Motocorsa Racing has formally confirmed it will bid farewell to Axel Bassani at the end of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship ahead of a likely announcement that he will join the Kawasaki Racing Team for the 2024 season.
Rumours linking Bassani to the seat vacated by six-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea have raged ever since the Ulsterman confirmed a shock switch to Yamaha for the 2024 WorldSBK season.
Though Bassani was originally set to remain with the privateer Motocorsa Racing team for a fourth season after he was controversially overlooked for a factory Aruba Racing Ducati ride, the Italian was instead put forward for Kawasaki upon confirmation of Rea’s surprise exit.
Bassani’s departure marks the end of a breakthrough era for the Motocorsa Racing team, which has enjoyed immense success that belies its relatively small structure over the past three years.
Making its WorldSBK debut in 2020 with Leandro Mercado after stepping up from the CIV Italian Superbike series, it was Motocorsa’s appointment of the then young, but little-known Bassani in 2021 that set it on course for numerous strong results.
After just being pipped to the independents’ title in 2021, Bassani waltzed to the privateer crown in 2022 and is currently positioned fifth in the overall standings for 2023 with two rounds remaining.
“The entire Motocorsa Racing staff and all the sponsors want to thank our standard bearer for the wonderful years spent together and the results achieved. Our goal for the 2023 season remains to repeat the success achieved in 2022 with the achievement of the Best Independent title.
“The entire Motocorsa family thanks Axel for the dedication and professionalism in the work carried out in these three years of mutual satisfaction.
“It is with all our hearts that we wish him a future full of success. He will still remain part of our family and a piece of our heart goes with him.”
Now a six-time podium winner in WorldSBK, Bassani says it was a ‘painful’ decision to leave the family environment of Motocorsa Racing but is excited about his as-yet-unconfirmed future with Kawasaki.
“It was a very painful decision for me to leave Motocorsa which was like a family to me, but it was right to try this experience. I would like to thank everyone, absolutely everyone on the Motocorsa staff who collaborated with me in this professional experience.
“A special thank you that I truly give from the heart goes to Lorenzo Mauri who believed in me from the first second and thanks to his intuition we managed to bring the team to the position it currently finds itself in. The entire Motocorsa Racing family will always remain part of my heart."
It is unclear who will join Motocorsa Ducati for the 2024 WorldSBK season after team manager Lorenzo Mauri spoke of expanding to a two-bike effort.
As it stands, there is understood to be motivation to getting ousted factory Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi on the bike if he doesn’t secure a seat at Honda. Alternatively, Loris Baz has also been linked with the ride.