Current top 3:
And it's Japan's Muroya out into the track now! It's not a great outing for Muroya... all the reds on the split times and he's under review
And it's given the OK from the Race Tower, but that time will only put him in 9th – 54.680 – +2.583 behind Sonka
Second run now... Muroya is not one of the most consistent but he can really pull it out of the bag when it counts
But those times are still in the red and it's just not coming together for him! And there's the call from the tower for over G - 11.25 and that's a DNF for Muroya. He stays in 9th...
Nicolas Ivanoff next into the track... and that's not a great first run – 55.996 including 2s in penalties for incorrect level at Gate 14
Second run – can he improve or is he off his game today?
It's marginally better for the flamboyant Frenchman, now in his 11th season... those splits aren't shifting into the green and it's 53.752 leaving him in 9th place
Matt Hall is the penultimate pilot in this session and it's a hard start to the season for the Australian who is flying an older Edge 540 while he waits for his replacement raceplane to arrive for round 2 in San Diego
He's not had a huge amount of time in this raceplane and he knows Abu Dhabi is unlikely to yield a podium so he just need to capitalise on that track time
His first run is solid, although he picks up 2s in penalties for incorrect passing of Gate 7 – 57.186
And he gets another opportunity to feel his way through that track... it's slightly faster but only enough for 12th place 55.545
And last pilot to fly... it's Dolderer!
And that's the buzzer for a pylon hit at Gate 7! 3s added immediately and he won't be able to claw that back :(
It's 55.943 for Dolderer, which is +3.846 behind Sonka – so even without the penalty that net time isn't quite there...
Dolderer gets back into the track after that pylon repair and he needs to take it a bit easier if he wants to get through cleanly
It's not good! Red on the split times and a late call from the Race Tower for incorrect passing of Gate 14... that's not a good day at the office for the defending World Champion – it's 54.695 with 2s included and an 11th place result
Sonka: "This is my first ever win in Qualifying so I'm really happy. You must push everything forward and I have a great team. The most important thing will happen tomorrow – it's good that we know we can fly fast."