SBK - Superbike World Championship

10/17/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/17/2021 12:15

The power of the rookie: Aegerter wraps up 2021 WorldSSP title in Argentina

Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter became the second consecutive rookie to win the Championship and took Ten Kate Racing back to the top of WorldSSP

There are now two Swiss riders in the FIM Supersport World Championship who will go down as Champions of the class as Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) joining Randy Krummenacher in the history books, their two titles just two years apart after Aegerter, as a rookie, took the Championship by storm to wrap up the title with three races to spare after claiming NTH place at the Circuito San Juan Villicum during the Motul Argentinean Round.

Aegerter followed in the footsteps of 2020 Champion Andrea Locatelli, now riding for Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK, by moving over from the Moto2™ paddock and adapting instantly to the category. For Aegerter, it marked a huge change after a decade of competing in Moto2™ from 2010 to 2019, plus four 2020 appearances, where he claimed a best Championship position of fifth on two occasions; in 2013 and 2014. A switch to the MotoE™ World Cup for 2020, and 2021, proved dividends for the Swiss rider as he fought for the title on both occasions with third in his debut season and second in 2021, a year he dovetailed with WorldSSP.

Aegerter's first round in WorldSSP came at MotorLand Aragon, a circuit he knew well from his time in Moto2™ and he claimed second place in Race 1 before fifth in Race 2, a solid start to his Championship campaign but the rider who would turn out to be his main rival, Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha team) was starting the campaign just like Locatelli did for the same team in 2020. Two wins in Aragon, plus one at the Circuito Estoril a week later, meant the South African rider had a 31-point lead over Aegerter after two rounds, with Aegerter claiming fourth in Race 1 at Estoril.

Estoril, however, was the scene of Aegerter's first victory in WorldSSP as he claimed Race 2 honours by just 0.375s ahead of 2021's surprise package, Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) and, with Odendaal retiring, the gap in the Championship had become just six points. That was the start of five consecutive wins for Aegerter including Race 1 at Misano where he led every lap from pole position. Race 2 at Misano was a different affair with Odendaal leading every lap, but a three-second time penalty for not taking his Long Lap Penalty for track limits infringements mean he was demoted down to fifth with Aegerter claiming victory.

The TT Circuit Assen was up next for the WorldSSP paddock and, again at a venue he knew well from his decade in Moto2™, Aegerter made that count with another double victory to make it five-in-a-row, only the second rider to achieve such a feat in WorldSSP after Locatelli managed nine consecutive victories the year before. His run of victories ended with fourth in Race 1 on WorldSSP's first visit to the Autodrom Most, a race that was won by Odendaal to cut the gap from 44 points to 32 points, although it was back up to 37 points after Aegerter's Race 2 victory.

Another new venue provided the WorldSSP teams riders with more challenges at the Circuito de Navarra but Aegerter rose to it impeccably with two more victories, taking his win tally to nine for the campaign and taking his lead in the Championship to 47 points before WorldSSP headed to France and Magny-Cours. A win and a second place, the latter in a restarted Race 2 after sustaining bike damage in a crash on the opening lap of the original race, extended the Swiss rider's lead to 62 points ahead of the Catalunya Round. With the MotoE™ title decider on the same weekend as the Catalunya Round, Aegerter was forced to miss the WorldSSP match-up which gave Odendaal a chance to take out a huge chunk of points but it turned out to be an opportunity missed for the South African as he claimed eighth and seventh in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively, the former after a pit time intervention penalty, meaning Aegerter still had a 45-point lead over Odendaal.

Aegerter returned to action at Jerez for the Spanish Round, an event which would feature just one race following the tragic passing of Dean Berta Viñales in a WorldSSP300 race on Saturday, with WorldSSP's sole race on Sunday won by Aegerter; the Swiss rider dedicating his victory to Berta Viñales, his friends and family. The results from the WorldSSP race at Jerez meant Aegerter headed into the Portuguese Round with a 62-point lead advantage over Odendaal.

With the visit to Portimao marking the end of the triple-header, Aegerter had a slim chance of wrapping up the title but third place in Race 1, coupled with Odendaal's sixth place, meant the points gap wasn't enough for the title to be secured in Race 2. The gap then came down after an enthralling Race 2 at the rollercoaster as Aegerter finished in fifth place while his title rival won the race, with the gap at 54 points heading into Argentina.

In Race 1 at San Juan, Aegerter finished in fifth place, directly behind his title rival, with the gap reduced to 52 points but the probabilities were still high in Aegerter's favour heading into Race 2. A Turn 1 crash dropped the South African rider to the back of the grid and a second crash, at Turn 15, forced Odendaal out of the race, with Aegerter clinching the Championship crown with a podium finish as he came home in third.

Join the conversation on social media and congratulate Aegerter on becoming World Champion using the hashtag #DomiFighter!

Re-watch some of Aegerter's season-defining races from 2021 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!