Mikael Brageot, in only his third race in the Master Class, finished third on the Free Practice 4 timesheet with a time of 55.206s, just 0.835s slower than Martin Sonka. Brageot was first to fly in the session and was on top of the timesheet until Matthias Dolderer and Sonka flew, who were both quicker than the Frenchman.
Sonka, the current World Championship leader, put in a blistering effort that saw him cross the Start/Finish Gate in 54.371 – the fastest time of the day so far. Sonka's time was more than 0.5s faster than Dolderer who flew exceptionally smoothly and finished second.
Petr Kopfstein was equally as smooth in the track and finished with a time of 55.239s, good enough for fourth, which will give him confidence going into Qualifying.
Peter Podlunsek, fresh from his second place finish in San Diego, eventually found his line after a disappointing session earlier. In Free Practice 4, after a pylon hit in his first run, he flew cleanly in his second run and posted a time of 56.546s, which was enough to see him 8th on the timesheet.
Juan Velarde will be really angry with himself after receiving a DNF for exceeding the G-limit. His aircraft will now need a G-inspection before he can fly in Qualifying later today as he went over 12G. Ted Reynolds, his technician, will be racing against the clock to get it ready.
Local hero, Yoshihide Muroya greatly improved on his times from earlier and looks to be getting more comfortable in the track. The home fans will be cheering him on in Qualifying.
Qualifying is on today at 16:00 local time. Catch the action HERE.
Chiba 2017 Free Practice 4 results