Aegerter on the podium after a great battle in Portimão
Dominique Aegerter finished third in Portimão after an exciting race. The Ten Kate Racing Yamaha rider extended his leading position in the World Supersport championship to 68 points. Galang Hendra Pratama crossed the finish line after the first race in twenty-second place.
This weekend the final European round of the World Supersport championship is taking place at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão. Dominique Aegerter had never raced the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha R6 on this challenging circuit before, but managed to make quick progress during practice. Aegerter set the second fastest time in qualifying, just 0.018 seconds off pole position. It meant that the Swiss rider was able to qualify on the front row of the grid for the seventh time in a row. Galang Hendra Pratama also managed to make steps forwards in every session, but this didn’t result in any gains in terms of positions. Hendra Pratama set the twenty-fifth time in Superpole.
In the first race Aegerter took the lead, but a large leading group stayed together. The wind was strong and it was hot, so the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha rider couldn’t ride his pace of Friday. Aegerter rode in the middle of the leading group, which consisted of seven riders. In the closing stages of the race the Swiss rider managed to gain a few places and finished third. This meant the ninth consecutive podium for Aegerter in a World Supersport race. Hendra Pratama was unfortunately not able to make up many positions during the race and finished in twenty-second place.
In the championship, Aegerter is now 68 points ahead of the number two. This means that he cannot become champion yet in tomorrow’s second race. Hendra Pratama is eighteenth in the standings with 24 points. The second World Supersport race in Portimão will start Sunday afternoon at 12:30 local time.
Dominique Aegerter: “It was a difficult race. There was a lot of wind with warm temperatures. I couldn’t ride the pace of Friday during the free practice sessions. It was a nice fight with many riders. Third place is certainly not bad and I increased my leading position in the championship, but I expected a bit more from this race. I want to thank the team for their hard work. Tomorrow we will go for it again and try to fight for the victory.”
Galang Hendra Pratama: “It was a tough race. I had a good start, but I got stuck in the middle of the pack at the first corner. I tried to recover after that moment, but had a hard time with the strong wind. I did everything I could, but it was not my best race. I’m going to do everything I can to ride a better race tomorrow!”
Team manager Kervin Bos: “We have extended our lead in the championship again. P3 is a good result, but after so many victories you almost get mixed feelings. But that is absolutely not fair. We are clearly struggling in the third sector. We miss track time at Portimão, so this circuit is high on our test list for this winter. Dominique rode with his head and we are more than satisfied with this result. Galang had a difficult race, but we have to try to keep the spirit high with him as well!”
Aegerter fifth in second WorldSSP race in Portimão
Ten Kate Racing Yamaha didn’t have an easy weekend at the circuit of Portimão. Despite that, Dominique Aegerter managed to score important points in the second World Supersport race with a fifth place. Galang Hendra Pratama came home in twenty-first place.
Dominique Aegerter finished third in the first World Supersport race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão. Galang Hendra Pratama ended in twenty-second place. On Sunday afternoon the second race of the weekend was scheduled. Aegeter started from the front of the pack in second place, whilst Hendra Pratama had to start the race from the eighth row of the grid.
After it had rained in the morning, the track was almost dry at the start of the race. The riders were on slick tyres. Aegerter had a good start and was often at the front of the leading group, which consisted of eight riders. In the second half of the race, the Swiss rider dropped back a little and on the penultimate lap he lost contact with the front by braking too late in the first corner. Aegerter finished in fifth place, which gave him important points for the championship. For Hendra Pratama, it was another difficult race. After a good start the Indonesian rider managed to gain a few places, but couldn’t move up from there. Hendra Pratama finished in twenty-first place.
Aegerter now has a 54-point lead in the championship, as the number two in the championship Steven Odendaal won the race. Hendra Pratama is eighteenth in the standings. There are four races to go and 100 points on the table. Both World Supersport events are held outside Europe. The next races are from 15 to 17 October at Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina. Ten Kate Racing Yamaha will not race with Hendra Pratama because he cannot enter the country due to visa problems. The team is still looking for a replacement rider for this round. Hendra Pratama will return on the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha R6 for his home round in Indonesia.
Dominique Aegerter: “I had a good start and was fighting for the victory. It was a big group of about eight riders. The pace was not high because Odendaal’s strategy was to keep the group together. I tried to get in front in order to increase the pace, but kept getting passed every time. In the closing stages, I went slightly off track and lost the connection. The goal was to fight for the win, but it didn’t happen this time since a long time. We need to find out why. We still have a good lead in the championship and I’m looking forward to the races in Argentina and Indonesia!”
Galang Hendra Pratama: “It was another very tough race. I had a good start and was close to the top fifteen guys. I couldn’t find a place to overtake. I had a gap to the riders in front of me and finished outside the top twenty. Now the European rounds are done. I’m already looking forward to my home race in Indonesia!”
Team manager Kervin Bos: “Mixed feelings about today. After seven races, we’re not on the podium. From the start of the weekend we had more problems in Portimão than what we hoped for. Especially in the third sector. But if you finish third and fifth in a difficult weekend, you just have to be satisfied. We are still in a good position in the championship. We are looking forward to the races in Argentina. Unfortunately without Galang, as he cannot join us there due to visa problems. We will see Galang again at his home round in Indonesia.”