Rea: Bassani has ‘a great opportunity’ at Kawasaki

Jonathan Rea believes Axel Bassani can flourish at Kawasaki after the Italian was signed to replace the six-time WorldSBK champion.
Axel Bassani, Ducati WorldSBK Magny-Cours 2023
Axel Bassani, Ducati WorldSBK Magny-Cours 2023

Bassani and Kawasaki confirmed their deal during the Portimao WorldSBK round, which means Bassani will become a factory rider for the first time in his career.

The last two rounds in Aragon and Portimao have been well below Bassani’s usual standard, but despite that, the Motocorsa Ducati rider is on course to finish as the top Independent rider for the second year in succession. 

After missing out on the Ducati seat, Bassani hopes of becoming a factory rider looked to be all-but over for another season.

However, the Italian was quickly thrown back into the mix when Rea announced his shock switch to Yamaha.

Although Bassani is still without a win in WorldSBK, the 24-year-old has been close on a couple of occasions, which for a satellite rider is very impressive given the competitiveness at the head of the grid. 

But Rea is expecting big things from a rider he’s competed with many times in 2023 for podium finishes. 

“I heard about him signing an hour before the press release,” said Rea. “Guim Roda sent me a message. It’s a great opportunity for him to join an official team. 

“We saw each other in the paddock [at Portimao] and I told him that he’ll be involved with a group of exceptional people. He’ll have things to do. I wish him all the best.”

Bassani will line-up alongside Alex Lowes who will be taking part in his fifth season at Kawasaki.

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