Welcome to the race weekend here in Rovinj, Croatia! Our team will be updating this news story between now and Sunday afternoon when the second round of the Red Bull Air Race will conclude. Be sure to check back here to find quick updates and results from today's training sessions, Saturday's Qualifying and the Race on Sunday.
SUNDAY 13 April 2014 – RACE DAY
And here they are... the podium winners: Arch, Bonhomme and our surprise package, Japan's Yoshi Muroya!
Official results from the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship Round 2 in Rovinj, Croatia.
1. ARCH Hannes (AUT) – 00:59.01
2. BONHOMME Paul (GBR) – 00:59.09
3. MUROYA Yoshihide (JPN) – 01:00.13
4. MCLEOD Pete (CAN) – 01:01.72
5. IVANOFF Nicolas (FRA) – 01:01.67
6. SONKA Martin (CZE) – 01:03.06
7. HALL Matt (AUS) – DNF
8. LAMB Nigel (GBR) – DNS
9. DOLDERER Matthias (GER) – DNF
10. CHAMBLISS Kirby (USA) – DNF
11. BESENYEI Peter (HUN) – DNF
12. GOULIAN Mike (USA) – DNF
Current results and World Championship standings can be found here.
So Rovinj belongs to Hannes Arch - won by just 0.08 of a second! That's about as close as it gets and is a clear sign that this year's World Championship is sure to be the most exhilarating yet.
We'll have detailed results up soon and reactions from the pilots.
Now you can sit back down and let your pulse settle...
He's set the 2014 World Championship alight with a very aggressive run, close to the Gates but very sure of where he's going in the track. It's a 00:59.01 for Arch to the delight of the local crowd and his many fans who have travelled to support him in Rovinj.
This is it! Bonhomme in the track, Muroya's on the podium... is it a done deal? The British defending World Champion doesn't make mistakes and we're not expecting anything other than a stellar performance in this dramatic final.
He flies. He delivers. It's a 00:59.09 for Bonhomme. But it might not be enough to beat Arch.
He's up next!
Pete McLeod is back again and will be hoping to replicate the podium success from Abu Dhabi. It's tough out there and McLeod picks up a penalty for incorrect flying at Gate 4. With that it's a 01:01.72 for McLeod... putting Muroya on the podium!
Now that is certainly a surprise!
Yoshi Muroya must be thanking his lucky stars and hoping to fly it safe but fast if he is to make it to the podium. Lots of positive vibes from his fans here in Rovinj and everyone is impressed with his flying – are we finally seeing the brilliance we've heard Race Director and mentor Steve Jones talking about?
It's a 1:00.72 for Muroya... but is it enough against the top 3 pilots today?
FINAL 4 IS ON! Here is the start list:
And finally it's Arch. We know it's personal and all he has to do now is fly as fast as Muroya to be in the Final 4. It's a 00:58.08 for him and of course, it's faster than Bonhomme so he's asserting his authority as we go into the tense finale here in Rovinj.
Paul Bonhomme is back and we would be very surprised if the calm Brit makes a mistake today. He knows the track, has already analysed in great detail and will be ready to fly it safe. It's a breeze as he posts the first sub-one minute time in the Super 8. Well done Paul, it's a 00:59.19.
Pete McLeod is back in the track and it's better news for him as he flies a much improved performance this time – he's a quick learner and will want to make it through. He gets a 01:00.74 and plays it safe.
Bad news for Nigel Lamb – back at the Race Airport and a technical issue with his propeller means a Did Not Start (DNS) for the Brit. Official news from the technical team: during taxiing Lamb has damaged his propeller. A tough blow for Lamb for sure. "Very, very unfortunate today. I need a propeller change and it's a lesson learned," he says. "I was really looking forward to the Super 8."
Yoshi Muroya has it all to play for. He gets a 01:00.30 and may well go through to the final if people continue to get caught out here in Rovinj. His fans will be cheering here as they watch their hero in action!
