Kazan Free Practice belonged to Sonka and Muroya

The two at the top of the table share the spoils on day one in Russia

Sonka in the track

The two pilots at the top of the World Championship table tooke a Free Practice session each and showed why they are leading the way in 2017.

Yoshihide Muroya, the last pilot to fly today, set the track record in Free Practice 2 and was the only pilot to fly a sub-57s run with a time of 56.972s. Martin Sonka was the man to beat in the earlier session when he crossed the Start/Finish Gate with a time if 57.248s.

This Kazan track is very technical and the pilots used the morning session to test lines and see where they could shave off seconds in an attempt to collect as many World Championship points as possible on Sunday's Race Day.

Sonka took the first session in fine style, but just behind him was Muroya, only 0.348s behind. Nicolas Ivanoff was third in the morning session and showed that he can still be up there when he focused on the flight.

The conditions were perfect for racing today – with nearly no wind or turbulence the pilots were able to make their lines and see how they could adapt. Here in Russia, they weren't fighting with the plane, unlike in Budapest.

World Champion Matthias Dolderer has some work to do, he knows the pressure is on him and although he always says, "practice is practice, but the race is the race'" he would have wanted to be higher than his fourth place finish in FP1 and a 12th place in FP2.

Free Practice 2 saw American Michael Goulian finish in second place, just 0.426s behind Muroya. Goulian always performs well in practice and Qualifying. He'll be hoping he can continue his form into Race Day. Matt Hall, who has been growing in confidence with his new plane, was third with a 57.498s time, just over half a second behind Muroya.

Sonka could only manage fifth in the second session of the day, but was not far behind. In fact the top ten pilots all finished within 1.3s of each other, which will make for an interesting race weekend.

Tomorrow will see the Master Class Qualifying session. Follow all the action HERE!

Master Class Free Practice 1 results

Master Class Free Practice 2 results