The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

19 April 2024

First Assen Sessions Deliver Changeable Conditions

The third round of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship got underway at the TT Circuit Assen on Friday 19 April, with changeable weather conditions and a red flag in the second qualifying session making initial race preparations quite complicated for KRT duo Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani.

Lowes was second quickest of all in the morning FP1 session, which had started off wet but dried out as the session timed down. A red flag and then a fall of heavy rain with 16 minutes to go in FP2 ended Alex’s hopes to improve his best lap time.

After such a complicated opening day Lowes ended up in seventh position overall, setting a best lap time less than half a second from the fastest rider, despite finishing FP2 in 16th place.

For Bassani, riding at Assen on his KRT Ninja ZX-10RR for the first time, the red flag and then wet track surface in FP2 prevented him for going for a flying lap on fresh tyres that could have improved on his eventual Free Practice position of 16th.

Weather forecasts for Assen are notoriously uncertain, but the current outlook points toward more unsettled weather for Saturday.

Superpole Qualifying and the 21-lap Race One will take place on day two, with the ten-lap Superpole Race and Race Two finishing off the Assen race weekend on Sunday 21 April.

Alex Lowes, stated: “We can’t look at the position in this afternoon’s session because I went out with the tyres from this morning’s FP1 session, just to set a couple of laps. When I went back out later there was a red flag due to a damaged safety barrier. It then started to rain so I never got to make a proper lap this afternoon. But, it was important to get a few laps in during the rain at the end of FP2. We don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow but I was one of the quickest guys in those conditions. So, to be fast in the dry this morning and then fast in the rain this afternoon means it has been a good day.”

Axel Bassani, stated: “Not a really fun day because we did not do a lot of laps. We had a really hard tyre on the front in FP1 and the feeling was not so good because the track was cold and there were some wet patches. We went out in FP2 with used tyres at the beginning and when I went back out to set a faster lap there was a red flag - and then it started to rain heavily. We tried a couple of things on the front and rear suspension set-up but it is not easy to understand with the used tyre. Tomorrow, I just want consistent weather. If it rains then it should rain all day, not rain then dry, rain then dry again.”

Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 15th on Friday, using all his experience to make his way through a day that was characterised by ever-changing conditions.

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