The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

16 April 2024

The Cathedral Calls For KRT Riders

After a break of one month since the previous race weekend at Barcelona- Catalunya the third round of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship will take place at the truly classic TT Circuit Assen, between 19-21 April. Assen is such a legendary venue for motorcycle racing of all kinds that it has been affectionately nicknamed ‘The Cathedral’ for many decades.

KRT riders Axel Bassani and Alex Lowes will take on the challenge of the often- modified but historic circuit of Assen this weekend, to compete in the latest stage of what has already been a dramatic WorldSBK season.  

Lowes has already won two races this year, taking victories in the Superpole Race and Race Two in Australia in late February. He sits equal second in the championship table as it stands, after six individual races have been run.

His new team-mate for this season, Axel Bassani, is taking part in his first season as an official rider in WorldSBK, having been a successful Independent rider in the previous two seasons. He is currently 14th overall but would almost certainly be ranked higher had he not been knocked off by another rider in Race Two at the Barcelona-Catalunya event.

Unlike the first two rounds of the season, there has been no official pre-race testing for the WorldSBK riders to compete in before race weekend begins. This makes the preparation work on Friday in FP1 and FP2 particularly important for Alex, Axel and their respective pit-crews. 

Changeable weather conditions can always play a part in any Assen race weekend, but no matter what the riders may face Assen is the most historic venue on the WorldSBK calendar. Shortened to its current 4.542km length in 2010, the TT Circuit Assen has hosted a vast number of 65 individual WorldSBK races, irrespective of which layout used.

Friday 19 April hosts the first track action. Superpole Qualifying and the 21-lap Race One will take place the next day, Saturday 20 April. The final points scoring opportunities will take place on Sunday - the 10-lap Superpole Race and then a full distance 21-lap Race Two.

Alex Lowes, stated: “Assen is a great track and a really fun layout. It’s a circuit I’ve always enjoyed riding at. We know how close WorldSBK is this year and we also know that Friday is going to be so important. We need to work hard from FP1 to put us up front for the Superpole Qualifying session. From there I believe we can fight for the podium - but let’s focus on Friday and then go from there. Assen is always a busy event with lots of support, so I’m excited about getting out to the Netherlands.”

Axel Bassani, stated: “Finally we will come back to race. I like going to Assen a lot and it is a circuit with a lot of history. It is a difficult one because it is really fast and it is not easy to find a good line in the fast corners. The first sector is really slow but the rest of the track is really nice. I hope it will be better for us than Barcelona because it was difficult. I hope that we can have good weather at Assen but we will see. We will continue to do our jobs, to try to push, to enjoy it and then we will see what happens over the weekend.”

Full time rider Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will join the Assen contest this year armed with a KRT official spec machine. Assen is a well-known venue for 2024 season Moto2 champion Rabat, who first raced in WorldSBK in 2021.

2024 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Alex Lowes:
2024: Races: 6, Wins 2, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 4 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 36 (16 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

Axel Bassani:
2024: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 0 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 6 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 0 (0 for Kawasaki)

8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Jonathan Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 180 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 544 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 108 – second overall