For Dominique Aegerter, the 2023 season ended with the fulfilment of a dream. The 33-year-old Swiss was on the podium twice on Sunday in Jerez de la Frontera.
Dominique Aegerter started the final race day of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship just as strongly as in practice sessions the day before, finishing third in warm-up. But in Superpole, bad luck seemed to stick to his heels when his Yamaha superbike suddenly emitted a huge cloud of smoke, after which the red flag was shown. In the time it took the marshals to clear the track of fluids, Aegerter's crew did a nimble and clean job, getting his race bike ready to go again by the restart.
Over the distance, which was shortened to eight laps, Aegerter followed the newly crowned world champion Alvaro Bautista like a shadow and celebrated his first podium finish in the top-class World Superbike Championship in second place at the line. Second in Superpole Race, Aegerter was also able to start the second main race of the weekend, the season’s final showdown, from second on the grid. He made an exemplary start from the front row and led the field for one lap. Aegerter was then quickly passed by top stars Jonathan Rea, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista. He then was the first chaser and observer of a fierce duel at the front between Bautista and Razgatlioglu before, after 20 laps, he was able to take another trophy on the podium for third place for the second time on this unforgettable day in front of a fantastic backdrop of thousands of enthusiastic fans.
With this strong finish to the season, Aegerter also achieved his season goal of finishing the championship in eighth place among the top 10. The new season already begins with a two-day test at the Circuito de Jerez with the first preparations for 2024.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK, Yamaha YZF R1)
Startplatz 2 / Superpole-Race: P2 / Startplatz 2 / Rennen 2: P3
"It was an indescribably nice feeling to have achieved my first WorldSBK podium. We worked very hard for it. Everyone, starting with my crew, the whole team, the Pirelli people and also the suspension specialists from Öhlins, played their part in this success and did a fantastic job. But also, my support staff and my coaches back home in Switzerland, as well as all the sponsors. The season was not without problems. We started strong, but then I had problems with arm-pump syndrome, and also my shoulder hurt for a long time after a race crash. But when I crossed the finish line in second place this morning, a big weight fell off my shoulders. I was very close behind Bautista the whole time. At one point I even thought I could catch him. But my first podium was more important to me, and so I brought it safely to the line. It was a very emotional moment for me."
"It was my goal to be on the podium. Originally, I wanted to achieve that by the halfway stage of the season. But it took until this weekend. It is not just about the two podiums today, I think it was our best weekend this season, even though we had some bad luck yesterday. In the end I scored a lot of points for the championship and finished eighth overall. It was really a nice conclusion to an unforgettable season. The weather was beautiful, and the fans were great. Today there is just a little party and tomorrow a day to rest, because on Tuesday and Wednesday the new season starts with a test. And next weekend there will be the «Domi Fighters Racing Party» where we will finish this season in a proper way. But before that, once again my thanks to everyone!"
#ESPWorldSBK - Superpole:
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Auruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 1´38.635
2 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / 1´38.845 +0.210
3 Alex LOWES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR / 1´38.905 +0.270
#ESPWorldSBK - Superpole-Race (8 Laps):
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 13´25.903
2 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / +1.487
3 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR / +3.124
#ESPWorldSBK - Race 2 (20 Laps):
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 33´42.679
2 Toprak RAZGATLIOGLU / TUR / Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / +0.018
3 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / +0.321
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Ducati / 628
2 Toprak RAZGATLIOGLU / TUR / Yamaha / 552
3 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki / 370
8 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Yamaha / 163