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Moto2 Q&A - Dominique Aegerter

“It's important not just to go there because you want to be in MotoGP, you have to get the right deal or not go”- Dominique Aegerter.
Dominique Aegerter claimed his first grand prix win in a final turn showdown with Mika Kallio during Sunday's Sachsenring Moto2 race.

It completed a dream weekend for the Swiss rider, who had taken his first pole position the previous day.

Here the Technomag Suter rider talks about his breakthrough victory, after eight years of trying, reviews a recent MotoGP test for Avintia and looks ahead to the Suzuka 8 Hours...

Crash.net:
Hi Dominique, how's the hangover?

Dominique Aegerter:
(Laughs) Yes, I think my voice is just starting to come back!

We had quite a celebration on Sunday night but when we came back to my home village, we had a huge celebration there too. I think there are only 1,000 people who live there but yesterday I think we more than doubled that.

I live in a small place called Rohrbach and I flew in there by helicopter as the guest of honour and we had music, drink and food all night. I had to do a bit of public speaking about how I got my victory and it was all a bit crazy.

It was so good to give something back to all the people who had supported me because I'd been a bit unlucky four times this year and it was great to finally nail a victory. It was particularly sweet because of the bad times I'd had at the previous two races.

My family have put so much into my racing, my father and brother were also there and those last few laps must have been terrible suffering for them.

A lot of people had been doubting that I'd get that first victory or that the Suter could win and I think I proved them wrong in the best way. I showed that I could fight with the best people in the world and win.

Crash.net:
When was your last big win?

Dominique Aegerter:
Well, to me my second place in Jerez was already like a win but in terms of a championship race, wow it's a long time ago. Maybe in the German championship in 2006 or something. But nothing since then when riding in the world championships.

Crash.net:
What were your expectations before the race?

Dominique Aegerter:
I was nearly certain that Mika and I had the best rhythm for the race because of our pace throughout the weekend and I thought it would be between me and him.

I felt that if we could both make a good start then we'd both get away from the group and take it from there. When I was following him he was going at a really strong pace and my problem was that he didn't make a single mistake all the time I was following him.

I had to push for each and every lap and I have to say that I couldn't go much faster and could only follow. When he overtook me on the third or fourth lap I just thought 'I need to stay behind him keep his pace and I'll catch him at the end.'

It was a difficult race because he was faster than me in places and in others like the downhill I was a little faster and could get back on his tail again, it was always like this with small gains and losses. I could never breathe or relax. It was a tough race because I was at full, maximum every lap. It was a hard race both physically and mentally.

It may have been a little harder for Mika though because he was leading and I sometimes had a bit of slipstream so for some small moments I was able to back off a little more than him.

Our pace was very high because when you look at the other riders they were some ten seconds behind us so I think we were really on it.

Crash.net:
Was the strategy to always take Mika at the end of the race?

Dominique Aegerter:
It's difficult to say, because I was faster than him in some places and he was faster than me in others.

When I overtook him two or four laps before the end I actually tried to make a little gap on him, but he was so fast that it was impossible and he eventually got me back so it was really just a matter of getting him where I could. If I could have just passed him and moved forwards I would have done but his speed meant that I had to get him where I could.

At the last corner I just needed to make sure that I covered all the racing lines because I knew that the finish line was quite early so I knew he couldn't slipstream me. From that last corner I knew I had it.

Crash.net:
Would you ever have settled for second?

Dominique Aegerter:
I think if I wasn't sure I could win then I wouldn't have followed Mika so closely. I had a ten-second gap so could afford to go a bit easier if I was settling for second. But I could see the win and the feel of the bike gave me the confidence to push that bit extra. I think it's fair to say that I wanted it pretty badly.

Crash.net:
Did you notice any strengths or weaknesses in the Suter or Kalex as you were following him?

Dominique Aegerter:
The bikes were so even I think that any differences were more to do with settings. Some corners I was faster and some he was faster but I think that was more to do with how the bike was set up than the bike itself.

