Axel Bassani ended the first day of free practice at Most with fifth quickest time ahead of a certain Alvaro Bautista. The Motocorsa rider was less than three tenths away from the benchmark set by Toprak Razgatlioglu today in the second free practice session, so it is legitimate to hope to see Bassani as a protagonist in the race as he was at Imola, where he picked up a magnificent podium in Race 2.
Bassani continues to be the name on everyone's lips when it comes to the future, because no matter how good the pairing formed by Axel aboard the Motocorsa Panigale is, his talent undoubtedly deserves to emerge on a factory bike. Except that many riders on the market have not yet found their place and now, the most plausible scenario sees Axel riding the same bike in 2024 again.
“As often happens, we didn't go well this morning - explained Bassani - there are two or three things to sort out but we're not far from the leaders. If we sort out these two or three little problems, in my opinion, we'll be at the top".
Have you tried the new Pirellis?
“I tried both SC2s, both the new and the old one. I find them similar, I improved my time with the new one but it was my second run, so it's normal having lapped more. If I had to choose now for the race, I wouldn't know which one to take, to be honest".
Does the new tyre allocation change for the race weekend?
“It doesn't change anything for me honestly. I like it when they bring new SCs because maybe I can do a few more laps. However, honestly for the others, little changes. I would say nothing for me”.
The great weekend at Imola perhaps confirmed all the fans' love for you. Is it something you feel or do you not care less?
“I wouldn't say I don't give a damn. However, I always feel the same. Sure, it happens that they recognize me on the street, maybe they call my name and that didn't happen before. But I'm still the same. Of course it's nice, because you feel the people on your side, they are happy when you do well and get excited. When you do well, the fans come and tell you they are moved. One told me that in Imola he almost had a heart attack. Sure, it's nice to know that you thrill the fans. I do what I like and I can say what comes to my mind. Many times I can seem like an asshole, but I like to be like that. You know what I say is what I think, I don't have many filters”.
Rider market movements continue and if Rea were to go to Yamaha, a Kawasaki would be available. Do you think about that?
“Yes, I read about Rea in Yamaha, so maybe a door would open in Kawasaki. I think Redding will go there. I have a good relationship with Motocorsa, they brought me to Superbike by taking me from Supersport when I certainly didn't win all the races. It's not like I was like a Locatelli I mean. It wasn't easy to choose me. Mauri had seen me at the CIV, he understood that I had potential, he believed in me and it's okay that he wants to continue with me. I too have a good relationship with them, but it's no secret that we are ready to evaluate all the options but you need to understand what they offer you. I will evaluate what Mauri offers, just as I will evaluate the proposals of the others".