Laying out his aims for all to see, Axel Bassani’s valiant podium fight to third in Race 1 at Magny-Cours was his first of the season, and he was the second Ducati home too
It was a magnificent start to the second half of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, as Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) took his first podium of the season in Race 1 of the Pirelli French Round. The Italian was in the battle for the top five and after qualifying in eighth place, put himself in contention right from the start.
However, it was a dramatic start to the opening World Superbike encounter as Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) led the opening lap following a mistake from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), who grabbed the holeshot from poleman Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). However, Rea then crashed on the exit of Turn 17 at the close of Lap 2, before Razgatlioglu suffered a huge moment into Turn 13 and crashed in the gravel. Both were able to remount, but that opened up the battle for third with Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) occupying the final podium place ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Bassani.
Baz crashed on Lap 12 at Turn 13, whilst a lap and a half later at Turn 1, Rinaldi ran across the gravel, leaving Bassani clear for third place ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT WorldSBK Team). Bassani’s first podium of the 2022 is the first dry podium of his WorldSBK career and it leaves him now just 13 points adrift of Rinaldi in the Championship and fifth overall, whilst he’s now only 26 behind Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who is fourth.
Speaking about his performance, Bassani was really in the moment: “Finally, we got a podium! It’s really good for me and the team; we made good work this weekend and I’m really happy! I want to enjoy the moment and nothing more. Now is the moment to push and to try and continue in this way. It will be difficult but we’re here for this and we will try.”
On the importance of beating Rinaldi, Bassani knows what it might mean for his future, having made no hiding of his aim and ambition to get in the factory team for 2023: “It’s really important for me to beat the other Ducatis, especially the factory Ducati. I think it’s normal; I want to continue in this way and I hope it’s possible to beat Alvaro and not just Michael.”
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