Matt Hall next and it's all over too quickly for the Australian with yet another pylon hit... DNF for Matt.
France's Nicolas Ivanoff is next in the Super 8 – it could go either way for him and that's what makes him a Red Bull Air Race favourite with the fans. He gets through with a solid run 01:01.67. We may see him in the Final...
This is turning into a really unpredictable Race today in Rovinj and we've got Martin Sonka up first in the Super 8 - that's an exciting opportunity for the Czech pilot who has yet to really stake his claim on the World Championship.
He makes it through with a 01:03.06 after pickign up a 2 second penalty.
"It's beautiful out there, a perfect and challenging track," he says. "The mistake was my fault – when you're concentrating on the difficult areas you make the small mistakes."
Official SUPER 8 Start list:
Mike Goulian gets a second go after judging rules that his entry speed may have been OK before. Second time doesn't provide much help and it's a pylon for Goulian and an automatic DNF.
We're looking for a clean run from Hannes Arch and he knows it's just a case of making it through but this might prove difficult for the ultra-competitive Austrian who doesn't like to lose. Let's see...
Nothing to write home about for Arch, and it's a clean run – 01:00.59. We'll see him again in the Super 8.
Another European favourite up next as Martin Sonka from the Czech Republic flies into the track. He's a quiet contender but we expect good things from the former military pilot. It's a good run for Sonka although he picks up a 2 second penalty. Doesn't matter too much - he posts a 01:02.55.
It's a walk in the park for Paul Bohomme up next who just has to glide through the track to make it into the Super 8. He does it with ease – it's a 00:59.49 for the defending World Champ.
We've had American Mike Goulian into the track but it was a short visit - too fast through the start gate and it's a return ticket straight to the Race Airport as he gets an automatic DQ.
Canadian Pete McLeod is in the track – Ivanoff has put the pressure on and he's going to have to work it hard to secure his place. He's a little too fast for the current conditions and it's not long before we see another pylon hit – he waves goodbye to an additional podium and a quick camera shot shows his family's disappointment.
Great news for Ivanoff though who flies straight into the Super 8. It's truly a race full of surprises and it's anyone's game here in Rovinj.
Ivanoff is in the track and he passes Gates 5,6 and 7 no problems and it's a case of getting back through the vertical turning manoeuvre and back into the track – good work from the Frenchman.
He's hoping to force Pete McLeod to make some errors in their battle for a place in the Super 8.
He gets a 01:01.31.
Nigel Lamb back at the Race Airport:
"There's a lot of strategy in the Top 12 and we knew it would be a much sportier track here, If you go too slowly you'll get out of your rhythm, I just didn't fly the tightest lines and just knew I had to make it through."
Germany's Dolderer is into the track but it's not long before the crowds get another dramatic interlude as he catches Gate 5 and it's all over for our local hero. He kisses goodbye to that podium here in Rovinj.
Australia's Matt Hall makes it through the track with a very respectable 00:59.42 and it will now be up to Matthias Dolderer to make it through faster – and without a pylon hit. He's up next.
Word from Kirby Chambliss back at the Race Airport:
"The wind changed direction but I planned on all of that. But I was off my line a little bit, I thought I'd made it. I guess I only touched because it came down really slowly. If you've got a great line and you miss it by an inch then you're a hero. If you hit it by an inch then you're an a******. That's just the way it goes, I shouldn't have made that mistake."
Nigel Lamb in the track and his experience shows - he knows it's just a safe run that will see him into the Super 8 and he does it with a 01:61.7. Nice work!
We're waiting for the Air Gators to complete the course maintenance as they get pylons back up for the next run which will be Britain's Nigel Lamb.
In the meantime you can enjoy something from earlier courtesy of our Red Bull friends in the wingsuit team...
Besenyei enters the track but sadly it's not long before the 2003 World Champions gets a DNF for a pylon hit at Gate 10... downwind drift pushes his across and just one Gate from the end he has to call it a day. See you next time Peter...
