Not only finishing his debut weekend in Superbike World Championship as the best rookie in the second main race, Dominique Aegerter was also close to causing a tangible surprise in the sprint race.
After a rainy Saturday afternoon at Phillip Island, located two hours in the south of Melbourne, the skies cleared over the small island from Sunday lunchtime at the latest, giving Superbike class almost perfect conditions for the sprint race and the second main race of the weekend.
Dominique Aegerter showed a great performance in the so-called Superpole race. From third on the starting grid, he got off to a very good start and was able to hold his own in the leading group until the fifth lap. His team mate Remy Gardner, however, slightly missed his braking point before the hairpin and was unable to prevent contact with Aegerter. Fortunately, both remained uninjured.
Due to the retirement, Aegerter had to tackle the afternoon race from tenth on the grid. This time, too, the Yamaha rider got off to a useful start, but slipped back to twelfth place in the wild crush of the first lap. There he had to deal first with Michael van der Mark and later with the Italian Danilo Petrucci, who both have a lot of experience and therefore very often had an answer to Aegerter's attacks ready. After Aegerter was stuck in midfield for a while, he was later able to prevail over Petrucci and even relegate multiple world champion Jonathan Rea by one position on the last lap. Aegerter eventually saw the chequered flag in seventh place.
The second event of the season will take place in a week at the Indonesian island of Lombok.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK, Yamaha YZF R1)
Grid Position: 3rd / Superpole-Race: NC / Grid position: 10th / Race 2: P7
"I am happy how things went during my first weekend as a World Superbike rider. I have been waiting a long time to get this experience. Apart from that, I have also learned a lot again over the past three days. As far as the conditions are concerned, there was everything a race weekend can offer. On Friday it was very hot and on Saturday we had a rain race where we scored a few points. The sprint race, this morning was also a completely new challenge for me. Also, it was about managing the races well over 22 laps, which is not a given with the powerful Superbike at this track."
"There were also some emotions involved. Especially in Superpole, which I finished third, and in the Superpole race, when I crashed in fifth. That was doubly unfortunate because I think we could have fought for a really strong result this morning. So then, in the afternoon we had to start the second main race from a bit further back in the midfield, and we saw how important a good grid position is. Nevertheless, I finished seventh, and that is my goal for the first races. For now, top-10 results are in line with my expectations."
#AUSWorldSBK - Superpole-Race (10 Laps):
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 15´14.958
2 Michael Ruben RINALDI / ITA Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / +2.462
3 Toprak RAZGATLIOGLU / TUR / Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / +3.060
NC #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1
#AUSWorldSBK - Race 2 (22 Laps):
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 33´40.779
2 Michael Ruben RINALDI / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / +6.191
3 Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA / Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / +9.099
7 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1 / +14.316
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Ducati / 62
2 Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA / Yamaha / 34
3 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki / 31
11 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Yamaha / 12