On Sunday, Dominique Aegerter crowned himself as the new champion in the production-based 600 cc championship with a fine third place in Argentina.
A childhood dream came true for Dominique Aegerter on Sunday. The 31-year-old all-rounder in motorcycle racing won his first world championship this afternoon. Sunday's race in San Juan, Argentina, was his second match point in his mission to complete the series by winning the title. The season will end in four weeks with the meeting at the new circuit in Lombok, Indonesia.
However, the second race of the weekend at the penultimate stop of the FIM Supersport World Championship started with a scare when two opponents crashed in front of Aegerter shortly after the start. The incident innocently involved his only rival for the championship’s crown, South African rider Steven Odendaal. Odendaal, as well as trigger Manuel Gonzalez, however, were able to continue the race in a hopeless position, while Aegerter was able to avoid with great skills both riders but lost quite a few places in the process. The Yamaha rider of the Dutch Ten Kate Team came back from the opening lap only in ninth place, but quickly worked his way back to the front.
A few laps before the chequered flag, the title decision was practically decided when Odendaal crashed a second time during his attempt to recover as much as many positions and had to retire from the race. For Aegerter, however, this was a further incentive to fix the title win with a fine podium finish, his 14th this season. The rider from Rohrbach made up another position and celebrated the championship in style with a wheelie when he got the black-and-white chequered flag after 19 exhausting laps.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha, Yamaha YZF R6)
Race 2: P3
"The feelings of having won the first world championship title are overwhelming. It is still hard for me to realize it. I think it will not be until I get back to our box, where my team is waiting for me to celebrate this great achievement. I am so happy for them, as well as for my family and friends, without whose support I would never have gotten to this point. I cannot wait to get home and celebrate with them as well. I have spent 25 years of my life working towards this day and now I am a world champion. I have had to sacrifice a lot to reach this goal. It was not always easy times. But I never gave up holding on to my dream. Today I have made it. I am overjoyed!"
"I was a bit nervous before the race. I have to admit that honestly. But I managed to concentrate well and after we were able to improve the bike noticeably during warm-up, I pushed immediately when the lights went out at the start. I also got away well, but then I saw that Gonzales was pushing the limit a bit too hard on the inside. The result was that he got in contact with Odendaal, for which I feel sorry for him. Me, on the other hand, this action set me way back. Fortunately, I was able to avoid the two riders who fell in front of me. After this initial shock, however, I quickly regained my focus, which was to fight for the podium. And that was what I did in the end. I caught up quickly and overtook one after the other. My pace was much stronger than on Saturday, as well as my bike was significantly better."
"When I was racing in P4, I got the signal from my crew that this placement was okay. But for me, though, it was not so. Therefore, I pushed even harder. Four laps before the end I was shown that number 4 was out. After that, of course, the relief was great, and I was able to ride more freely and pushed a little harder to pull away from Niki Tuuli. The last laps were very emotional. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line knowing that I had won the championship. This season will remain unforgettable for me. Steven was an equal, as always fair opponent. He is a strong rider; we knew each other from Moto2. There have been some incredible fights on the track. It was always fun to fight for positions with him."
"Steven is in a good team. His bike was often faster than mine. But in the end, we became world champions, so we did everything right. I am super-happy to be working with the Ten Kate team. Since our first talks last November, I had a good feeling with them. Their mentality is very similar to ours in Switzerland. That certainly helped to settle in quickly. With every meeting, my trust grew, and I also quickly noticed how hard and professionally they work at Ten Kate. They are always very focused, although the whole team can also be incredibly fun. The mix of fun and hard work is always right there. So, I hope we will continue together next year and hopefully defend this title successfully. But for now, thanks to Ten Kate for everything that has been done for me this year. This thanks also goes to everyone else who believed in this project. This goes to all the sponsors of the team and to my personal ones, as well as to all the equipment suppliers and also to everyone who has supported us so greatly in this incredible season - THANK YOU, you are a great help. But now there is something great to celebrate. There will be more than just an espresso after dinner today, for sure."
#ARGWorldSBK - WorldSSP Race 2 (19 Laps):
1 Jules CLUZEL / FRA / GMT94 Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / 32´29.433
2 Can Alexander ÖNCÜ / TUR / Kawasaki Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-6R / +2.2157
3 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Ten Kate Racing Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / +7.682
1 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Yamaha / 381
2 Steven ODENDAAL / RSA / Yamaha / 313
3 Manuel GONZALES / SPA / Yamaha / 275