Misano WorldSBK: ‘No pressure’ for Bassani, ‘to race is fun’| Gordon Ritchie | WorldSBK
After finishing fourth in his home race on Saturday, Axel Bassani got as close to a WorldSBK podium as he could do on his MotoCorsa Ducati V4R at a hot Misano.
He was the coolest guy in the room when he got interviewed in the Italian Media Centre after 21-laps of intense action.
A better Superpole qualifying result than tenth may have helped him, but he was the best Independent Rider by miles in race one.
“From tenth position to fourth is a good result,” said Bassani. “I tried to arrive on the podium, but today it was impossible because Michael Rinaldi had something more.”
What more did he have? His engine or tyre life, something else on the factory Ducati?
“I don’t know,” smiled Bassani, “the gas?
“The secret of Michael - he is very fast. I’m happy because I stayed with him all the race, so this is very important for us. But, I want to arrive in front.”
It has taken Bassani some time to settle this year, despite not changing teams, as he has had to get used to a whole new crew compared to those with whom he took a podium and threatened some others in 2021.
“We changed all the team from the last year,” he confirmed. “Only the electronic is the same. So, it’s not easy to start the season with all the new guys. So, in the first round, I needed to understand the other people. The people needed to understand me. So, step by step, we arrive in front.”
He expanded, when asked, saying, “I am not happy about the start of the season, particularly race one. All the race ones, we did not a good job, but in race two sometimes we did a good job. But from now, I think we start to make a good step.”
Now Bassani has understood that he and his new guys are actually exceeding the level of last year, but the level way out front has also gone up. “Yeah. I think I’m more fast than the last year. I hope to continue in this way.”
When asked about his always smiling, never flustered approach to life and racing both, Bassani said, “No pressure… Why pressure? To race is a fun job. I enjoy the weekend. I enjoy the race. When I arrive (at the) back, I’m not happy, but it’s normal. No problem. Easy.”
Bassani was unable to follow up his first race rear podium at Misano, finishing in seventh place in both of Sunday’s Superpole sprint and race two. He is now eighth overall, and easily top Independent Rider.