Not long now to go until the Master Class kick of the Race Day action. Who are you backing for the win here today in Chiba?
Ivanoff vs Dolderer
Dolderer is up... he's acknowledged Gates 5, 6, and 7 which caught out so many pilots yesterday.
No penalties from any of the pilots so far today... it seems everyone is flying cautiously because just one penalty will make all the difference, time lost that is not easy to claw back.
Sonka up first in this heat... he's posted a best time of 56.233, but it was Velarde who went faster in Qualifying yesterday.
Velarde cleared into the track, and he's through at 198.91kts... the splits immediately go green and he's just 0.027s faster than Sonka in the first part of the track... but we see there's a loss in the second split as it goes red and he's lost over 0.3s on Sonka... these hundredths of a second are critical, but can he turn it around in the VTMs?
Hall looking for a textbook performance today... if he goes through it'll be a massive upset for the fans here in Chiba, but Hall won't be holding back... Hall looking very aggressive but importantly he's flying clean and putting the pressure on the Japanese pilot...
And here's the man of the moment... all eyes will be on Muroya as he heads into the track to take his place in the Round of 8...
Muroya enters the track to the delight of the Japanese fans! The tension is palpable and we can only imagine the pressure he's feeling...