Italian rider Axel Bassani enjoyed an “incredible” French Round as he took two podiums in one round for the first time
With all the drama of the Pirelli French Round, one rider who was able to capitalise in both Race 1 and Race 2 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing). At the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, the Italian rider claimed two podiums as he finished third in both races, cementing his place at the top of the Independent Riders’ battle but also moving him even closer to fourth place in the standings.
Bassani showed strong pace in Friday’s two free practice sessions, held in wet conditions, before he took eighth on the grid in the Tissot Superpole session; his best grid position of the season although it did continue a run of six top-ten starting positions in seven Superpole sessions in 2022 for Bassani. This put him in a strong position to take advantage of the drama of both Race 1 and Race 2 to take his first double podium in WorldSBK.
In Race 1, both Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed out of a podium position, while Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) went down from third place not long after. All of this allowed Bassani to move up to the podium places as he claimed his first rostrum visit since Race 1 at the 2021 Catalunya Round.
In Race 2, Bassani was once again able to take advantage of others’ misfortune when Rea and Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with Bassani challenging Razgatlioglu for the lead of the race and leading for three laps. Although he dropped back to third, behind Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), it was still Bassani’s most successful WorldSBK round to date: two podiums and 36 Championship points collected, beating his previous best from last year’s Catalunya Round by four points.
Reacting Race 2 and his French Round, Bassani said: “I tried to stay in front for the whole race. It was the first time for me, so I tried to manage the race, but it was difficult. Now I understand some things and I want to continue in this way. Two podiums in one weekend for me is incredible, it’s the first time in my career and also for my team. Now, we are very consistent, and I hope to continue in this way. I want to repeat these results in Barcelona if it’s possible.”
The results from Magny-Cours put Bassani on 151 points in the Championship, in sixth place, but just 16 points behind Rinaldi in fourth. In the Independent Riders’ battle, Bassani leads the way ahead of American rider Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), with Bassani having accumulated almost twice as many points as Gerloff so far in the 2022 season. Motocorsa Racing are 58 points clear of Bonovo Action BMW in the Independent Teams’ battle, despite having one rider to Bonovo BMW’s two.
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