Bassani looks back on "beautiful" Bautista battle after strongest WorldSBK round in 2021

Monday, 14 June 2021 07:30 GMT

The 21-year-old made the step up to WorldSBK in 2021 and scored three top-seven finishes in just his third round in the Championship

The Pirelli Made in Italy Emilia-Romagna Round would prove to be the best round of Axel Bassani’s (Motocorsa Racing) young MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship career so far as he secured three top-seven finishes at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, the first time the 21-year-old has visited the Italian venue for racing on a Ducati Panigale V4 R.

Bassani did test at the circuit in March along with most other Ducati riders where he finished sixth on day two, just two tenths off Scott Redding’s ( Racing – Ducati) pace while he was fourth after day one, showing that the Italian had impressive speed at the Italian venue. It meant he came into the weekend knowing a strong result was possible.

The youngest rider on the 2021 WorldSBK grid used his knowledge and previous speed here to record his best ever Tissot Superpole result with eighth, before battling with the likes of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) across the weekend, claiming seventh in Race 1 and Race 2, and eighth in the Tissot Superpole Race.

Describing his battle with Bautista in Race 2, which came down to the final lap, Bassani said: “I’m so happy about Race 2 but the start was so bad! I started sixth and on the first lap I was 12th so lap-by-lap I tried to overtake the other riders and in the last lap, I had a very beautiful battle with Bautista and I’m so happy to finish seventh. Bautista is so strong but on Saturday, he won the battle against me and today I tried to start it lap-by-lap and on the last lap I made the overtake.”

Bassani’s performance over his home round meant he more than doubled his points tally for the season so far, collecting 16 points across the Aragon and Estoril Rounds before adding 22 from Misano. His results mean he now leapfrogs Leon Haslam (Team HRC) in the standings and on the fringes of the top nine in the standings; Bassani is just ten points behind WorldSBK stalwart Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven).

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