Dominique Aegerter had to settle for third place on Friday in Portugal, but thanks to his top physical condition he is looking forward with confidence to the races at what is probably the most demanding track on the calendar.
Round nine of the season began with the best weather conditions. Bright sunshine and temperatures in the region of 25 degrees warmed the spirits of everyone who had travelled to the south of Portugal after having cold days in the central part of Europe.
However, the results after the first day at Portimao’s "roller coaster" presented an unusual picture: After Dominique Aegerter dominated all the practice sessions most recently in Barcelona, he ended up in third place overall on Friday at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve behind two "next generation bikes". Both Niki Tuuli from Finland aboard an MV Agusta and Italian rider Stefano Manzi (Triumph) got off to a flying start to the weekend, while championship leader Aegerter set fifth fastest lap time in FP1. However, with a little more wind in the afternoon, it was the 32-year-old Swiss who soon took the lead on the time screen and was only caught by the two aforementioned rivals in the closing minutes.
The first race of the weekend will start on Saturday afternoon at 16:15 CET. As usual, there will be a live stream on ServusTV.com. The starting grid will be determined in Superpole from 11:25 to 11:45 CET, which will also be live-streamed.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha, Yamaha YZF R6)
FP1: P5 - 1´44.709 / FP2: P3 - 1´44.364
"It is really nice to be back here in Portimao at this beautiful track, even though the layout is incredibly demanding. Even with the 600cc Supersport bike, consistently wheelieing requires a lot of physical effort. For this track you really have to be in top shape physically wise to be able to ride consistently fast. In the morning we started in fifth and in FP2 we improved to third place, just 0.1 seconds behind the day's best lap time. Apart from the tight gaps, the competition is incredibly balanced with four different manufacturers in the top four. That promises a lot of excitement for the rest of the weekend. I think a front row start will be therefore very important this time, and we will give our 110 percent for that tomorrow morning."
"The weather could not be nicer, although it is very hot out on the track. And it is supposed to stay that way on Saturday and Sunday as well. So, the race distance with 18 laps will be very demanding. Nevertheless, our goal remains the same, that we want to extend our lead in the standings, even though the races promise to be very exciting because there is also a very long straight here. So, you can expect some slipstream duels, like last year with five, six or even up to seven riders. That is also backed up by today's lap times, that we will see six, seven riders on the list who can fight for the podium or even for the win."
#PRTWorldSBK - WorldSSP Combined Free Practice Times (FP1/FP2):
1 Niki TUULI / FIN / MV Agusta Reparto Corse / MV Agusta F3 800 RR / 1´44.260 (FP2)
2 Stefano MANZI / ITA / Dynavolt Triumph / Triumph Street Triple RS / 1´44.330 +0.070 (FP2)
3 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Ten Kate Racing Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / 1´44.364 +0.104 (FP2)
#PRTWorldSBK - WorldSSP Time Schedule for Saturday October 8th (CET):
11:25 - 11:45 Superpole
16:15 Race 1 (18 Laps - 82.656 km)