Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4, two seconds behind Muroya at 1:00.454. Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer was third after a pylon hit, and American Kirby Chambliss finished fourth.
Earning 15 World Championship points with the victory, Muroya jumped up 10 places in the overall standings, to third behind Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic (21 points) and Dolderer (16). The result was especially meaningful because the next stop of the season is in Muroya’s home skies of Chiba, Japan – where he earned his first Red Bull Air Race win in 2016.
“I’m quite happy. We had a very hard time at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve been working really hard for months,” said Muroya, who had an over-G penalty at the 2017 kickoff. “My crew and my family have been helping a lot to help us get more stable and consistent, and I thank them.
“The next race in Japan is going to be a big one, and it’s an important step forward to win here as I head to my home country. It’s a huge crowd and pressure for me, but I will have fun there.”
In the day’s earlier action, 2016 Challenger Cup winner Florian Bergér of Germany earned his first Challenger Class win of the season.
For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Results Master Class San Diego:
1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 2. Peter Podlunšek (SLO), 3. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 5. Martin Šonka (CZE), 6. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 8. Michael Goulian (USA), 9. Matt Hall (AUS), 10. Pete McLeod (CAN), 11. Juan Velarde (ESP), 12. François Le Vot (FRA), 13. Mikaël Brageot (FRA), 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI).
World Championship standings after two races: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE) 21 points, 2. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 16 pts, 3. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 15 pts, 4. Juan Velarde (ESP) 12 pts, 5. Peter Podlunšek (SLO) 12 pts, 6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 10 pts, 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 10 pts, 8. Michael Goulian (USA) 8 pts, 9. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 7 pts, 10. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 5 pts, 11. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 4 pts, 12. François Le Vot (FRA) 3 pts, 13. Matt Hall (AUS) 3 pts, 14. Mikaël Brageot (FRA) 2 pts.