Simple, easy-going, no fussing about. In short, a true rider to the core, who doesn't like platitudes and appearances. Axel Bassani's 2022 was undoubtedly a memorable year, since among the satellite teams he didn't leave even the crumbs to the competition.
A real step up demonstrated by the Motocorsa rider, who is enjoying a well-deserved vacation before returning to the saddle of his Ducati V4 in view of the new year. We recently spoke with him about the season that was, the one that will be and much more.
“I think 2022 was a more than positive year, given that we achieved all our objectives - said Axel - we managed to win the independent rider and team title, finishing close to the top five among other things. In certain circumstances we could certainly have done better, especially at the beginning, but all in all I can say that the goals set were achieved".
Now it's already time to think about 2023.
“Next season we will first of all have to reconfirm what we have done this year, trying to stay constantly between fourth and sixth place. In my opinion, however, we will struggle at the beginning, given that it will be necessary to find all the adjustments with the new bike. We will also start from Phillip Island, then there will be Indonesia, two very special tracks. I am of the opinion that we will only see the true values at Assen."
In 2023 the bar will rise and not just a little. Do you agree?
"Absolutely yes! Next year we will have top level riders like Petrucci, Gardner and Aegerter and as a result the level will be even higher. In addition, some bikes will have super concessions. I think it will be the most difficult season of the last few, but we will have to be ready, without fear".
Axel, you arrived in SBK in 2020. If you hadn't been immediately competitive, how would things have played out?
“I would have gone home to work on a construction site with my dad. I didn't have many alternatives and it might even happen again in the future if I’m not competitive. Among other things, I was also a bricklayer in 2020, when there was Covid. During the break from races, I helped him make the mortar and cement. I remember that we also worked on Easter day. And I also worked as a lumberjack beforehand, it's not so bad to pick up a chainsaw (smiles)".
You've always had tremendous admiration for your father.
"I see him busting his ass every morning, I consider myself lucky to be a rider. However, I've never been afraid to get my hands dirty, in fact when there's something to be done, he knows I'm here for him. As I said before, I worked as a bricklayer with him and also as a lumberjack. If there is something I can do, he can count on me ”.
Why does everyone like Axel Bassani?
“I honestly don't know (smiles). I'm always myself, I'm what you see... Some people say I'm easy-going, true, maybe it's because I'm not much of a fancy-ass... I'll let you tell me why people like me... Also I don't like talking too much about myself (smiles)".
Will 2023 be the year that takes you to the factory bike?
“It's obvious that I'm thinking about a factory bike, since it's every rider's dream. At the same time, however, it shouldn't become a fixation to bang your head on, but a goal to pursue as a motivation to give your best in everyday life".
Why didn't you go to Yamaha?
“I preferred to stay here at Ducati (he smiles). I'm in a great team, with fantastic people by my side and the bike is top notch. You can see it too."
In 2023 there will also be Petrucci…
“Danilo is strong and he has already shown it in his career. I've never raced with him, but his results best represent the great rider he is. Obviously I'd be very happy to try to stay ahead of him, even if it won't be easy!"
What do you expect from the new Ducati?
“The Ducati V4 is a great bike, with fantastic potential. I haven't tried the new Panigale yet, but I expect a slightly smoother and less nervous bike in certain conditions".
photo courtesy of Elisa Ceschel