WorldSBK Donington: Eight in a row for Aegerter in WorldSSP

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Dominique Aegerter continued his domination of WorldSSP with his eighth victory in a row on Saturday at Donington Park.

Evan Bros. Yamaha’s Lorenzo Baldassarri was denied the spoils by half a second after leading the majority of the reduced race distance with the pair unstoppable once again. Orelac Verdnatura Ducati’s Raffaele de Rosa completed the podium after a late battle with Puccetti Kawasaki’s Yari Montella.

Aegerter headed the grid for Saturday’s 19-lap race with Bulega and Glenn van Straalen alongside on the front row. A delayed start saw Bulega grab the holeshot as the lights finally released the pack with Aegerter defending from Can Öncü as van Straalen dropped to fifth. A dramatic incident just four corners round saw Hannes Soomer off track as Peter Sebestyen highsided leaving Unai Orradre with nowhere to go and the race immediately red flagged due to track conditions. Wildcard Harry Truelove failing to start the initial action with Issac Vinales retiring in the opening stages on the DG34 Ducati.

After a quick restart, 12 laps were underway with Aegerter in command. Öncü through on Bulega fro second with van Straalen fighting for fourth from Baldassarri before the EAB dropped to seventh.

The Puccetti rider was into the lead as lap one concluded with the leading group of seven almost inseparable through Goddards. Bulega claiming second as Baldassarri demoted the Swiss rider further as the next lap played out.

GMT94 Yamaha’s Jules Cluzel and Montella bickered for fourth as Bulega crashed the Aruba Ducati out at the Melbourne loop, Baldassarri released into the lead at the start of lap three with the two Puccetti riders sitting third and fourth.

De Rosa was up to fifth from van Straalen and Cluzel with Federico Caricasulo hunting them down on the Althea Ducati. Stefano Manzi and Soomer ran ninth and tenth on the Dynavolt Triumphs before the pair took avoiding action as Cluzel highsided down the home straight next time around, the drama promoting Kyle Smith to eighth on the VFT Yamaha.

Six to go and Caricasulo suffered but saved his own moment on the edge of the leading group, the Italian battling for sixth before van Straalen took the position back and the Althea slid out at turn four.

Aegerter was back in charge with four to go as Baldassarri fought to stay on the wheels of his fellow Yamaha. Montella running third from de Rosa and van Straalen as Öncü faded in sixth. The Dynavolt duo were up to seventh and eighth as the race hit two-thirds distance with CM Racing’s Simon Jespersen demoting Smith to the back of the top ten.

A big moment for Montella opened the door for de Rosa as the Orelac Ducati swept through for the final podium position. Aegerter stretching his legs out front as the gap grew to half a second.

Montella dropped to fifth as the EAB found late race momentum. Baldassarri setting the fastest lap of the race as he looked to regroup but the Ten Kate maintained the advantage as the chequered flag prepared.

A disastrous late move saw van Straalen barrel roll through the gravel as he attempted to fight for the podium, Baldassarri and de Rosa completing the celebrations from a double team effort as Montella and Öncü led Manzi and Soomer across the line in the top seven. GMT94’s Verdoia, Jespersen and VFT’s Marcel Brenner headed Ducati’s Oli Bayliss home in 11th with MV Agusta’s Mattia Casadei, Ten Kate’s Leonardo Taccini, Smith and the second MV of Bahattin Sofuoglu collecting the last points on offer.

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