Dominique Aegerter - Domi#77
I was born and grew up in Rohrbach, a small, tranquil village with around 1400 inhabitants in the upper Langenthal. Some describe us as Emmental, others as Oberaargau. This is because Rohrbach in the canton of Bern is located at the transition from Emmental to Oberaargau. I still live here with my parents and within sight of my brother. My roots are here. Here is my home.
Early on in my childhood I came into contact with all kinds of vehicles and engines. My father owned a car and motorcycle garage that he rented out today. I looked over his shoulders early on working and soon spent a lot of time in his workshop. So my interest in engines and technology was awakened very early. I was only three years old when my father gave me a small motorcycle. With that I roared around our house. The neighbors sometimes complained about the noise that sounded like music to my ears. At this point, once again, many thanks for your understanding and «sorry». So my development as a racing driver started early.
At the age of five, I drove in an official motocross racing series for the first time. I quickly celebrated regional and soon national successes in the children's classes and junior categories. In 2003 I switched to road racing and was seventh in the first race in the German ADAC Junior Cup, 15th in my first season in the overall classification and got into the 125cc class of the IDM (Internationale
German championship). I drove there until 2006, reached second place last year and became German runner-up.
During this time I was able to gain a lot of valuable experience in all areas and Olivier Métraux became aware of me through my work. He believed in me and my potential as a racing driver and promoted me strongly in the following 10 years. I owe it to him to become a GP driver. Thanks to him, I was able to contest the first two GPs in autumn 2006 and the first complete World Championship season in the Finnish "Ajo Motorsport Team" (125 cc / 16th place). By 2009, I had improved to 13th overall at Aki Ajo.
In spring 2010, thanks to Olivier Métraux, I started a new era in the "CareXpert-Interwetten" team with the promotion to the newly created Moto2 class. 2013 and 2014 consistently performed well at a high level with regular rankings in the "Top Ten" and in these two years I finished the Moto2 World Championship in 5th place. In 2014 I finished on the podium four times and celebrated my first GP victory at the German GP on the Sachsenring on July 13, 2014 - and I do everything I can to make sure it is not the only one.
In 2015 and 2016 I had the bad luck of injuries for the first time in my career. On September 27, 2015, I suffered serious back and hand injuries in an unintentional collision in the race at the Aragon (Sp) GP and had to end the season early. In 2016, injuries caused me to drop two races and I was only able to continue the season with pain that was almost unbearable.
For sporting and technical reasons, after long and thorough considerations, I decided to look for a new challenge, to part with Olivier Métraux with a very heavy heart, and to switch to a new racing team for the 2017 season. The decision was not an easy one for me, and for reasons that are still unclear to me, my previous team did not let me drive for the remaining four races of the year. Although I was only able to drive two thirds of the races in 2016, it was finally enough for the 12th World Cup final. I used the involuntary end of the season to make up for the top sports recruit school in Magglingen, which had previously been postponed several times. The contact with athletes from many other sports was enriching and broadened my horizons.
In 2017 I drove for the German "Kiefer Racing Team" of the brothers Stefan and Jochen Kiefer. I switched from Kalex back to the chassis from Eskil Suter, on which I had won in 2014 at the Sachsenring and felt very comfortable in the new environment. The collaboration between the bosses and the technicians was very professional and efficient in a family atmosphere. In San Marino I celebrated my second GP victory in a dramatic rain race in front of Tom Lüthi on September 10, 2017. Disqualification follows due to allegedly prohibited substances in the gear oil. Shortly afterwards, Stefan Kiefer died of a heart failure at the Malaysian GP, completely unexpectedly. For me, a world collapsed. Not only was he my boss and advisor, he had also become my friend. It took me a long time to get over this loss. After Stefan's death, our team lacked the orderly hand, yes the soul.
So 2018 was not a good year either. Throughout the year we have not been able to solve various technical problems satisfactorily. After an accident during enduro training, I got into a form crisis that I couldn't find out about and we ended our cooperation at the end of the season.
But giving up was out of the question for me. I managed to deal with the disappointment and I trained even more intensely in winter 2018/19. I found a new challenge with the new Italian team "MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward Racing". The Italians had retired from GP racing in 1977 and now with number 77 I got the chance to play an important role in the return to the World Cup. I felt very comfortable in this young team. But the technical difficulties in developing a new racing machine were enormous. At the end of the season it was only enough for the 22nd World Cup final, my weakest classification in the Moto2 World Championship. We could no longer agree on a continuation of our cooperation. The failure of these negotiations meant for me the temporary end of my presence in the Moto2 World Championship. But it wasn't the end of my career. For the first time since the Moto2 World Championship, I didn't have a contract in this class. But my rich racing experience and my track record enabled me to continue my career. By the start of the 2020 season, no other driver had contested as many Moto2 races (164) as I did, and I was number 5 in the "eternal ranking" of World Championship points. And so I got the "Liqui Moly Intact GP Team" in Germany signed a contract as a substitute driver for the Moto2 World Cup 2020 and drove the E-World Cup, the racing series with e-bikes, for this team. And in the Moto2 World Championship, I made three appearances as a substitute driver during the season and got one place in the World Championship (12th place).
Of course, I would have loved to return to the Moto2 World Championship in 2021. But unfortunately no possibility arose. That doesn't diminish my enormous motivation and my career continues. I will also be driving the E-World Cup in 2021. Working with this pioneering technology is fascinating, but with just seven races it cannot be full employment. After all, I am in my prime “racing driver age”. That's why I looked around for other possible uses.
In 2021 I will compete in the Supersport World Championship for the Dutch Ten Kate Team on a Yamaha. With this team I get the chance to drive for the world title and to become the second Supersport world champion from our country after Randy Krummenacher. The Supersport World Championship is driven on 600 four-stroke machines and is the second most important class in the “Superbike scene” after the Superbike World Championship, ie racing on near-series machines. These races do not have the same media attention as the “GP circus”. But because the machines are so close to series production, they are very important for motorcycle manufacturers and challenging for drivers. I'm looking forward to a demanding, exciting 2021 season and I'm more motivated than ever.
The virus crisis also hit our sport hard. Last season, after the start of the GP season in Qatar, the other races could only be held in Europe. All other racing series had to restrict their program as well. Nevertheless, it was possible to drive the various world championships under extremely difficult conditions. Usually to the exclusion of viewers. We have to expect that the races in 2021 can only be held under difficult conditions. However, the last season has shown that it is still possible to do international racing. But first, the health of all of us comes first.