Reigning Champion Dominique Aegerter could make history in Indonesia with the Swiss rider on the verge of becoming a two-time Champion
The FIM Supersport World Championship heads to Indonesia for the 2022 Pirelli Indonesian Round at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit and it could be a history-making round for Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), as he goes for his second consecutive title before graduating to WorldSBK. It will be WorldSSP’s second visit to Mandalika after 2021 and 2022 promises to be as dramatic and exciting as last year.
MATCH-POINT: will Aegerter take the title at Mandalika?
Reigning Champion Aegerter heads into the Indonesian Round knowing he can become only the third rider to win back-to-back titles in WorldSSP, after Kenan Sofuoglu in 2015 and 2016 and Sebastien Charpentier in 2005 and 2006. Although not a circuit he won at last year, Aegerter took two podiums with second and third and, should he finish ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in Race 1, he’ll likely be crowned the 2022 Champion. Aegerter has to outscore Baldassarri by three points in Race 1 to win the title or not lose more than 22 points across the entire round to Baldassarri for the title. This year will be Baldassarri’s first visit to Mandalika and he will be hoping to get off to a winning start in Indonesia.
CAN LAST YEAR’S WINNERS SHINE AGAIN? De Rosa and Cluzel hoping for more wins…
On WorldSSP’s first visit to Mandalika, it was Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) and Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) who took the wins, with De Rosa on a Kawasaki and Cluzel on a Yamaha. In 2022, both remain in the same team and Cluzel is on the same bike, but De Rosa and Orelac Racing have switched to Ducati. After leading both races in Argentina, being denied on the last lap by Aegerter in Race 1 and crashing out of the lead in Race 2, will De Rosa take victory in WorldSSP at the same venue he claimed his first WorldSSP victory at a year ago? The Indonesian Round marks the penultimate round of Cluzel’s career and, like De Rosa, it is the scene of his last victory. Aiming to leave WorldSSP on a high, Cluzel aims to add to his 24 race victories at Mandalika.
THE BATTLE FOR THIRD: Oncu vs Bulega
The battle for third place is heating up between Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) despite their recent contrasting form. Oncu heads into Indonesia on the back of three podiums in six races although still chasing his first win in the Championship, whereas Bulega has two top-ten finishes in the same period. 26 points separates the pair and Oncu can mathematically secure third place if he leaves Indonesia 51 points clear of fourth place. Oncu took sixth and seventh last year at Mandalika whilst it will be Bulega’s, and Ducati’s, first time at the circuit. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) and Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) are still in the hunt for third but trail Oncu by 38 and 56 points respectively, although their own battle for fifth is brewing. 16 points splits the two heading into Indonesia with both riders consistently fighting for the podium; Caricasulo took a podium here in 2021 when running Yamaha machinery, with third place in Race 1, but it will be Manzi’s first time at the circuit as well as Triumph’s.
RIDER NEWS: returning from injury and replacement riders…
At Ten Kate Racing Yamaha, Leonardo Taccini returns from injury to take his spot in the team that was taken, in Argentina, by Bradley Smith. Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) continues to replace Kyle Smith at VFT Racing having initially been down to do the WorldSSP Challenge; Smith will make his WorldSBK debut in Indonesia. Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP) is set to make his return from injury having been replaced in Portugal and Argentina, whilst there will be a new face on the Kallio Racing bike after the team announced they and German rider Patrick Hobelsberger had parted ways for the final two rounds of 2022.
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