Muroya speeds into the track at 199kts through the Start Gate. He's looking calm and relaxed but the speed is DEFINITELY there as the splits go green
Muroya retaining his lead and he's got a very sleek performance here, no mistakes, no wavering in the Gates and everything is on point... he's through the Finish Gate at 53.981 and takes the final spot in the Final 4.
Final 4 pilots:
Goulian, Sonka, Chambliss, Muroya.
Who will go fastest in the final racing session in Abu Dhabi?
Standout performance from Murphy though, what a great start to his season and eyes will be on the British pilot at the next race in Cannes this spring. Not one to be underestimated at all.
Muroya went fastest in the Round of 8 with 53.981
Followed by Goulian, Sonka and Chambliss in order of speed.
There's no time to rest on their laurels; the pilots are heading back into the track for the all-important, no holds-barred final racing of the day here in Abu Dhabi
Goulian first into the track
The wind has swung around the the north west and Goulian isn't showing any signs of relenting as he goes hard and fast into the track. He'll be going for the sub-54 time as he knows that Muroya is more than capable of stepping it up again for this final race of the day.
Consistent flying and no errors so far, it's looking quick and it's clean, a focused and textbook performance from the experienced American pilot.
Goulian 53.695 - fastest time of the day!
Goulian throwing down the gauntlet. Let's see how Sonka, Chambliss and Muroya respond.
Sonka's been struggling a bit with his raceplane this weekend, he needs to find more speed but his experience and discipline could make all the difference here.
The Czech pilot pushes through at 197kts, that's a little off the pace and he's through the chicane and keeping it simple. But the splits are in the red and Sonka needs to find more time, and pull himself full throttle through the track to be in with a chance for that podium top step.
It's slipping away through Gates 14 and 15 despite a penalty-free performance, as Sonka fails to find the speed he needed with 54.650
Goulian guaranteed a spot in the podium in Abu Dhabi!
Goulian flew quicker than Chambliss' fastest time so far this week, so Kirby has got to pull out his best performance to take a top spot in the standings today.
Looking good but conservative, Chambliss is focusing but there seems to be a lack in pace as the splits go red 0.360s off Goulian's performance.
Chambliss going hard and fast but the pace just isn't there... he's clocked in at 54.768 with a penalty-free run, only enough for a third place finish and Muroya still to fly.
Only one pilot can take the race win from Goulian... and that's former World Champion Muroya. Can Goulian retain the top spot? Will Muroya step up and grab victory?
We'll have our answers very soon.
And here it is, the last flight of the day. Muroya is cleared into the track!!!!
Muroya through at 198.7kts and he'll be trying to replicate his R14 time... Yoshi going full throttle but despite his efforts the pace is OFF Goulian's!!! The Japanese pilot is fast but not quite fast enough as the splits remain red at 0.296kts in the third split... it's quick and Muroya seems to be correcting his lines, losing him time and it's looking like Goulian is set to take the race win...
The US take it as Goulian wins the season opener!!! Muroya close behind with a second place finish with 53.985
Amazing result for seasoned Red Bull Air Race pilot Mike Goulian
Final 4 unofficial results:
1. Michael Goulian (USA) - 53.695
2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) - 53.985
3. Martin Sonka (CZE) - 54.650
4. Kirby Chambliss (USA) - 54.768