Muroya takes it easy into the racetrack - well under the start speed and looks to be playing it safe to ensure he gets his place in the Super 8. Commentating, former World Champ Mangold is full of praise for his approach.
Well done Yoshi - it's a clean 01:01.90
16:00 RACE IS ON!
So it looks like he's handed a Super 8 place to Yoshi Muroya unless the Japanese pilot falls foul of the pylons too... we'll keep you posted!
Chambliss is always an exciting competitor to watch, he admits he's an aggressive flyer out in the racetrack. He means business... pushing hard and got a lot to make up for from Qualifying.
The pilots will be looking to break the racetrack record from yesterday set by Hannes Arch - 0:57.14.
Chambliss hits a pylon and it's probably due to the changing wind that's coming from the west from the sea.
Air Gators will have their work cut out today...
15:45 Top 12
And they're off!
We'll give you the results for the Top 12 once all 6 heats have been flown then regular updates throughout the Super 8 and Final 4 so stay tuned.
In the meantime here are the team getting ready to fly back at the Race Airport...
15:40 Race Airport
Matt Hall's MXS-R cockpit is empty and waiting for the Australian pilot as he limbers up behind the scenes:
15:30 Pre-Race Action
And here's the view from above in Rovinj – the grandstands are filling up fast! Just look how calm the track is now... we'll be telling a very different story in just under 30 minutes!
15:25 Race Airport
Matthias Dolderer is also preparing now as the countdown continues... "We look forward to the race – we are in a good position and hopefully we'll finish with a good result. Rovinj a very nice city and lots of people are here for the race. I heard it's the biggest event ever in Croatia!"
15:15 Pre-Race Action
So you can now join us and get in the mood for today's Race action with the official song for the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship... if you can't join us we'll bring the experience to you!
15:10 Race Airport
Martin Sonka is checking over his plane – so far, so good...
15:00 Race Airport
From Hannes Arch's technician Nigel Dickinson:
"I'm probably more nervous than Hannes! Hannes is looking cool but Paul is a really difficult guy to beat. He's always got 0.3 of a second up his sleeve somewhere. He's got a nasty habit of coming back at the last minute.
"There are a few pilots who don't like the wind today. So they're probably psyched out before they even get in the racetrack. But it doesn't seem to bother Hannes too much. He studies the track very in depth before for different conditions. It's all about doing your homework now."
14:50 Pre-Race Action
The guys from the Breitling Jet Team keep the crowds entertained over the Adriatic... that's one hell of a sound (you'll have to take our word for that... )
14:40 Race Airport
Confidence is high in Pete McLeod's hangar: "We're all set ready to go. Just full confidence going into the day, we definitely expected good things. From Abu Dhabi and Qualifying yesterday we've got to keep the streak going."
He's also suffering with a cold and is wrapped up in his winter warmers... let's see how the G forces play havoc with that later...
14:30 Race Airport
As expected, the wind has been causing the pilots issues all weekend, but today the total change in direction is causing even more disruption.
Nigel Lamb has been reassessing his plans for this afternoon. "The main issue of the day is going to be the wind. The wind has moved from where it's been all week to a totally different location. In my opinion it's going to make an already difficult part of the track even more challenging. The bit that's going to be the biggest problem is going through Air Gates 4, 5 and 6. That section is now going to have a tail wind. Yesterday had a slight head wind and now, as you come around that corner, the wind is going to be pushing us into that section. I think there's going to be a lot of pylon hits today."
14:20 The countdown is on!
Spectators are ready for the race and so are the pilots.
People heading to Rovinj.
14:00 Race Airport
Nicolas Ivanoff's team are busy prepping his Edge 540. Ivanoff's striking orange and black livery will be easily seen from ths sky this afternoon as he battles for World Championship points.
13:30 Race Airport
After a calm morning, pilots are beginning to step up preparations for this afternoon's racing.
