Aegerter on adapting to WorldSBK: "Braking from over 300km/h is something I need to get used to!"

Thursday, 2 February 2023 09:32 GMT

The two-time WorldSSP Champion is making the step up to WorldSBK for 2023 and revealed the big challenges he is facing between WorldSSP and WorldSBK

With the majority of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heading to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for two days of testing, it gave Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) his third test on the Yamaha YZF R1 machine and his second in dry conditions. Portimao is the second venue he has ridden his new machine at after the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto and there were new challenges for Aegerter to face during the test.

The 2021 and 2022 WorldSSP Champion finished in 15th place on Day 2 after posting a best lap time of 1’40.844s, around six tenths slower than teammate Remy Gardner with the Australian in seventh place. With new components to try, such as linkage, a swingarm and seating positions, Aegerter was busy throughout the test as he rode his Yamaha R1 machine for the first time at Portimao. Speaking after the test, he explained the testing programme he had in Portugal.

Aegerter said: “A fantastic track here at Portimao but a really demanding one… with the big bike, and a lot of power, to brake from over 300km/h is something I need to get used to! We tried many things. On the bike, electronics, tyre wise but I think we could not take the full potential out of the SCQ tyre. We got some good information to work on, some basic setups that we can have for the season. We tried some different riding positions and the things that Yamaha gave us to try.”

The Portimao circuit offers different challenges to Jerez, where Aegerter had tested twice before, thanks to its undulating layout which features blind corners, fast turns and heavy braking zones. Aegerter expanded on the extra challenges he faced at the circuit which he knew from his time in WorldSSP but had never ridden it in WorldSBK.

He added: “When I tried it for the first time, you have different lines, different brake markers. This track is really difficult to discover because it’s also up and down with blind corners, and it’s wide. There are different lines you can use. Still struggling a little bit to find the best lines, the fastest lines, but the team tried to help me a lot. Here, we didn’t get as close as we did at Jerez. I think Jerez was a good two days. I think it’s everywhere a little bit. Here, at Portimao, it was the braking entry because you have many corners where you arrive with banking and you stop with banking. This is a point I didn’t like too much. Also, the fast corners where you’re just rolling off the throttle to get a better turning.”

Watch Aegerter’s rookie season unfold in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!