Bassani at heart of all Motocorsa decisions, Grand Prix stars seek WorldSBK switch

Tuesday, 18 July 2023 07:32 GMT

2024’s musical chairs are well underway, and there’s a key team that have yet to decide their future – and it could be a bit different to what we’ve seen before

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is into the second half of the year and there's plenty of speculation about what 2024 might bring. With it being the point of the season where "silly season" is at its highest - or craziest - the rumours surrounding next year are affecting all teams. However, there are exciting developments at Motocorsa Racing. For a full look at what 2024 IS already looking like and COULD evolve to be, check out our silly season run-down so far, here!

Lorenzo Mauri's team currently field the effervescent Axel Bassani, with the Italian having his best season yet with 179 points, two podiums and P5 in the standings thus far. Bassani is also the second Ducati and top Independent rider and the team are just one point behind the GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK team in the battle for best Independent outfit with fifth overall, ahead of the likes of Team HRC and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Battling for victory at Imola before ultimately finishing second behind Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), Bassani is in a riding the crest of a wave, but what does that mean for Motocorsa Racing?

“WE’RE WAITING FOR AXEL” – Bassani priority number one for Motocorsa Racing in 2024

“About 2024, we are waiting for Axel and his manager, Alberto’s decision to make a decision about us, too," began team principal Lorenzo Mauri, who is in his fourth season in WorldSBK, the third with Bassani. "We have not given them a deadline to let us know. I have spoken with Alberto, his manager, telling him ‘if you get a deal with someone, let me know'.”

Axel Bassani’s manager is none other than Alberto Vergani, who also manages riders such Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) and WorldSSP front-runner Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team). In the past, Vergani also managed riders such as 2011 WorldSBK Champion Carlos Checa, 2011’s runner-up Marco Melandri and recently in WorldSBK, Sandro Cortese. Vergani had previously stated that “no factory team” was interested in Bassani for 2024.

ABOUT MOTOCORSA RACING: a fine history in WorldSBK

Motocorsa Racing graduated to WorldSBK from the CIV Superbike championship in Italy during 2020, when Leandro Mercado returned to Ducati machinery and raced for the team. With a best result of P10 achieved twice in a season mired by injury, Bassani was promoted in 2021 and within three rounds, a top six finisher before a stunning podium in Barcelona after leading a race for the first time.

For 2022, Bassani remained and was a contender from the start, with consistency improving and podiums coming in the second half of the season, with the 23-year-old making it clear he wanted to replace Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing - Ducati) on the factory bike for this year. So, the #47 stayed another year with the team that gave him his big break and he's been nothing short of sensational; battling for podiums, victories and finishing every single race (apart from Barcelona's Superpole Race, when he was tenth) in the points, Bassani is once again looking for an opportunity on a factory bike, although it seems that Motocorsa is also a likely option.

LOOKING TO 2024: “Several riders are knocking on the door… MotoGP™ riders”

Continuing to discuss his team's possibilities for 2024, Mauri stated a potential expansion and big names from MotoGP could be on the horizon: "Several riders are knocking on the door of our team. Probably, we'll have two bikes but firstly, I want to understand what Axel is going to do. Most of these riders are riders from the Grand Prix paddock, so MotoGP™ riders, former MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™. It is a good reward for the work we have been doing for eight years.”

IS THE MANIAC COMING BACK? Perhaps, but Mauri rules out Iannone

One riders' name keeps coming up and that is Andrea Iannone, but could he fit at Motocorsa? It would be against the ethos of Mauri's outfit if so: “I don’t think Iannone has taken us into consideration. In the press, I read that probably he spoke with Barni, Ducati and GoEleven. I don't know Andera Iannone; our policy is to have a younger rider with less experience. We’re doing things that don't happen because we are lucky.”

Watch round highlights from our return to Imola here and enjoy 2023 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!