From lumberjack to WorldSBK’s biggest rising star, how did Axel Bassani make it? | World Superbikes

The Italian rider narrowly missed out on securing a factory seat in Ducati WorldSBK alongside the World Champion Alvaro Bautista for 2023 despite outperformance Michael Ruben Rinaldi on several occasions.

Instead, Bassani will compete with the Motocorsa Ducati team for his third consecutive season, meaning he will be looking to defend his title as an independent rider

With people like Remy Gardner, Bradley Ray, Danilo Petrucci, Dominique Agerter and Tom Syke all entering WorldSBK for 2023, Bassani’s challenge is expected to be much tougher than 2022.


Bassani needs to be even more competitive than he has already shown, which could have cost him his WorldSBK future had he not impressed straight away in 2021

Having previously worked as a bricklayer and lumberjack, Bassani had plenty of options if he didn’t deliver in the Superbike class.

In fact, the young Italian would have worked with his father again. Speak with GPOne.comBassani said: “I would have gone home to work with my father on a construction site

“I didn’t have many alternatives and it might even happen again in the future if I’m not competitive. Among other things, I was also a bricklayer in 2020 when there was Covid.”

“During the race break I helped him to make mortar and cement. I remember that we also worked on Easter Day. I also worked as a lumberjack before. It’s not so bad to pick up a chainsaw,” Bassani added.

After completing various Supertsock and Supersport championships, Bassani entered WorldSBK with just one full season of WorldSSP racing under his belt

Bassani also competed in four Moto2 races in 2017 and did not make the top 20 on any of those occasions

However, it was clear very early on that the Italian would have a future in WorldSBK after claiming his first podium as a rookie.

Bassani followed that up with another three podiums in 2023, which is a good return considering how often Bautista, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea shared the first three places.

Bassani rejects move from Yamaha to WorldSBK

At the end of last season, Bassani was offered the chance to switch from Ducati to Yamaha but the 23-year-old decided to stay with his current team due to the potential of the Panigale V4 R.

Bassani said: “I preferred to stay here at Ducati. I’m on a great team, with fantastic people on my side and the bike is top notch. You can see that too.”

Speaking of the Panigale V4 R, Ducati has unveiled an all-new V4 R for 2023, replacing the previous 2019 model

“The Ducati V4 is a great bike with fantastic potential,” continued Bassani. “I haven’t tried the new Panigale yet, but I expect it to be more supple and less twitchy in certain conditions.”


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