A solid, considered and resilient ride from the #47 saw him take a maiden podium of 2023 and likewise, a first podium in front of his home crowd
The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship had a special atmosphere in front of a massive Italian crowd, as more than 70,000 fans packed out the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” and witness an immense efforts from Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing). Bassani was solid right the way through the weekend and was a firm fixture inside the top five, having qualified fifth on the grid and he converted each of his starts into eventually being the third-highest points-scorer of the round after Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK).
Race 2 got underway and Bassani was battling as usual from the start, muscling his way through into P4. He couldn’t quite make it into the top three but was settled in P4. The #47 made a mistake at Turn 10 on Lap 4 and went elbow-to-elbow with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) down the back straight towards Curvone at Turn 11, the fastest corner in WorldSBK. He held position and was then able to capitalise on Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) crash at Turn 1 after a collision with Razgatlioglu on Lap 15. This promoted ‘El Bocia’ up to third, where he sat comfortably until the end of the race.
“It’s a really special place for a first podium of the year,” began an elated Bassani, who is fifth in the standings after the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round. I’m really happy for the team because we worked really hard and never gave up. I’m really happy and want to continue in this way but now we need to enjoy the moment and then focus on the next races after! I’m totally happy, I don’t have a lot of words to say! To have a podium at home is like a victory!”
Talking about his battle with Rea, Bassani once again relished getting his elbows out with his old rival: “It’s always special to battle with Jonathan; for me, he’s the best rider in WorldSBK as he’s a legend! To have some laps with him is good but it’s also good to beat him! Today, it was hard to do, because he’s crazy and like an animal! He pushes every lap until the end, but I’m happy to beat him. I made a mistake but recovered the position and tried to get to Toprak and Michael. I tried, but these are the races! I’m very happy!”
Elsewhere in the weekend, Bassani was fourth in Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race, before taking advantage of Rinaldi’s error at Turn 1. In the Championship standings, Bassani remains fifth but made gains on two of the four riders ahead of him. He outscored Jonathan Rea by six points and Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), who is third in the standings, by 19, reducing the gap to Rea to just three, whilst he’s 24 adrift of third-placed Locatelli. In terms of his rivalry with Rinaldi, which reignited in the Tissot Superpole Race, he outscored him by eight points and thus extended his gap back to him in the title race to 27, as he continues to chase down Rinaldi’s ride for 2024.
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