© 2016 Red Bull Media House GmbH - all rights reserved.

© 2016 Red Bull Media House GmbH – all rights reserved.

High winds stirred up rough seas that forced the cancellation of Saturday’s Qualifying for the Red Bull Air Race in Chiba, Japan. However, with Race Day on schedule and neck-and-neck rivalries in the standings, Sunday’s battle for the win is predicted to be anything but a blowout.

Chiba (Japan) – Due to high seas and rough conditions at the Red Bull Air Race in Chiba, Japan on Saturday, the Race Committee was forced to cancel the Qualifying sessions for the Master Class and the Challenger Class. The racetrack over water was no longer safely operational, with waves up to 2.5 meters forcing an immediate end to all operations for the track and standby rescue teams before the afternoon’s Qualifying sessions were scheduled to begin.

“The current water conditions give us no choice but to cancel the Qualifying flying sessions for Saturday. Safety is of the utmost priority for the Red Bull Air Race,” said Race Director Jim DiMatteo. “The timeline for Race Day on Sunday has not changed.”

Qualifying determines the starting order for the Master Class head-to-heads in the Round of 14, and DiMatteo went on to explain that in accordance with the rules, with no Qualifying result in Chiba the pairings will be based on current World Championship standings. As a result, home Japanese hero Yoshihide Muroya will take on Canada’s Pete McLeod, while overall leader Matthias Dolderer of Germany will face off with Petr Kopfstein of the Czech Republic. The field is tight, with a mere three points separating the pilots in seventh through third place, and the entire lineup is keen to keep Dolderer from building an insurmountable lead.

Japanese fans have been looking forward to the return of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship ever since its debut in Chiba in 2015. Despite Saturday’s weather, 40,000 motorsport fans turned out at Makuhari Beach and were able to enjoy a variety ground-based family entertainment including freestyle motocross demonstrations, as well as Free Practice flying sessions held in the morning. Race Day and Weekend tickets remain valid for 5 June 2016, and even more spectators are expected for Sunday’s excitement, with the racing scheduled to begin midday with the Challenger Class, followed by the Master Class showdown.

Join the action: Tickets for all stops of the 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship – including what’s sure to be a dramatic Race Day in Chiba on Sunday – are on sale now. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com