Japan's Yoshi Muroya blitzed the field in San Diego on Sunday to score his second ever win in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Muroya defeated Slovakian Peter Podlunsek, Germany's Matthias Dolderer and American Kirby Chambliss in the Final 4 round.
Despit having qualified fourth, Australian Matt Hall failed to progress past the Round of 14 and was classified ninth
Muroya qualified 10th, pitting him against Canadian ace Pete McLeod in the Round of 14, clocking a 0.59.280 to beat his rival by half a second. Muroya then went on to defeat Czech racer Martin Sonka in the Round of 8.
His 0:58.529 in the Final 4 was too fast for his rivals to overcome.
"I'm quite happy – we had a very hard time in Abu Dhabi and we've been working really hard for months," Muroya said. "We were very consistent from Free Practice 1. We set a very good pace and we kept it. We just stuck with the same lines and the same tactics.
"This is a bit different than Chiba last year [his first win]. This is my second win and we've been getting stronger."
For Matt Hall it was his first hit-out in his new Extra 540, but he came up against a rampaging Podlunsek in the Round of 14. Hall's 0:59.672 was sixth fastest in the round, but not enough to beat Podlunsek, who went on to take second place.
"It's disappointing because we thought we had a chance to be on the podium," Hall said, "but we came here knowing we had a new plane. What we're happy about is we're flying it nicely and I think I was still competitive.
"We did a good race and Peter did a better race, and that's racing."
Hall concedes that he and his team will take time to get used to the new aeroplane, which he had to acquire after the MXS-R he flew to second place in the championship suffered a major structural failure last year.
"This whole year there is a lot of development we've got to do." he said. "It's a year of learning. At the moment it's all about learning to operate the new plane nicely. Basically it's a factory aircraft and we have a long list of things to do – it's going to take time, money and training.
"We're looking at a six-month development program and our objective as a team is to have an aircraft we can win races in. We'll be there by the end of the year, I think. The first part is to learn to operate the aircraft up to its limits."
Martin Sonka leads the current championship standings on 21 points with Dolderer second on 16 and Muroya third on 15. Matt Hall is 13th having collected only three points from the two races so far.
The next round is in Chiba, Japan, 3-4 June 2017.