WorldSBK rookie Axel Bassani was certainly a star of the show during round three of the 2021 season at Misano, as he claimed three top ten finishes at his home race. 

Fellow Italian Michael Rinaldi was equally deserving of the high praise he received after taking two brilliant wins and a second, but for Bassani, two seventh place finishes and a sixth during the Superpole race was just as impressive. 

The Italian bettered his points total of Aragon and Estoril combined, while also getting the better of fellow Italian rookie Andrea Locatelli. 

In both feature races Bassani was involved in a close-fought battle with experienced Honda rider Alvaro Bautista. And while the Spaniard claimed the advantage on Saturday, roles were reversed in race two as a last lap move from Bassani gave him the upper-hand. 

The young Italian didn’t have a smooth race by any means though; Bassani lost six places at the start and had to play catch up which could have cost him a first top five. 

Speaking after race two, Bassani said: "I’m so happy about the race two, but the start was so bad. I started sixth and in the first lap I was 12th. 

"So, lap-by-lap I tried to overtake the other riders and in the last few laps I had a very beautiful battle with Bautista and I’m happy to finish seventh. 

"Bautista is so strong. Yesterday he won the battle, but today I tried to study him every lap and on the final lap I did the overtake."

Bassani was also asked about Donington Park which is up next. It won’t be his first time at the British circuit after competing there in 2016, but Bassani does expect it to be a very ‘difficult’ weekend. 

"Donington for me is a difficult track. For the English riders it’s good, but for me I went in Donington in 2016 - six years ago, and I expect a very difficult weekend, but I will try to do my best," added Bassani.