Austrian pilot Hannes Arch has been chatting to a young fan who has made the trip down to Rovinj to see his favourite pilot in action.
13:00 Gates Open
The crowds start to gather now ahead of the Race along the beautiful Adriatic coast here in Rovinj. We're expecting fans from all across Europe to be here to show their support for the many pilots competing from within a close distance to the Croatian town.
Austria's Hannes Arch has drawn support from his local fans, who have made the journey here to get behind their hero. After obliterating the competition in yesterday's Qualifying, the determined pilot from Styria is the hot favourite to take the win...
Many of his fans visited the Race Airport this weekend to catch a glimpse of their hero.
13:00 Race Airport
Kirby Chambliss is getting his groove on, listening to 'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey... get in the zone with him and listen along here
Check out his team for 2014 – some new faces and some who've been there since the beginning.
12:30 Track Preview
And here's the racetrack for those of you that want to see just how tricky it is for the twelve pilots.
12:00 Track Conditions
We've just bumped into Race Director Steve Jones who's been monitoring the track this morning. Looks like there'll be fun and games out there today as the wind has changed ahead of this afternoon's Race. Yesterday the pilots were battling against winds coming from the south – but today they are from the west.
Jones says it really will be a case of the most adaptable pilots making the grade today in Rovinj. His take on the critical points within the racetrack will be how the pilots descend after the vertical turn to quickly get back to level flight and also how they enter the chicane. The new direction of the wind will be pushing them sideways so they will really have to fight agains that.
It's going to be anyone's game today by the sound of it - thanks Steve for the insight!
Here is the schedule for today in Rovinj:
LOCAL TIMES FOR CROATIA
13:00 Gates Open
14:35 Opening Show
15:45 MASTER CLASS - Top 12
16:45 MASTER CLASS - Super 8
17:15 MASTER CLASS - Final 4
17:45 Winner Ceremony
10:30 Pre-race conditions
Glad to report the clouds are lifting here in Rovinj and we can feel the sea breeze so there could be another day of pylon hits.
Yesterday saw several pilots encounter unpredictable conditions in the track. With the combined challenge of gauging optimum entry speed and not being caught out by the changing winds, the twelve pilots were tested to the limit.
Martin Sonka (CZE) suffered pyon hits in both of his Qualifying runs, leaving him with the dreaded Did Not Finish (DNF). "I don't have any regrets testing those lines," he said.
And today is the day!
The second round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship kicks off this afternoon in Rovinj, with the tension palpable and the gauntlet well and truly down with at least four contenders who could take the win today and the maximum 12 World Championship points that are available.
So far we've not seen the beautiful blue sky that has graced the racetrack for the past few days but there is still time for the clouds to clear. We'll have a full weather update from our man in the Race Tower, former race pilot and Head of Training, Steve Jones, who will share his wisdom ahead of the Race.
You can watch the action via the live stream here on our website from 16:00 CET. We look forward to joining you as the action puts us all on the edge of our seats!
A little reminder of the stunning location for the first European round of the 2014 World Championship... we'll be hoping for more of the same today!
SATURDAY 12 April 2014 – QUALIFYING AND CHALLENGER CUP
18:00 Official Challenger Cup Results:
1. Francois Le Vot (FRA) – 01:01.19
2. Tom Bennett (GBR) – 01:02.53
3. Peter Podlunsek (SLO) – 01:02.76
4. Mikael Brageot (FRA) – 01:03.19
5. Luke Czepiela (POL) – 01:03.27
6. Claudius Spiegel (GER) – 01:05.12
Francois Le Vot wins the Challenger Cup in Rovinj
Hannes Arch (AUT) takes the lead in Qualifying today
16:00 Official Qualifying Results
1. Hannes Arch – 00:57.72
2. Paul Bonhomme – 00:57.87
3. Pete McLeod – 00:58.15
4. Matthias Dolderer - 00:58.51
5. Nigel Lamb – 00:58.64
6. Yoshihide Muroya – 00:58.68
7. Kirby Chambliss – 00:59.82
8. Peter Besenyei – 01:00.21
9. Matt Hall – 01:00.56
10. Nicolas Ivanoff – 01:00.63
11. Michael Goulian – 01:01.40
12. Martin Sonka – DNF
Lamb – 00:58.646
Hall – 1:00.562
McLeod – 00:58.152
Arch – 00:57.724
Bonhomme – 00:58.109
Nigel Lamb in the Rovinj track
Ivanoff – 01:00.636
Sonka – DNF
Dolderer – 00:58.512
Muroya – Great run from the Japanese pilot and it looks like a super fast time of 00:58.681
First three have flown:
Goulian – It's a 01:01.405 for the American who takes it relatively easily through the track as the first one out there
Chambliss – Too fast into the track for Kirby and he gets an automatic DQ... we've seen this before and he won't be happy. His second run is a 00.59.820 so he's faster.
