On Saturday afternoon, Dominique Aegerter fought doggedly for victory in his very first WorldSSP race.
30-year-old Dominique Aegerter almost managed a dream start at the opening round of the Supersport World Championship. Starting from fifth on the grid, it took only a few laps for the experienced Swiss rider to overtake some of the riders in front of him before he benefited from the crash of Frenchman Jules Cluzel and Finnish rider Niki Tuuli, taking over second place in the race. From then on, he followed Philipp Öttl, but this proved out to be a tough task. Finally, Aegerter found his way to pass the German rider and he also immediately opened a small gap. In the final stages of the race, however, South African rider Steven Odendaal became stronger and stronger. The final laps were therefore not for the faint of heart. Whilst Odendaal had advantages on the straights, Aegerter was not afraid of daring overtaking manoeuvres in the uphill section of the first section of the Aragon track. But when he crossed the finish line, the rider from Rohrbach had to admit defeat by a blink of an eye.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha, Yamaha YZF R6), Grid position 5th / Race 1: P2 +0.099:
"I am overjoyed because it was an almost perfect debut to this championship. Of course, I also benefited a little from the retirement of the leading riders although, I hope that nothing worse happened to Cluzel and Tuuli. Up to this point and also afterwards I had my dear trouble with Philipp Öttl. I think his bike is geared differently because it was almost impossible to get past him. Philipp was slower in the corners, but on the straights, he had the better top speed. So, the target for the second race on Sunday is clear as I have to overtake him as soon as possible and then I am sure that I can match the pace of Cluzel and Tuuli. These two riders were clearly the fastest today at least."
"In the last laps it was still a tough battle with Odendaal. His Yamaha is incredibly fast. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the speed at which he flew past me. Anyway, I was thinking about a strategy for the last lap along the long straight. I exited the chicane very well and I then stayed on the far left to fool him a little. But he was not fooled. The race win at the very first opportunity would have been something incredibly special, of course. But with 20 points we have made a great start anyway. That is the reward for the hard work of the entire team."
"Apart from that, I first have to understand this class better and find or adapt my rhythm. I have been a racer for a long time, but a change like this brings a lot of new things with it. Above all, I have to get to know the Pirelli tyres much better. During practice sessions you could see well that there are many riders capable of positing one very fast lap time. But in the race, you have to know how to deal with the drop of these tyres. Especially when asphalt temperatures reach values of up to 45 degrees or even more. Finally, a big thank you to my team, to all partners and sponsors, as well as to the track’s management that we are allowed to have our season opener this weekend despite the current situation with still many travel restrictions."
#AragonWorldSBK - WorldSSP Superpole:
1 Jules CLUZEL / FRA / GMT94 Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / 1´52.937
2 Niki TUULI / FIN / MV Agusta Corse Clienti / MV Agusta F3 675 / 1´53.335 +0.288
3 Philipp ÖTTL / GER / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 1´53.353 +0.416
5 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Ten Kate Racing Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / 1´53.553 +0.616
#AragonWorldSBK - WorldSSP Race 1 Classification:
1 Steven ODENDAAL / RSA / Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team / Yamaha YZF R6 / 28´53.622
2 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Ten Kate Racing Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / +0.099
3 Philipp ÖTTL / GER / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-6R / +2.635
1 Steven ODENDAAL / RSA / Yamaha / 25
2 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Yamaha / 20
3 Philipp ÖTTL / GER / Kawasaki / 16