News 30 Sep 2023

Kawasaki Racing Team signs Bassani as Rea replacement

Young Italian revelation secures factory contract for 2024 season.

Image: Supplied.

Italian Axel Bassani has been signed as Jonathan Rea’s replacement at the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) for the 2024 World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK) season and beyond.

Bassani, 24, will transfer from MotoCorsa Ducati after securing himself a factory Ninja ZX-10RR, with Rea already opting to transfer to Pata Yamaha from next year.

Since joining WorldSBK in 2021, Bassani has amassed six podium finishes, finishing ninth overall that year and scoring his first podium in Barcelona. He would score three podiums in 2022 as he finished seventh overall, while he sits fifth this year and is the leading Independent once again.

“I’m really happy for the important opportunity that Kawasaki is offering me,” Bassani said. “I will give the best of myself on and off the track to achieve the best possible results, hoping to give all the Kawasaki fans great emotions and satisfaction.”

Guim Roda, team manager of KRT, added: “Our 2024 strategy was set months ago, but Rea’s move made us rethink the organisational logic at KRT. We spoke internally with KMC and the decision was to take a younger rider with the potential to win races and who knew how to take advantage of all the KRT experience.

“His image is fresh, sincere, fun and has a lot of potential to represent Kawasaki’s image in the world. Alex Lowes will now need to apply all of his experience, while Axel will have a bit of time to learn. We are very happy with the structure we have proposed for 2024 and we are very motivated to enjoy racing and take advantage of the best aspects of the Ninja ZX-10RR.”