Besenyei – The Hungarian makes his way through the racetrack in Rovinj and there's some official judging to come for his run. It's a 01:00.218
And this is it! All pilots are looking to make the most of today in order to get ahead for tomorrow's race.
Mike Goulian is now in the track!
14:30 Race Airport
All quiet as the pilots now prepare for today's Qualifying.
The official start list is out and the pilots that go last will have a distinct advantage as they watch and learn while their fellow competitors find their way through the track.
The pilots will fly in the following order based on their current World Championship standings:
Pete McLeod (CAN) in the zone
We're gearing up for Qualifying, which starts at 14:00 local time (subject to track conditions and schedule adjustments).
The tension is mounting as Bonhomme, Arch, McLeod, Dolderer, Lamb and Hall all showed strong hands in this morning's training. We've already seen the times get closer as the pilots tighten their race lines in the track.
Former World Champ and commentator Mike Mangold says the Rovinj track is all about flying the chicane well and getting the position of the turns perfect. We can expect high G turns from all pilots as they aim to make their moves through Air Gates 4,5 and 6...
Peter Besenyei (HUN) prepares to fly
13:30 Training Recap
This is how it looked in the track...
Paul Bonhomme (GBR)
Kirby Chambliss (USA)
13:15 Race Airport
The top 3 pilots from Master Class training give us their reactions:
1. Paul Bonhomme (GBR)
"It was a good run but it's still early days. What you don't want to do is show your cards too early. And I hope we haven't done that with this good time today. We're pleased because we're where we need to be or thereabouts of where we need to be. We just need a little bit of fine-tuning now to improve on that. There was a bit more wind in the last training today because I had a similar time to this morning's training session when there was less wind. So the wind got up and that generally slows the track and that shows that we've kind of improved something. But hey, you know what it's like, you don't want to show your hand, you don't want to show the right lines too early. We're still experimenting. That was still training. There's still Qualifying this afternoon."
2. Hannes Arch (AUT)
"Yes, I'm still quite satisfied. Paul flew really fast in that last training. He was a bit faster in the final training session and I made a big mistake and that's what made the difference. But I'm not going to tell you what my mistake because everyone would know about it then. But we're working on it. I'm generally happy because I'm flying near the top and I've got a good feeling about this race. It's a great location, really cool. I had some time to look down at the crowd a bit and there are a lot of people all over the place watching already even though it's only training. That's a good sign that there will be a lot of people here tomorrow."
3. Matthias Dolderer (GER)
"I had a lot of fun in training. It's a challenging course and the wind keeps changing out there. I'm not flying quite as cleanly as I should be flying but the lap times are pretty good. I hope that I can stay up near the front. It's nice to be in front of so many good pilots but I've got to focus on being consistent. They're all good in this field but you never know if people are showing their best hands or hiding some aces in their sleeves with their flying in training or not. There aren't any points to be won until the race on Sunday. What's my ace in my sleeve? I guess it's flying clean. It sounds easy to fly cleanly but there are so many little things that go into that can make you just fractions of a second faster or slower. But generally I'm feeling really good and hope that I can keep this up."
