Aegerter apology after exclusion for ‘simulating’ injury to force red flag

Dominique Aegerter says 'pressure, adrenaline' contributed to him exaggerating injury in order to force a red flag following WorldSSP race Turn 1 pile-up

Dominique Aegerter

Dominique Aegerter says he ‘never wanted to put other people in danger’ as the WorldSSP defending champion issued an apology for the unsportsmanlike conduct that had him thrown out this weekend’s Most round.

The Swiss rider - who came to Most with a vast 64 point lead in the standings after winning nine of the opening ten races - was sensationally thrown out of the event prior to Race 2 after it emerged he had faked a more serious injury following a Turn 1 pile-up in an attempt to get it red flagged.

After twice standing up before falling to the gravel trap, then making it awkward for medical staff to extricate him from the gravel trap, Aegerter was eventually helped off track as the race - which wasn’t stopped - continued with the field passing him the gravel trap at the start of lap two.

Upon learning Aegerter had in fact exaggerated his injury to disrupt proceedings - thus irresponsibly putting medical staff and marshals tending to him in harm’s way close to a live racing circuit - stewards stepped in to exclude him from Race 2 in the Czech Republic for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’.

Responding to the broad criticism he faced from rivals, commentators and the public, Aegerter - who also leads the MotoE World Cup - blamed ‘pressure and adrenaline’ in the moment for his actions, but accepted he was wrong in his conduct.

“First of all, I am sorry about the whole situation that arose after the incident in Race 1,” the Ten Kate Yamaha rider said.

“As it was a very hectic situation, I did not act correctly and made mistakes. There was a lot of pressure, adrenaline and emotions. I never wanted to put other people in danger; I want to apologise for that.”

How did events with Dominique Aegerter unfold in Most?

CLICK HERE to watch free-to-view video of WorldSSP Race 1 pile-up on website

The extraordinary series of events was started during Saturday’s WorldSSP Race 1 with a pile-up among the front-runners at the tricky Turn 1 chicane. Triggered by Puccetti Kawasaki’s Deniz Oncu getting out of shape under braking, the Turk’s awkward inside trajectory led to contact and a chain reaction that took down Aegerter, Raffaele de Rosa, Yari Montella and Federico Caricasulo.

Despite the scattered riders and bikes, the decision was taken to continue the race with waved yellow flags at Turn 1, rather than red flag it.

At the time the decision seemed somewhat controversial given Aegerter - together with five medics and marshals tending to him - was still stationed in the gravel trap.

Indeed, replays show Aegerter getting up quickly initially before dropping onto his knees and flopping face down on the gravel trap. 

As the field rounded the last turn to come onto the home straight, the feed then appears to show Aegerter in a different spot, where he was being unsteadily helped up to his feet. However, he’d then collapse again just as the bikes arrived at Turn 1, with medical staff attempting to get him on a stretcher to lift him from the gravel trap.

Eventually Aegerter was helped off track and taken to the medical centre, where he was declared unfit to ride Race 2 due to symptoms of concussion. Aegerter later travelled to the local hospital, where - in an attempt to reverse the decision to withdraw him from Race 2 - he admitted to the Chief Medical Officer of having ‘simulated’ symptoms.

While this was enough to give him the medical green light to race, the FIM Stewards stepped in to question Aegerter, who eventually admitted fabricating his injuries and delaying the rescue process for his own personal interests.

Stewards promptly took a dim view of his conduct and swiftly excluded him from Race 2.

A bitter chapter in Aegerter’s success story

For sure, the incident casts a dark shadow over Aegerter’s otherwise exceptional run of success since joining the intermediate series at the start of 2021.

It comes at an awkward time too, the Swiss rider having planned to use the summer break to thrash out a deal to graduate to the WorldSBK Championship. To make matters worse, Aegerter hasn’t exactly endeared himself with potential employers after criticising Yamaha for overlooking him for 2021 because his nationality isn’t as marketable.

With 15 seasons of Grand Prix experience behind him, at 31-years old Aegerter is considered something of a veteran but has enjoyed the strongest results of his career most recently through dovetailed campaigns in both WorldSSP and MotoE. 

Romping to the 2021 WorldSSP title with ten wins to his name, Aegerter had looked well on course for an easy defence in 2022 after scoring 245 points out of a possible 250 from the opening five events.

However, a double non-score in Most, coupled with a double win for his closest challenger Lorenzo Baldassarri, has seen his lead slashed from 64 points to 14 points.

This isn’t the first time Aegerter has courted controversy on track. The Swiss rider was embroiled in a final race showdown with Jordi Torres for the 2021 MotoE World Cup when his last lap lunge led to contact that caused his Spanish rival to come down.

Aegerter stayed upright to cross the line and take the title provisionally, before a post-race penalty reversed the standings and handed the championship to Torres.