WorldSBK Donington: Aegerter equals record with WorldSSP win

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Dominique Aegerter strengthened his WorldSSP title defence with another victory on the Ten Kate Yamaha at Donington Park on Sunday.

A typical late-race battle between the Swiss rider and Lorenzo Baldassarri saw the Evan Bros. rival dispatched to second once again with Aruba Ducati’s Nicolo Bulega completing the celebrations in third.

Sunday’s Supersport action kicked off without Jules Cluzel after the Frenchman sustained breaks in both feet and a dislocated shoulder in a monster highside in race one. MTM Kawasaki’s Adrian Huertas suffering a Goddards crash on the sighting lap as he made his way to the starting line.

Saturday afternoon’s winner Aegerter commanded the grid ahead of the full 19-lap battle with Andrea Locatelli’s nine consecutive victories target now in sight.

Lights out and Aegerter maintained his control from Bulega and Kawasaki’s Can Öncü. Puccetti teammate Yari Montella crashing out after contact with EAB’s Glenn van Straalen as Althea’s Federico Caricasulo stormed through to fourth.

Bulega was in the lead on lap two as Dynavolt Triumph’s Hannes Soomer captured fourth from the second Panigale V2. Bahattin Sofuoglu the next to crash with Tom Booth-Amos doing likewise.

Caricasulo quickly regrouped and was into the final podium position, from fifth, next time around as Öncü dropped down to seventh. Van Straalen ending his race early with his second crash of the weekend.

Baldassarri was hunting down the podium trio as lap five fired up. Öncü the next through on Soomer with Orelac Ducati’s Raffaele de Rosa, the second Triumph of Stefano Manzi, Huertas and GMT94’s Andy Verdoia completing the early top ten. Wildcard rider Harry Truelove retiring from the race after a non-start on Saturday.

A 1’30.887 fastest lap of the race for Baldassarri saw the Evan Bros. Yamaha just half a second off the podium with six laps dispatched. Bulega a similar gap out front before Aegerter and the two pursuing Italians began to reel him in.

Further back Soomer was struggling as teammate Manzi became the next to scalp him for seventh. The Italian quickly dispatching de Rosa’s Ducati for a top five position shortly after with three seconds to bridge to the leading quartet.

Aegerter dropped to fourth as Caricasulo and Baldassarri stormed through on the defending champion, an all-Italian podium beckoning. VFT’s Marcel Brenner the next to fall after a battle with Soomer, with the Estonian returning to pitlane after the incident.

Caricasulo was on the wheels of Bulega at the halfway stage with Baldassarri likewise just a tenth as the leading battle intensified. Kyle Smith crashing the second VFT out of the top ten as Goddards claimed its latest victim.

The number seven was through to second as lap eleven concluded with Aegerter denying the Althea further and relieving him of a podium position down the home straight as the next lap began. Caricasulo running wide at the loop two laps later as he was forced to settle for fourth.

Less than half a second covered the leading trio with five laps to go as the battle continued to rage. Baldassarri taking charge one lap later with a move on Bulega through the Old Hairpin with Aegerter desperate to follow.

The Ducati was dropped to third at the Melbourne loop as the usual Yamaha battle for dominance played out in the final three laps. Aegerter beginning the penultimate revolution in control after a replica move next time around and claiming a fastest lap in the process.

The typical late-race charge saw the Swiss rider pull a three-tenth gap within a matter of corners to equal the record he was striving for by over a second at the flag. Baldassarri and Bulega completing the podium from Caricasulo while Manzi picked off De Rosa for fifth in the closing stages.

A late move promoted Huertas up to seventh after his less than auspicious start, with Öncü, Verdoia and CM Racing’s Simon Jespersen rounding out the top ten.

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