Matthias Dolderer (GER)
13:00 Race Airport
Now it's Peter Besenyei's turn to review the technical details with his team ahead of Qualifying
12:30 Training Recap
Paul Bonhomme (GBR) shows he is the man to beat with a 00:57.14 run. He gives us a smile to celebrate – hopefully he'll have more to smile about later...
12:15 Training session 2
The last training flights for the Master Class pilots have finished and the times are in – soon we'll have the start list for Qualifying once everything has been checked by the officials. In the meantime, let's see how the pilots have flown as they try out refined race lines here in Rovinj.
1. BONHOMME Paul GBR 00:57.14
2. ARCH Hannes AUT 00:57.92
3. DOLDERER Matthias GER 00:57.99
4. MCLEOD Pete CAN 00:59.06
5. MUROYA Yoshihide JPN 00:59.29
6. LAMB Nigel GBR 00:59.51
7. CHAMBLISS Kirby USA 00:59.76
8. BESENYEI Peter HUN 00:59.79
9. HALL Matt AUS 01:01.01
10. SONKA Martin CZE 01:01.53
11. GOULIAN Michael USA 01:01.73
12. IVANOFF Nicolas FRA 01:02.47
11:50 Race Airport
Something new for Team Chambliss... aircraft tug to pull his Edge 540 V3 to and from the hangar. We think this could catch on...
11:30 Training Recap
Hannes Arch (AUT) fastest in second training with 00:57.59 run in Rovinj ahead of Qualifying.
11:20 Challenger Cup Training Results
The six Challenger Cup pilots are also now back from their second training session and there's a new face at the top of the timesheets.
1. BENNET Tom GBR 01:00.98
2. SPIEGEL Claudius GER 01:01.34
3. LE VOT Francois FRA 01:01.43
4. CZEPIELA Luke POL 01:03.41
5. BRAGEOT Mikael FRA 01:03.90
6. PODLUNSEK Peter SLO 01:06.46
11:00 Initial reactions after training
Hannes Arch (AUT) was pleased after posting fastest time (57:59 seconds) in Saturday's early training session:
"I'm happy because we've got a good track to fly on now and it's easier for us to compare and see what the others are doing. I'm happy especially with my first run. I'm happy with my mental set-up. Yesterday my mental set-up was screwed up. If I have too much stress because of stuff going on it, it's difficult to focus and I had a lot of stuff going on yesterday. So I'm happy today."
Paul Bonhomme (GBR) was also pleased after taking a close second (57.91 seconds):
"It was fun, much calmer winds than yesterday. The winds were subtly different. It was good fun. The track has two halves. The start gate to the chicane through to Gate 3 is all very gentlemanly and calm, you know, it's sort of like 'get out a cigar and have a coffee'. But then from Gate 4 onwards the fun starts, the real action starts. They gates are very close together, so there's less turn but there's less time. It's pretty lively in there. But it's good fun. It's good fun now with the calm wind but by golly there will be pylons down all over the place if the wind picks up."
10:30 Training session 1
All pilots have flown a second training session this morning and the times are back. Looks like they aren't holding back today as we see the frontrunners up their game as we prepare for Qualifying later today.
1 ARCH Hannes AUT 00:57.59
2. BONHOMME Paul GBR 00:57.91
3. LAMB Nigel GBR 00:58.23
4. MUROYA Yoshihide JPN 00:59.15
5. DOLDERER Matthias GER 00:59.18
6. SONKA Martin CZE 00:59.51
7. HALL Matt AUS 00:59.56
8. IVANOFF Nicolas FRA 00:59.74
9. BESENYEI Peter HUN 01:00.06
10. MCLEOD Pete CAN 01:00.58
11. GOULIAN Michael USA 01:01.59
12. CHAMBLISS Kirby USA 01:00.53
10:00 Qualifying Preparation
Hello from Croatia!
