In San Diego, Yoshihide Muroya added another winner's trophy to his collection after storming to victory in the California sunshine. This adds to the race he won last year in front of 90,000 fans in Chiba.
Muroya has often been tipped to be one to watch, but he has fallen short of the Final 4 in the past. This can be put down to inconsistency or pushing to hard in the head to heads. He had a disappointing opener in Abu Dhabi, where he pushed and exceeded the G-limit in the Round 14, meaning he left the race without collecting any World Championship points.
There was a different, more focused Muroya in San Diego and he said that consistency is what helped him win. "We were flying really good from Free Practice 1 onwards," explained Muroya. "I found the line I wanted from the start and kept flying it. We then decided not to change anything. Sometimes in the past I tried to push too hard to get into the Final 4. This time we didn't."
Being back in San Diego helped the Team Falken pilot, he has a lot of experience of the area. "I got my Pilot's Licence here in California," said Muroya. "I've had lots of flying experience here and it feels like a second home, so I'm happy to be flying here and super happy to have won."
With more and more teams turning to winglets to help them gain an advantage over their rivals Muroya won with just wingtips, but he does have plans for a change. "We want to have winglets, but it takes time to design and manufacture, so one day we are hoping to have them – maybe by the end of the year. Our wingtip is kind of working for now, so we will be ok," he explained.
Next up for the pilots of the Red Bull Air Race is race three in Chiba, Muroya's home race where he won last year. Some pilots don't enjoy the attention they receive at a home race, but Muroya relishes flying back in Japan. "There is a huge media interest in Japan and with winning here [San Diego] it's going to be a hard race, but I think the fans will help push us forward and I'm looking forward to it," he concluded.
The Race in Chiba takes place 03-04 June, get your tickets HERE.