Yoshihide Muroya returns to Chiba

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Red Bull Air Race Series 2015 takes off in Chiba Japan
Red Bull Air Race Series 2015 takes off in Chiba Japan

Yoshihide Muroya of Japan arrives after he won the finals of the third stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan on June 5, 2016. // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20160605-00950 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Yoshihide Muroya of Japan arrives after he won the finals of the third stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan on June 5, 2016. // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

There’s jubilation in Japan as home hero Yoshihide Muroya returns to Chiba on June 3-4 at a career high in the overall Red Bull Air Race World Championship standings. Muroya is the defending race winner in the vibrant seaport city, and he’s also hot off a win in the USA; but so far this season, no pilot has managed to stand on the podium more than once. Can Muroya buck the trend? And if not, who will?

Chiba (JAPAN) –Japan’s Red Bull Air Race super fans are charged with anticipation as the World Championship returns to Chiba for the third year in a row. The only stop in Eastern Asia became an instant favorite in 2015, when 120,000 spectators sold out the viewing area at Makuhari Beach; and last year, fans were delirious when Japanese pilot Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya clinched a landmark win at home.

In a 2017 season where no one has emerged as the overall favorite after two hotly contested stops, the racing world will be focused breathlessly on Chiba this June 3-4.

With the season’s longest racetrack reconfigured to pose new challenges, plus Tokyo Bay winds that defy prediction, the race in Chiba demands power, precision and performance. Of course the cheers will be most ecstatic for Muroya, who flies number 31 for Team Falken. His 2016 victory – the first race win of his career – rocketed the Fukushima-based pilot to rockstar status.

His second triumph came just weeks ago at the second stop of 2017, when he outflew a Final Four lineup including reigning World Champion Matthias Dolderer (GER) to claim top honors in San Diego, USA.