Hall falls foul of the judges at Red Bull Air Race Japan
Matt Hall has been dealt a cruel blow in the third round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, the Australian pilot being knocked out of the competition in Japan following a late call from race control.
The day was won by local hero Yoshi Muroya, who defended his triumph in Japan from last year and made it two successive wins in 2017 following his victory in San Diego, USA at the beginning of April. Czech duo Petr Kopfstein and Martin Šonka rounded out the podium, Hall finished sixth.
The day had begun well for Hall, who was flying against French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff in the opening Round of 14. The Aussie progressed to the second stage of competition comfortably after his opponent incurred a two second penalty.
Awaiting Hall in the Round of 8 was local hero Yoshi Muroya of Japan – undoubtedly one of the toughest match ups of the day.
Muroya flew first and earned a two-second penalty early on, which opened the gate for Hall to fly a smooth and comfortable lap with the final four in his sights. The Aussie did what was required, and as he soared away from the track following what he thought was a successful run, the clocks went yellow to signify his effort was under review.
To the surprise of all – except perhaps the adjudicators – Hall was penalised for ‘climbing in the gate’, handing Moruya a get out of jail free card to progress to the Final Four and eventually a fine victory.
“Congratulations to Yoshi, he flew very well and deserved another victory this season and a second one on home soil,” Hall said.
“If I could protest the decision against us today, I would. But there is no scope for remedy on the subjective decisions such as the awarding of penalties in our sport. I am very frustrated.
“I feel that today our team deserved a good result. We overcame a few setbacks yesterday, worked together well today and I flew well. For now all we can do is look ahead to the next race.”
Hall will now return to Australia for 15 days before he departs for the next round of the world championship in Budapest, Hungary. Today’s sixth place sees the Lake Macquarie local climb from 13th to 11th in the standings as he and the team continue to develop their new aircraft.
Courtesy of today’s result Moruya now leads the championship, Šonka is second, while defending champion Matthias Dolderer of Germany is third.
The fourth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Series will take place on July 1-2 in Budapest.