Looking to bounce back from a difficult 2023, Kawasaki’s ‘new start’ was revealed with a fresh look and line-up with Lowes and Bassani aiming high for this year
The covers have come off Kawasaki’s challenger for the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK outfit unveiled their new look featuring even more green than last year. With the ZX-10RR machines now in their race livery, as opposed to the stunning winter test livery traditionally used by KRT in testing, all eyes are turning to Australia with riders Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani, and Team Manager Guim Roda, previewing the upcoming season, with the team benefitting from a new partnership with Motul.
2023 REVIEWED: one win, and a massive rider change…
2023 was one of Kawasaki’s toughest in recent years, managing only one victory – thanks to a Jonathan Rea masterclass in difficult conditions at the Autodrom Most – and picking up 19 podiums, down from 34 in 2022. With bombshell transfers up and down the paddock, none were bigger than the announcement that Rea would leave KRT after nine seasons, six titles, more than 100 wins and countless records broken.
LOOKING TO 2024: the post-Rea era begins
With riders always looking for a factory ride and competitive bike, KRT turned to Bassani to fill the vacant seat. ‘El Bocia’ had impressed with Motocorsa Racing, taking podiums and using his aggressive style to fight at the front. Bassani had mentioned on several occasions that his dream was to have a factory team seat, and that dream is now a reality. Will the Italian be able to deliver once he adapts to the ZX-10RR? He’ll race in green alongside Lowes, who’s entering his fifth season with the team.
LOWES OUTLINES GOALS: “I come into 2024 with a lot of optimism!”
Alex Lowes explained how the package had changed for 2024, saying: “I really like the new colours for 2024, they are a little bit different. Every other year there have been some small changes, but this is my favourite one yet. I come into 2024 with a lot of optimism. In some ways the bike, the package and the team are the same, but I have some different personnel to work with. We have some small upgrades and we have been working very hard in the winter, especially in our weak areas, making the bike easier to manage over a race distance. I am really happy with the work we have done. Whether it is enough to challenge at the front every week, we will have to wait and see. But I certainly feel that we have made a step forward from last year. I am excited to get going and head to Phillip Island for the final pre-season test and Round 1.”
BASSANI SAYS: “we can have a really good season together”
Looking ahead to 2024, Bassani stated: “I am really happy to finally show to the world the new KRT livery for the 2024 season. I think it is a really good design and I like it. For sure there is still a lot of green but some different colours. It is also really good to finally see my factory bike in factory colours. It is always nice to have a new look each season. I hope that people like the look of the bike and all the new team clothing. The green of Kawasaki is always special. I think we can have a really good season together. I am looking forward to going to Australia soon.”
HOW DOES THE TEAM FEEL? “the number of great riders on the grid is amazing…”
Speaking about how he expects KRT to perform, and the level of the WorldSBK grid in 2024, Roda said: “We have a very balanced project this year. Lowes, a fast rider with incredible capacity for speed, is trying to extend his performance for 20 laps - right to the end of long races. Axel, a young and talented rider, is learning how to extract the full potential of the Ninja ZX-10RR each time he goes out on track. Races this season will need to be evaluated not only by finishing positions but by the distance between the first placed rider and the others, because it will be so tight. The number of great riders on the grid is amazing. I’m sure this is, by far, the more competitive and exciting season in WorldSBK since we started out on our KRT project in 2012. We are putting on a big show and hope all the racing fans, and especially the Ninja fans, will thoroughly enjoy it.”
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