Velarde finishing with 57.566 from his FP3 Run 1, which slots him neatly into 6th place currently. Brageot next into the track.
If you haven't caught up yet with Chiba's news, both Matt Hall and Matthias Dolderer have topped the previous practice sessions. Hall is coming into Chiba on the back of his Cannes victory, but all eyes will be on home favourite Yoshihide Muroya, who has so far placed 5th and 8th in the last FP flying sessions.
With Brageot completing his FP3 session - taking a current 10th place in the timings - it's local hero Yoshi who's up next.
A swift and unexpected finish to FP3 for Goulian, who's not only picked up a +2s penalty at Gate 3, but has also landed a DNF for Exceeding Maximum G. Not the finish to session Goulian was looking for, but he's got plenty of experience in the World Championship and will e as cool as a cucumber as he heads back to the race airport.
Hall finishes his run, looking smooth and consistent despite the blustery conditions - up to 15kts - and lands a 2nd place spot behind McLeod with 56. 055 - that's still 0.793s behind the Canadian, who has slowly risen through the ranks this week from 7th, to 3rd to 1st in the free practice sessions.
Just +1.001s between the top four in the FP3 results...
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Bolton cleared into the track to kick off Chiba 2018's Qualifying session...
Next up: it's Czech Republic's Kopfstein
Kopfstein finished 3rd in FP1, but he's been struggling with his raceplane setup... still, Kopfstein could be a top 5 contender here in Chiba. He's got some smooth style in the track and is looking very pacey out there.
Kopfstein takes 1st place and has put in a really solid run to keep him in contention for a great spot in the Round of 14 tomorrow.
Kopfstein losing a little pace on the final vertical turning manoeuvre, but that Run 1 time stands him in good stead as he finishes his flying sessions for today.
Free Practice top spot holder McLeod has been flying on form this week... he's got great cadence and knows he's capable of putting in some super competitive times out there. McLeod seems relaxed but is attacking the track, he's really getting into a great rhythm and is flying on the edge as usual... and it's working out for the Canadian as he flies penalty free and clocks in at 56.699 to take the top spot once again.
That's a great first effort and no doubt McLeod will go harder and faster... but he's got to keep that form... too late, he's picked up two penalties in Gate 6 AND 7!
The extra +4s of penalties takes him over the 1:00 minute mark... that's a throwaway time as far as McLeod will be concerned, but he'll have learned a lot from this flying session, and perhaps knows his limits now.