"I never stopped believing!" – Baldassarri discusses WorldSSP title fight after `perfect’ weekend

Wednesday, 3 August 2022 06:43 GMT

Baldassarri gained 50 points on Aegerter throughout the Czech Round, leaving the gap between them at just 14 at the halfway stage of the season…

The title fight in the FIM Supersport World Championship took a huge twist during the Prosecco DOC Czech Round as Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) took 50 points out of Dominique Aegerter’s (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) Championship lead at the Autodrom Most. The Italian rookie claimed his first WorldSSP double in just the sixth round of his first campaign with the gap between the two in the standings now just 14 points.

Baldassarri was able to avoid the Turn 1, Lap 1 pile-up at the start of the race and found himself under no pressure for the rest of the race as he went on to take his first of two victories in the Czech Republic. Title rival Aegerter was caught up in the crash at Turn 1, which put the Swiss rider out of the race and allowed Baldassarri to cut his deficit to Aegerter from 64 points to 39.

Race 2 was a completely different story. While Aegerter was not allowed to race by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards, something he has since apologised for, Baldassarri had an opportunity to cut the gap further and he duly delivered. After falling behind Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team), Baldassarri kept the pressure on his fellow rookie before making the move for the lead just before the red flags were deployed as they started Lap 16.

Discussing his Most double, Baldassarri said: “It was a perfect weekend! On Saturday, we took a win and pole position and another win on Sunday. We needed it. From Friday, we were consistent. We have to continue like this, to stay focused, because Domi is very strong this year. The other bikes and competitors are arriving. We have to go on holidays. We know we are fast and can win, but the second half of the season will be interesting.”

After Aegerter’s run of consecutive wins came to an end in Race 1, with the Swiss rider winning nine in a row to join level with Andrea Locatelli, Baldassarri was able to capitalise by taking a maximum 50 points out of Aegerter’s Championship lead. The gap between the pair is just 14 points heading into the second half of the season, with six rounds and 12 races left in 2022.

Talking about the title fight, Baldassarri said: “I think it’s very important, what happened for me here. We have to approach the weekend like this weekend. Try to be as fast as possible. I thought at Misano, I could beat Domi but then the green and the problem with the gear. You go to Donington and, again, think you can win and don’t. It was hard to believe. I never stopped believing, never stopped working. This is a good attitude. Something can always happen because the Championship is long. I remember in 2017 in Moto2™, I won three races in a row. Everything seemed so easy and then it wasn’t a good season.”

Watch the WorldSSP title battle unfold throughout 2022 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!