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SBK, Bassani: “I’m going to have to struggle with Kawasaki, but I remember how much I suffered in 2017”

VIDEO – “Six years ago, I was home with no money to race, and those moments make you appreciate the struggle. In the Jerez tests, I think we found the direction to follow, but the jump from the V4 to the straight-four is tough.”

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Axel Bassani’s commitments for 2023 are not yet over. Recently, the Kawasaki rider received the Fair Play award founded by Motomorphosis. The ceremony took place at the H-Farm in Roncade, and the rider from Venice was rewarded for how he behaved during the Jerez weekend.

Axel was run over by Rinaldi in Race 1, but he was rewared for his correct behavior over the weekend. Safety and much more was discussed in Roncade with Axel, after he raced with the ZX-10RR in Andalusia.  

We’re at the beginning of this adventure, and I’m getting better and better,” he said. “In Kawasaki, I found a team that really wants to work and prove its value. There’s definitely work to be done on the bike, but the important thing is to understand what to focus on. We’re all aware that there are problems but, at the same time, solutions exist.

What’s the outcome of this last test in Jerez?
During these tests, we worked to understand what direction to take and, in my opinion, we figured out the direction. So we’ll see if we can progress in January to be even more competitive.”

How much should the Kawasaki change for Bassani and, at the same time, the ZX-10RR for Axel?
I think it’s fifty-fifty. It has to be a combination of things because, in my opinion, you have to try to meet halfway. As we well know, there are many expectations around us for 2024, since everyone wants to win. However, we have to be realistic because, going from a V4 to an straight-four, is tough, and there’s a difference. There will, therefore, be a period of adaptation, knowing that  we’ll struggle in Australia during the first race. But I’m confident because, with work, we can fight for the top five. Obviously, we’ll need to be calm.”

Axel, how much did your past prepare you for this challenge?
 “I’m not special, because there are people in life who make more sacrifices than I do. In 2017, I was home with no money to race, and those things make you realize how great it is to ride a motorcycle and enjoy the moment. Sometimes, you don’t understand the value of things until you lose them. I’ll have to use my head and take one step at a time, calmly.

How different is this Bassani compared to his debut in SBK?  
I’m certainly not the Axel I was three years ago. Joining an official team makes you feel more professional. However, I want to continue to be tied to my home and roots. I don’t like it when they fool around or when they sell me dreams, because these types of people break my chops. In fact, I prefer to be direct.”

Instead, how does life as an official rider change?
“In the end, it’s still me. I have some extra work to do, maybe try to behave a little differently. Maybe you feel like you’re a professional. Before, I was in a family.”

Which Kawasaki will we see in January in Jerez?
The black one with the yellow stripes,” he said jokingly. “We have something we can’t talk about.”


Translated by Leila Myftija

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