WorldSBK Indonesia: ‘Now I want to win a race’ - Bassani

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani was crowned WorldSBK’s Top Independent Rider on Sunday at Mandalika.

Bassani’s first major ambition with his privateer Ducati team, to win a race, has not yet materialised despite his ability to fight with the top riders on many occasions, but he got a whole championship trophy instead on Sunday when he won the Independent Riders’ Championship, with one round to spare. He was ecstatic to win the championship within a championship, against some basically second factory teams for other manufacturers.

“For sure, before the season I wanted to win the Independent Rider title because last year I lost the championship on the last race, for the crash [at Mandalika]. Now, we won the championship four races before the end, so I think we did a really good job. The second independent rider is one hundred points behind us so I think we did a really good job.

“We made three podiums. Now I want to win a race.

“I think we can do. Yesterday we weren’t good with the bike, but today we changed completely the setup and we made the difference.”

Given that Axel rides in among the 2022 top three guys more often now, does he understand that he, personally, has to improve himself in this, that or another area?

“I need to start from Friday with a good setup and a good pace, because I arrive every race on Sunday morning. It’s not easy because the top three guys on Friday afternoon can do the pace of the race, can push. For me, it’s not the same. So, I want to start from the Friday with a good feeling with the bike and after I think we can do a good race and try to have a battle for the win.”

With more experience next season, Bassani should be more of a threat but is he aiming to win races or even tilt at the championship itself? What does he really hope for?

“I hope next year Ducati can help me for stay with the top three guys because it’s my goal,” he confirmed. “I want to win races and try to battle for the top three championship. I think it’s possible. We are here for doing this. We are not so far from the top three, so I think it’s possible. We will see.”

The Italian has been improving in his least favoured Superpole race format, but he needs to do more work there too if he intends to challenge.

“I don’t like the Superpole race, because for me it’s not a race,” he admitted. “You need to push like an animal for ten laps, and you can’t manage the race, watch the other riders, so I don’t like a lot the Superpole race. We have three races in a weekend. It’s really difficult, especially in a track like this with hot. Incredible. So, I don’t like the Superpole race, but this is my opinion. But when we have a good setup, we also do a good Superpole race.”

Bassani will be back with Motocorsa in 2023, and as he says, looking for more support to move his career on even further. At 23, which is a teenager in WorldSBK terms, he should have many good years ahead of him.