Muroya Wants Four From Four
Yoshihide Muroya has won 50 per cent of this season’s races. He wants a full house, and to ultimately be crowned World Champion for the second time in his career... but this time he wants that crowning glory to take place in front of his home fans!
Muroya won the 2019 season opener against Martin Sonka by just 0.003s, before taking the second win of the season in Kazan last month, ahead of Matt Hall. With two races still remaining, Muroya knows that he’s in the driving seat. But the Japanese pilot also knows that he's not only built momentum for the title, but pressure to perform too.
“It’s good to be leading the championship,” said Muroya. “I’m a few points ahead, but it’s not enough, so I need to concentrate on the Lake Balaton race – and that will be the key to becoming World Champion.”
Muroya sees his win in Kazan as the pivotal point in his 2019 season. “It was really important to win in Kazan, as we only have four races,” he explained. “We had prepared well for Kazan. The track was very difficult to fly fast. You couldn’t pull too hard – you had to fly softer lines, which is difficult as a racer. I needed high concentration to do well, but it worked out. To win all four races would be good.”
It’s a bold statement to say you want to win all four races, but Muroya knows there are several other pilots who would love to stop him winning. “We’re aiming to win all the races,” Muroya stated. “But the other guys are monsters! It’s never easy. Everything is still so close. In Abu Dhabi Martin and I were only 0.003s apart. There is high pressure on me, and I was relaxed after the win. But I’ll start shaking soon.”
The 2017 World Champion pilot has one huge incentive – the final race is in his home country, which is famed in Air Race for having the most vivacious, loudest and committed fans the series has ever seen. For Muroya, heading into the final race of the season on home turf with the title ready and waiting would be the ultimate goal. “I’m leading at the moment, and if I collected another win in Balaton, then I can go home to Japan with the maximum points for the Championship,” he concluded.