Crash.net:
Did you get a bonus from the team?

Dominique Aegerter:
Yes in my contract with my sponsors I do get a bonus when I do well but the main thing is that a win makes the team happy and keeps everybody motivated. That's why you win.

Crash.net:
You're now going on to do the Suzuka 8 hour…

Dominique Aegerter:
Yeah, I'm flying out next Monday, I'll be riding a GSX-R1000 with team Kagayama riding with Yukio and the great Noriyuki Haga.

Crash.net:
How did that come about?

Dominique Aegerter:
I know a Japanese lady from GPs who also works with that team. She told the team about me, they called me before Mugello and here I am.

I was there two weeks ago testing the bike for the first time.

Crash.net:
You must have been impressed by your team-mates' pace because you said on Facebook that the Japanese riders you were testing with were 'f**king fast'!

Dominique Aegerter:
Oh yes that really is true but I've got to say that in the dry session I was already faster than Nori and Yukio so I think I'm getting used to the bike well. In the wet I think I was about ten seconds faster, but it's very different there because in the wet you don't change the whole bike settings or make suspension changes, you just change the tyre so that was something to get my head around.

I've heard that they've made a lot of progress since I've been away so I don't expect to be so much faster when I get back, but it does show I can ride the bike. We'll see next week.

Crash.net:
How did you take to the bigger, heavier GSX-R?

Dominique Aegerter:
It's great fun. In the last month I have never ridden so many bikes, I've ridden my Moto2 bike, a MotoGP bike at Barcelona and the GSX-R so I've had a lot of variety.

I enjoyed riding the GSX-R because even though it's heavier, it's got a lot more horsepower and that's something I enjoy.

Crash.net:
How was the MotoGP bike in Barcelona?

Dominique Aegerter:
I tried the Avintia. It was for fun but also a test. We actually did 90 laps and I was really enjoying the carbon brakes and 250bhp, it's really extreme.

Crash.net:
So are there any plans for MotoGP?

Dominique Aegerter:
It's a goal and a dream and I've already shown that I can ride a MotoGP bike in those tests. My manager and team are checking all the possibilities and I'm hoping that we can find a good contract for next year, if we can't get a good contract in MotoGP though then we'll stay in Moto2 for sure.

I've been really busy and concentrating on the racing but I can speak with my manager during the summer break to see if I have had any offers.

It is quite a difficult time to move to MotoGP because of all the rule changes and different types of bike. For example you certainly couldn't win on the Avintia bike so the conditions in MotoGP at the moment have made it all the more important to get on a good bike. It's important not just to go there because you want to be in MotoGP, you have to get the right deal or not go.

Scott Redding's bike [Production Honda] for example is not one you can win on and it's only when you get to teams like Tech 3 or Forward that you have any chance of fighting for the podium. It's this kind of bike that I'm after but I really can't go into it too much now because I still have eight races to go and that is really my team and manager's business. My absolute goal is to finish in the top three in Moto2.

In the end though I'll always have the last say on what we're doing next year and I'm also lucky to have a sponsor who has stayed with me in the world championship for eight years

Crash.net:
But you're definitely the Swiss number 1onenow though?

Dominique Aegerter:
I'm still not sure because Tom [Luthi] is a world champion whereas I'm just a race winner. Tom's also more famous than me at the moment but if I continue to win then I'll take over. But I think I am the Swiss rider with the biggest parties!

Crash.net:
Thanks Dominique and I really enjoyed that race.

Dominique Aegerter:
No problems.
by Christian Tiburtius


Tagged as: moto2 , aegerter

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Braahp

July 16, 2014 2:52 PM

@biaggi - I just think there are different ways of doing things, Dominique has improved consistently year on year and this win wasn't a fluke it was in the dry and won fairly against a field that included Maverick Vinales and Eteve Rabat riding without injury or problems. Given his progress I'm expecting more wins from Dominique and then some kind of entry into MotoGP. He's still on an upward trajectory and we just need to find out how far he'll go.



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