Axel Bassani admits it will likely take ‘three or four rounds’ before he is fully up to speed on his new Kawasaki ZX-10RR machinery ahead of the 2024 WorldSBK season, his first with the Kawasaki Racing Team.
One of the standout performers of recent years, Bassani - who made his WorldSBK debut as a relative unknown in 2021 - established himself as a surprise front-runner over the past three years with the minnow Motocorsa Racing team.
His results duly earned him the attention of Kawasaki when it came to selecting its replacement for Jonathan Rea for 2024.
A first factory shot for Bassani, it’s an opportunity Bassani says he is looking forward to following the official launch of KRT’s campaign and the unveiling of its bikes.
“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 also 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.”
Despite the high-profile chance, the move still represents a challenge as Bassani adapts to the rigours of an inline-four machine from the V4 Ducati Panigale. It’s a transition he admitted to finding difficult during pre-season testing.
“It’s not easy, I expected more different but I have to push and do all I can,” said Bassani, who ended testing in Portimao with the 12th fastest time.
“The engine and also the engine braking is completely different from the Ducati, but it is OK, it’s a different bike and I need to adapt. I need to improve in area.
“Maybe not 100% but maybe three or four rounds we can adapt.”