Mika Brageot is having a season to remember. At the last race in Budapest, the hard working Frenchman claimed his first podium in the elite class of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. He's been a competitor to watch since he joined the series, but now his rivals are paying attention.
Now that the dust has settled after his first podium, we caught up with Brageot to talk about his season and how he plans to go even better in the future....
Race Reporter: Now you've had time to think, how does it feel that you've claimed your first podium in the Master Class?
Mika Brageot: It still feels incredible – and makes me hungry for more! We have been making some developments on the MXS during the summer break and hope that it will mean we can keep this level of pace up throughout the rest of the season. I want to be in the Final 4 in Kazan, and we'll be pushing for that feeling of a podium again – it's addictive!
RR: You've been getting better and better every race. Did this podium come when expected or did you hope to have one sooner?
MB: The most important thing for me is consistency in my flying and improvements in results across the season. We have been making a steady climb since the first race in 2017, so I would be lying if I said I didn't think it would have been possible sooner. We have been knocking on the door of the Final 4 since Porto last year, and have been unlucky not to get through a couple of times, so it was amazing to finally have everything go our way in Budapest. We are looking to the future, always trying to improve, so now we've this first Master podium finish, we can continue to follow our plans and see how many others come for this season. The game is to always think ahead, not too far, but for sure never to be behind.
RR: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
MB: We must not get ahead of ourselves, we're only at the halfway point, but we are in a great position. Not a lot of people would expect us to be fourth in the Championship at this stage, however we'll be keeping our cool and organising ourselves exactly the same as we have been doing all year. We have accomplished so much already that whatever happens next, we've still had a great season. The pressure is on the big boys like Yoshi and Matthias who are behind and chasing hard to get back in the game. We've worked a lot on the raceplane since Budapest, so now the plan is to focus on nice flying sessions and cool head to put the plane on the optimum lines with the best precision possible. Then, everything can be possible, flying our best is a goal, the results will talk accordingly. We don't waste our time looking at others, we just want to give our best every time. It will pay off for sure!
RR: Do you think you could challenge for the World Championship title in 2019?
MB: It will be a goal for sure! We will see what happens this year, but if you look at our climb in results there's no reason not to believe that it's possible to challenge for it at least! A season podium finish is definitely something we're targeting strongly!
You can see for yourself if Brageot makes into the Final 4 in Kazan, by getting your tickets HERE.