Fogarty on Bautista’s 2024 teammate: "I’d like to see Bassani… he deserves a crack at it!"

Friday, 23 June 2023 08:39 GMT

The Ducati legend, four-times a Champion with the Italian brand in the 1990s, spoke about who he’d like to see in the factory box next year and about Alvaro Bautista’s strong 2023

As the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship readies for round six and the halfway point at Donington Park, British legend Carl Fogarty gave his thoughts on who could be next to Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) next year. The four-time World Champion stated he’d like to see Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) graduate, after current factory rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi has “had quite a few chances” in the factory setup.

Speaking about it in-depth, ‘Foggy’ said it was the #47 in the factory shade of red in 2024: “I’d like to see Bassani; he was unlucky not to get it this year and his results have been better. Michael’s had quite a few chances now and he’s struggling to get near Alvaro so, with Ducati being the top team, you have to be consistently in the top three, even back in my day. In 1999, Troy Corser finished joint-second in the Championship behind me and he was out of a rider with Ducati as they brought in Ben Bostrom. Bassani is still a bit consistent, like them all really, but he deserves a crack at it.”

Attention then turned to the dominance of Alvaro Bautista, with Fogarty saying how good it is for Ducati: “It’s a pretty dominant season for Ducati and Alvaro! They’re both as one, both incredible! He’s becoming unbeatable and even for the other Ducati riders, he’s becoming unbeatable. It kind of reminds me of my 1994 and 1995 season, my first years on the Ducati 916. He’s ironed out all of the little teething problems that maybe they had last year with his first year back on Ducati and he’s come out the blocks fighting like me in 1995. He’s incredibly dominant with the package he’s got and the others are doing a bit of whinging and moaning about it. It’s for the others to do their homework, get better bikes or riders and improve their packages a bit.

“You have to say a lot of it’s Alvaro. I can’t believe I’m saying it because last year, I actually thought it was a mistake that Ducati took him back and I was obviously proven very much wrong! He’s only a small guy but I don’t think that’s a lot to do with it to be fair, he’s just so at ease with the bike. It’s him who is making a difference because the other Ducatis aren’t getting near him.”

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