The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

20 Juin 2024

New Track And Fast Pace For KRT Riders

Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani remained in Italy after the recent Misano WorldSBK round to take part in a two day test at the Cremona Circuit, which will play host to the ninth round of the season in September. The test took place between 19-20 June.

With the Cremona Circuit being all new to the WorldSBK calendar this track outing was a useful one to familiarise the riders and their respective crews with this new layout, asphalt and character of racetrack.

In the final combined timesheets Lowes was second fastest overall, thanks to his day two time of 1’28.790. He found Cremona a very different experience from most other circuits, and made adjustments to his machine settings accordingly.

Axel, riding on home ground again as he recently did at Misano, was also on good form and set a best lap of 1’28.935 on the final day. Just like Lowes, this was his first ever test at Cremona, but even as he had to learn the circuit he felt he and his team had made a step forward once again as they continue their first season working together in WorldSBK.

Unlike the most recent test at Misano, which was held shortly before the race weekend, not all of the main WorldSBK forces were at Cremona this time round, but the lap times and the work that was completed at the test were very positive for each of the KRT riders.

Cremona was a relatively late arrival on the WorldSBK calendar this year and features some tight and quite slow sections and a long back straight. At only 3.768km in total length it is on the shorter side compared to the average WorldSBK venue. Its relatively close proximity to many of Italy’s larger northern cities is a major plus point in its inclusion on the calendar.  

Alex Lowes, stated: “This was a good test. I didn’t know the track - and it is a special track - quite short and with lots of small corners, so we needed to use a lot of lean angle. Some of the corners are a bit bumpy too, so we had to go away a bit from our base setting. But we worked quite well and we chipped away. We improved the electronics a little bit as it is also a new track for the bike, not just the riders. There was some room to improve the electronics and we improved over the final day. We tried some qualifying tyres at the end of the day, when the track was still quite hot, and I was quite happy with our pace on the Q tyres. We also did race distance on a rear tyre this afternoon, but I don’t think it will be a track that is massively aggressive on tyres. Overall, we had a positive day, I enjoyed riding the bike and the circuit is interesting. It was fun to ride alone on but I think it is going to be a tough one in race conditions. But, at least we know where we are going now.”

Axel Bassani, stated: “We finished two days of testing in Cremona and they were two really positive days. We tried a lot of things. This morning we did a really good single lap and in the afternoon we worked on the set-up of the bike. I think we improved a lot and we were really near to the first. I am happy with the feeling of the bike. It was the first time I have felt this good with the bike. I think in Misano we made a step and here we made one more. The Cremona Circuit is nice, a little bit small and you do not have time to rest as there are a lot of corners. But I think it is really good. It will be difficult to overtake, I think, but we will see when we get here for race weekend. I feel good and now we wait for the next round at Donington.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We did the normal work we would do at a new track and honestly it is a different track because it is very small, with two long straights. Top speed is more than 300kmph, which means it has a long straight, but the rest is mainly first and second gear corners. The set-up was a little bit different here. Alex, in the beginning, didn’t know the track but he did a great job and step-by-step we understood the track layout, found the set-up and the target for this test was mainly to prepare the base bike for the Cremona race weekend. This is what we did. Finally Alex made his fastest lap time in the end of the day and the track was still very hot at 42°C. So, to do this time is very promising and pleasing. Alex is leaving happy, which is the most important thing.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Axel Bassani, stated: “We had a nice Sunday at Misano during the recent race weekend. Mainly due to Axel, who made a big step in the way he approached riding the bike. From there we were all very motivated to go to this test in Cremona. It was also the correct time to do this test because we understood that we needed to improve, and we understood after Misano where to improve. We went to Cremona and Axel was straight away one of the fastest guys. We continued improving the bike set-up as we did in Misano, on both race tyres and Q tyres, so we were really close to our rivals. In the previous rounds Axel has not been able to make much of an improvement with the Q tyre and this we turned around here in Cremona. He is confident on the bike and without any mistakes he did an incredible test. He was on top of the job every single time. We were dealing with quite a lot of chatter here, so that was a bit difficult to manage. And it was ridiculously hot. But at the end of the day we really reached our targets and we were very close to the best times on race and qualifying tyres. That is so important.”

2024 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Alex Lowes:
2024: Races: 12, Wins 2, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 4 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 38 (18 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

Axel Bassani:
2024: Races: 12, 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: 546 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 108 – second overall