San Diego 2017 reactions: Master Class Free Practice

The Master Class pilots get their first taste of San Diego

McLeod is in the hunt

The wait for race two is finally over. You could feel the excitement at the race airport as the pilots experienced the San Diego track for the first time. Here's what the pilots thought of today's Free Practice...

Martin Sonka
"I'm pleased with this [Free Practice 2] flight because I was not super happy with the previous one. I knew I'd made mistakes there. So the plan was to avoid doing those mistakes and that's actually what happened. We have to analyse the data, but from the cockpit it was how it should be, and I'm very happy with the time. Now I will try to do the same the next two days. It's an interesting track – the first half is super fast, super smooth, and then immediately the technical, aggressive part begins. The rhythm totally changes."

Juan Velarde
"It's a very demanding track and difficult to get right. We've tried three different lines for gate two, three and four. I hit a pylon, but we know where to improve. It's a very technical track and going to make for a very interesting race."

Pete McLeod
"We had a pretty good day today. I like the track, the back section has a really nice rhythm to it. We've done a lot of work on the raceplane, I feel comfortable in it and I'm staying ahead of it. With all the changes we've made the raceplane is more difficult to handle – but it feels faster."

Matthias Dolderer
"It's good to be back in the track. It's a technical track. There's a chance of over-G at gate 3, but the race will be won or lost at the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre at Gate 7. It's a very demanding track, but we're still only in Free Practice and my confidence is rising with every run."

Nicolas Ivanoff
"The track is interesting, I felt good in the chicane and then struggled in the high-G turn. In the afternoon session I wasn't as comfortable and made mistakes. I hit a pylon whilst trying to find the correct line. We're on the right path but I have to find the right way to get round the track. Overall I am happy."

Michael Goulian
"I can tell you, this is going to be the hardest track that we will have all year. I can't see us having another track this difficult. You need to get Gate 3 to Gate 4 absolutely perfect, and then 6 to 7 is so hard; the angles are huge, just huge. And the wind plays a big factor here. So there will be a lot of pylon hits – hopefully I won't have one of them."

Cristian Bolton
"It's a challenge out there, the Race Committee has put together a good track for us. We are happy, we know where we can improve and will be working on that as a team. I'm looking forward to getting out there and getting back in the track."

François Le Vot
"It's a very challenging track. There are not too many points of reference in the high-G turns, which makes it difficult. I was very happy with my second flight. We're 3.5s off the leader, but last year we were six seconds off the leader. I had to change the aileron set up after Free Practice 1, it was set up for Abu Dhabi, which due to the difference in this track it made it too snatchy. But we changed it and I'm happy."

Mikael Brageot
"It's a technical track, the first part is very nice, but the tempo of the back part is much harder. However, it makes for a good race. I'm happy with my day and how we flew. In the second session I hit pylons at Gate 3 and Gate 4, so I pulled out of the track to reset, but with pylons missing at those gates for my second run I decided to pull out of the track again and save my energy for tomorrow."

Matt Hall
"I wasn't as comfortable in the track as I was hoping for. When I focused on the track rather than the new raceplane I found myself putting old inputs to the controls and that was costing me time. These were inputs that would work better in the MX rather than the Edge. In the second session I knew the track a little better and I could focus on the new aircraft. My times in Free Practice 2 were really consistent. We're not going to break any track records here, but if we keep the consistency then the times will start to come down."

Kirby Chambliss
"It's a good track, but we've got to try and figure out where to make some time up. The Vertical Turning Manoeuvre has to be set up correctly, but you also have to take some risk if you want to be fast. But we're confident going into tomorrow."

Petr Kopfstein
"We only got to fly the morning session, because the engine was running rough and we didn't get to fly the later session. We're really pleased with our time, we're where we want to be. I think there's a chance we could get a 58s lap, but it will be tough."

Yoshihide Muroya
"The track is a great set up. I think I can shave a little bit more time off. We want to stay the same all week. We've been talking and we've been saying as a team that consistency is key."

Peter Podlunsek
"To be the first one in the track is never easy and I'm hoping to be better. It's a really tough track and there is one turn that if you get wrong, you'll be out of the competition."