Aegerter and Odendaal Share Spoils in All-Action Estoril WorldSSP Races
Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter took an emotional first FIM Supersport World Championship victory in an action-packed Race 2 from Circuito Estoril, ahead of bLU cRU graduate Luca Bernardi of CM Racing, with Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal making it two victories for Yamaha after his win on Saturday.
After just missing out on a podium finish in the first race from Estoril, where he came home in fourth, Aegerter had work to do on Sunday having initially dropped back from his fifth-place grid start. The Swiss rider made his way back through the tightly contested lead group, which covered the top 10 riders for much of the 18-lap race, and by the 12th lap Aegerter was running in the podium places.
Over the next three laps, the Ten Kate Yamaha rookie had moved from third to lead the race, following a late braking manoeuvre into Turn 1. After briefly losing the lead, Aegerter got back ahead when a rival ahead fell, and from there he powered his way to take a maiden WorldSSP victory, dedicating it to compatriot Jason Dupasquier, the Moto3 rider who had sadly passed away earlier this morning. Aegerter finished ahead of 2018 bLU cRU rider Bernardi, who was taking part in only his second WorldSSP weekend.
Evan Bros Yamaha’s Odendaal took his third consecutive victory on Saturday, which was another thrilling contest, and headed into Sunday’s race looking to make it four in a row. The South African battled for the lead throughout, but a mechanical issue on the final lap saw him come into the pits, seeing his healthy championship lead cut to just six points, ahead of Aegerter.
In only his second race weekend with the ParkinGO Yamaha squad, Manuel Gonzalez battled amongst the lead group in both races at the Portuguese venue. At just 18-years-old, the Spaniard showed experience beyond his years, making his way from 10th to finish fourth in the second race, having climbed to fifth in Saturday’s opener.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel had a mixed second round at Estoril. Having taken his 55th WorldSSP career podium with a battling ride to third on Saturday, the Frenchman was once again in the lead group for Race 2. However, on the final lap, while running inside the top five, Cluzel fell at Turn 1, recovering to 12th at the finish.
It was another consistent race weekend for Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer, who finished a strong fifth on Sunday, backing up his eighth-place result in Race 1 to leave Estoril with a solid haul of points.
Pole-sitter Federico Caricasulo endured disappointing races across the weekend, with the GMT94 Yamaha falling from third in the opener, eventually finishing 12th, while the Italian slipped back to sixth by the chequered flag in Race 2.
Vertti Takala, riding for the Kallio Racing Yamaha squad, made good progress throughout the weekend, going from 20th to finish 13th in Sunday’s race, having been 18th in the opener. Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama was 20th in Race 1 and 19th in Race 2, with Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Maria Herrera going 19th on Saturday and 20th on Sunday.
Dominique Aegerter: P4 & P1
Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team
“We had some sad new before the start, we heard that Jason Dupasquier passed away, a great Swiss talent. My condolences to his family, friends and team, I will dedicate my win to them. I pushed very hard in the race, and I want to say a big thanks to the team and sponsors because they did a great job to make sure we were here. We made a big step between Race 1 and Race 2 and now I just can’t wait to be back for the next one at Misano. I was fighting for the podium in the opening, but I waited a bit to long to my move. For today, my goal was to make my move whenever I had a chance to. It was a big fight between many riders and I’ll definitely be watching it back, I’m sure it was great for all the viewers.”
Steven Odendaal: P1 & DNF
Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team
“In Race 1, I was happy with the pace at the beginning, then I was overtaken. I saw Philipp was running a nice pace, so I decided to try and see if I could learn some things. With three laps to go, I knew I needed to make my move because I could see the others were right behind. If I hadn’t of made a move, I could have lost a podium altogether. I pushed to make the move, and in the final lap I managed to make it stick. In Race 2, I was lining up my move for first position on the last lap when unfortunately I had to retire due to a mechanical problem. This is racing and we will fight again for the victory in Misano.”