We're back for Saturday's Qualifying today in Rovinj and the air is already filled with the roar of engines as a second training session is scheduled to give all pilots a chance to review their race lines. The weather here is a little overcast, with the sea breeze picking up. The racetrack gave pilots plenty to think about yesterday with pylon hits for many and lots of work for the Air Gators... top of the timesheets was Matthias Dolderer from Germany with defending World Champion Paul Bonhomme mid-field.
It could all change today...
FRIDAY 11 April 2014 – TRAINING
17:00 Challenger Cup Training Results
1. Mikael Brageot 1:01.26
2. Tom Bennett 1:01.65
3. Claudius Spiegel 1:02.60
4. Francois Le Vot 1:02.62
5. Peter Podlunsek 1:02.80
6. Luke Czepiela 1:03.93
16:30 Challenger Cup
Six Challenger Cup pilots also flew today, among them a host of local heroes competing in this category for the first time – Luke Czepiela (POL), Peter Podlunsek (SLO) and Claudius Spiegel (GER).
16:00 Pilot Reaction
Happy to have flown the fastest run of the day, Germany's Matthias Dolderer was upbeat after his result. With changing conditions in the track he was also cautious about placing too much emphasis on the result – "I'm not taking it for granted," he said.
15:40 Training Results
The official results are in from today's training session and there are some surprises...
1. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 0:58.47
2. Martin Sonka (CZE) 0:59.10
3. Matt Hall (AUS) 0:59.19
4. Hannes Arch (AUT) 0:59.31
5. Paul Bonhomme (GBR) 0:59.65
6. Peter Besenyei (HUN) 0:59.86
7. Yoshi Muroya (JPN) 1:00.00
8. Pete McLeod (CAN) 1:00.28
9. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 1:01.11
10. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 1:01.68
11. Mike Goulian (USA) 1:02.44
12. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1:02.53
Martin Sonka, the Czech pilot, was also confident after his flight. It's a contrast to the engine troubles in Abu Dhabi that kept him from making the most of the training flight at the season opener.
Pete McLeod was laid back about his flight, possibly keen to not make any big claims ahead of Qualifying. All eyes will be on him this weekend.
Germany's Dolderer admits it's a tricky track here in Rovinj and after a pylon hit today he's wise to exercise caution. His tip – taking a bit longer to get round the racetrack is better than going too fast and being caught out. Watch this space.
All Master Class pilots have flown the track and have their opinions about where they might be able to fly the tightest line to save vital fractions of a second. Australia's Matt Hall says he's pleased with his training flights but couldn't make any firm predictions. He remains confident he can get a podium spot on Sunday to build on his fourth place the Abu Dhabi season opener.
Japan's Yoshi Muroya also flies OK but admits "it's a big step up from the racetrack in Abu Dhabi and you can see we are having to get to grips with it". Conditions remain good and blue skies.
13:30 In the Hangars
A few more trade secrets unveiled... this time it's from Mike Goulian's hangar where his technician Dennis Sawyer has been busy since Abu Dhabi working on a new cooling mod for the team's Edge 540.
Nigel Lamb is back on the ground after his first flight through the track and says "there's a light wind out there and I got my first pylon hit in ages just now".
Hannes Arch makes sure he chills his G-Race Suit before flight, sounds a bit crazy but it must get pretty hot in the cockpit when you're pulling 10G! Keeping core temperatures regulated is an important part of achieving peak performance.
10:30 Race Airport
The twelve teams are firmly settled in to the Race Airport on the outskirts of Rovinj, preparing to commence the training sessions. This will be an opportunity to test the racetrack, assess how the planes handle with the sea breeze and also get an early indication about finding the perfect race line. It's a day for learning quickly and watching everyone else to get ahead...
09:30 Weather conditions in Rovinj
Local weather looks great from the ground here in Rovinj, with blue skies and 16°C temperatures. Nigel Lamb (GBR) says conditions are "fantastic" and wind is currently approx 30kph (16kts).