Red Bull Air Race

Local hero soars to fairytale home win in Japan

Yoshihide Muroya has claimed his first-ever Red Bull Air Race victory – and what a place to do it!
By Joe Curran

The third round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has gone big in Japan with local hero Yoshihide Muroya soaring to glory in front of 50,000 home fans on Chiba Beach in Tokyo Bay.

The Japanese aviator pulled off a series of personal-best flying displays before taking the win in the final round by the narrowest of margins ahead of Czech flyer Martin Šonka, who finished second.

American pilot Kirby Chambliss completed the podium in third place.

Watch the best of the action in the video below.

Muroya’s stunning victory looked unlikely at the start of the day's action, as he began the race with a one-second penalty for insufficient smoke. But his strong and consistent flying pushed his opponents in the Round of 14 and the Round of 8 to advance to the final, where less than eight-10ths of a second separated the four pilots’ results.

This was the Japanese pilot's first taste of victory after five seasons of competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, and he was crying tears of joy as he landed his plane.

I’ve been flying for 25 years and this is my first win, so it’s taken a long time. It's a big, big moment. It feels very special

Yoshihide Muroya

Earlier in the day, Chile’s Cristian Bolton came out on top in the Challenger Class, with American Kevin Coleman close behind in second, a result which saw Coleman rise to the top of the Challenger leaderboard with his third consecutive second-place finish. Luke Czepiela of Poland finished third.

Master Class results

1.Yoshihide Muroya (Japan) 1m 4.992s
2.Martin Šonka (Czech Republic) 1m 5.097s
3.Kirby Chambliss (USA) 1m 5.618s

Challenger Class results

1. Cristian Bolton (Chile)
2. Kevin Coleman (USA)
3. Luke Czepiela (Poland)

The next air race takes place in Budapest, Hungary, on July 16-17.

For full race results and all the latest news, head to

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