The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

19 Mars 2024

Home Round Imminent For KRT

The second round of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship will take place at the Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya between 22-24 March. The now familiar WorldSBK venue, also known as Montmeló, is located just a few hundred metres from the base of the official Kawasaki Racing Team

After a dramatic opening round in Australia last month, and a recent two day test at the Barcelona - Catalunya circuit, Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani are now well prepared to take on the challenge of three races at the 4.657km long Montmeló circuit.

After a change in some areas of KRT’s overall make-up, and some engine enhancements on the Ninja ZX-10RR due to regulatory changes, Lowes ended up securing two race wins from three starts at the opening round in Australia.

Alex used his track time at the recent Montmeló test (14-15 March) to work on some new areas, but mostly on making tyres last for a full race while maintaining a strong race pace.

Lowes is leading the championship by nine points after the first weekend of the 12-round season.

The 2024 season is not only the first as a KRT rider for Axel Bassani, but a first as an official rider for any manufacturer. He is making progress each time he rides the Ninja ZX-10RR and is now set on making the best possible showing in Superpole Qualifying to allow him to improve his ultimate race results. Axel is 14th overall after one round, having scored points in two races. 

Friday 22 March hosts the first track action for the WorldSBK riders, with Superpole Qualifying and a 20-lap Race One on Saturday 23 March. Sunday will feature two races - the 10-lap Superpole Race and then a full distance 20-lap Race Two.

Alex Lowes, stated: “We got a lot of information from the recent test to use over race weekend. I feel good but we have work to do to look after the tyres for the long races. In Australia, with the new surface, the track was really grippy. Catalunya is one of the least grippy tracks. So it was important to have tested here to get a feel for the things that we have tried in the winter tests. The setting in the electronics, if not the software itself, is a lot different to last year and I am happier now knowing that that works. We are definitely better prepared after the test. I like the track and the layout at Catalunya. There is not a lot of grip but there are a lot of long corners where you can slide the bike quite easily. You can always enjoy riding the bike here.”

Axel Bassani, stated: “We have done a lot of work in the recent Catalunya test and now we will race at the same track. Our ideas are more clean and clear now and we have tried the new tyre options also. For sure it is more easy to do a race weekend if you have two days of testing just before - but it is the same for everyone. For the race weekend, I am looking to do well in Superpole qualifying. If you start 15th or 16th in Superpole it is impossible to fight with the top guys. If we start from the second or third row we have the chance to fight for a good position in the races.”

During the recent test at Montmeló Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made real progress getting to know his full KRT spec machine, especially at what is his home circuit. He hopes to put his local knowledge and enhanced machine specification to great use when race weekend gets underway on Friday 22 March.

2024 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Alex Lowes:
2024: Races: 3, 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: 3, 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