Rovinj: Race reactions

Pilot comments after a monumental day in the track

Hannes Arch wins in Rovinj

It was an epic day for the pilots competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Rovinj, with drama, daring and a record-breaking number of pylon hits on a very challenging track. We caught up with all twelve pilots to see how they felt after such an intense weekend of competing:

1. Hannes Arch (AUT)

"I dug really deep with my team in preparation, I was really strict on myself all week long. We had a game plan and we just went through that game plan. Today I wasn't feeling as strong as I was in Abu Dhabi but I just focused and made the best out of it and luckily it worked out."

2. Paul Bonhomme (GBR)

"I'd be interested to see if you could measure a pilot's heartbeat in the morning before the race. The wind made it a very different track today, a completely different track that we'd flown yesterday. Kirby hitting a pylon really affects your nerves. We suddenly had a track we'd never flown before."

3. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)

"Of course I want to be on the podium all the time. But the pilots are very strong so I have to train really hard to catch them."

4. Pete McLeod (CAN)

"I just wasn't feeling things today; I was fighting the aeroplane, not feeling well and it showed in the track. I was surprised by my first flight – I almost hit five pylons before I hit that pylon so it was just a mess out there."

5. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)

"When I did the training and the Qualification I thought it was going to be really hard to be in the Super 8 so it was a surprise and I'm number 5 now. I had some luck because I didn't hit a pylon so it's a good result, of course!"

6. Martin Sonka (CZE)

"I got that double pylon hit in Qualification so the main goal for today was to fly clean, which I more or less did. I was too high in the middle pylon, so that's a pity. It's a totally different track today, but I love it here – it's beautiful."

7. Matt Hall (AUS)

"We all knew it was going to be a difficult track if the wind came up, which is exactly what happened. It made the racetrack very difficult to fly. [The pylon hit] was my error, there's no doubt about that."

8. Nigel Lamb (GBR)

"I'm really, really gutted. The whole team is very disappointed. My plans for Malaysia will be of course to try to win. The season – it's a campaign and we lost this battle. But there's still a lot of the season ahead."

9. Peter Besenyei (HUN)

"We fixed the engine and it ran well, and I could feel the track and got a good time. Then I hit a pylon and I didn't even feel it – I couldn't believe it. But that's racing – this time in Rovinj I had a really good run."

10. Kirby Chambliss (USA)

"It's going to be catch up, but I don't have any excuses. It's little bit windy out there. I was trying to run fast... I'm really disappointed, my team worked really hard to get the plane ready but it's all on me out there on the track."

11. Matthias Dolderer (AUT)

"We had, for the first time, westerly winds today, which was a problem for everyone. It's a pity. I knew I just had to make it through the course without a pylon hit and I would be in the Super 8. That's what I tried but it just didn't work out. From here I just have to concentrate on the next race."

12. Michael Goulian (USA)

"It's a tough way to start two races. The confusion of the day and doing the two flights back to back and the west wind made a challenging day. I've been happy with my flying and we've been working on the aeroplane and making it faster. It's just a matter of taking it race by race and getting better."