Although the WorldSBK rookie was able to study briefly the iconic Italian track in the racing Porsche three weeks ago, he had imagined a different start to the seventh race weekend of the season.
After a weekend of fresh conditions in Donington, England, things changed heavily with a heat wave has Emilia-Romagna firmly in its grip. Temperatures of up to 35 degrees and extremely high humidity are getting to everyone as the Italian Wolrd Championship round gets underway on Friday at the iconic circuit of Imola.
Dominique Aegerter knew the track not far from Bologna only from race footage and game consoles until a track day at a car event. Although the excursion with the Porsche at this time was not entirely in vain, the 32-year-old Swiss rider initially had difficulties with the technically demanding track layout. Many interruptions in the second practice session came at the expense of getting into a decent flow.
Aegerter and his crew in the GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team are now looking ahead to a busy FP3 on Saturday morning before heading into Superpole, which will decide the starting grid. The first main race of the weekend will start a little later at 14:00. In German-speaking countries, ServusTV is live on air, as is the stream on worldsbk.com.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (GYTR GTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team, Yamaha YZF R1)
FP1: P17 - 1´49.584 / FP2: P19 - 1´48.985
"The weekend started with a bit of a surprise. As I said, I was here three weeks ago to get to know the track, albeit with a race car. But with the Superbike, Imola presents itself completely different. So, I had to start from zero in terms of line selection and memorize the different braking points this morning. Also, the shifting points are very different. Apart from that, it was very hot today, which did not make things any easier. After a cautious start, we wanted to improve significantly in the afternoon. But the session was interrupted no less than three times with the red flag because the track was littered with stones after crashes."
"That was not helpful at all to get into a rhythm and set consistent lap times to understand how the bike works, including the electronics. Also, the last time my team was here was four years ago when the temperatures were nowhere near as hot. So, they had an extra job to do to work out a setup for this heat. We will now sit down and work hard to find a better solution that will allow me to ride reasonably in FP3. After that, it is straight into Superpole, where we will try to deliver a good qualifying. The race in the afternoon will be a hot affair."
#ITAWorldSBK - WSBK Combined Practice Times (FP1/FP2):
1 Michael Ruben RINALDI / ITA / Aruba.it Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 1´47.128 (FP2)
2 Alex LOWES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR / 1´47.279 +0.151 (FP2)
3 Garrett GERLOFF / USA / Bonovo action BMW / BMW M1000 RR / 1´47.454 +0.326 (FP2)
19 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1 / 1´48.895 +1.857 (FP2)
#ITAWorldSBK - WSBK Time Schedule for Saturday July 15th (CEST):
09:00 - 9:30 FP3
11:10 - 11:25 Superpole
14:00 Race 1 (19 Laps - 93.784 km)