the heat and set the fastest time he'd flown all week, an impressive 56.703s. Chambliss was behind by 0.004s at the first split, but looked to be clawing back until Gate 7 where he picked up a two second penalty for incorrect level flying, which was enough to put him out of the race.
Murphy vs Goulian
The newest member of the Master Class set a time of 57.560s and hoped that championship leader Michael Goulian was going to make a mistake. Goulian didn't make a mistake and set a time of 56.422s putting him thorugh to the Round of 8, for the third time in a row.
The Round of 8 starts at 16:00 local time, you can follow all the action HERE.
Chiba 2018 Round of 14 results