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21 April 2024

Podium For Lowes In The Superpole Race

Alex Lowes secured a strong podium finish followed by one no score in the final day of the Assen WorldSBK weekend. His KRT team-mate Axel Bassani finished 13th in the sprint and then 18th, after running off track in the full-distance Race Two.

In the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race Lowes took third position in a dry 10-lap race, albeit one held in very cold conditions. Fifth on the starting grid, Alex battled for potential podium places throughout, finally getting the better of his late race rivals Jonathan Rea and Remy Gardner.

This Superpole Race third place was Alex’s third podium finish of the year, after winning two races in the opening round in Australia.

Bassani, from 16th on the grid, was 13th in the ten-lap sprint race, which started at 11am local time.

In Race Two, held over 21-laps, with occasional very light falls of rain showing up and leaving quickly, the uncertainty of how wet the track would get at any stage made it a difficult prospect for all the riders.

Lowes was to fall and no-score while trying to pass Jonathan Rea under braking into T1 on lap 10. Alex was unable to restart and no-scored for the first time this season.

Bassani, who had launched from 16th place on the grid again in Race Two, would find some improvements to his bike’s dry weather feel. He would run off the track on lap five and lose many track positions. He re-joined in last place and finished in 18th place.

In the Championship standings, after four rounds and nine races, Alex is fourth overall with 91 points. Axel is 16th, with 22 points.

There is now a long break in the WorldSBK race calendar with the next round taking place at the always popular Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ between June 14-16.

Alex Lowes, stated: “I was happy with how I managed the Superpole Race and took a podium finish. When I came out of the final chicane I was wondering how defensive Remy Gardner was going to be. When he cut back to the left I thought, ‘I have to pass him!’ After three or four laps of Race Two I realised I was quite fast and was moving forward. Jonathan Rea had made a good start but was coming back to me. I had a really good run on acceleration coming out of the last corner compared to him so I tried to outbrake him into the first corner. T1 was my best chance to pass. I was trying to stop the bike a bit more for the apex, to prevent him re-passing me on the way out of the corner. I just lost the front, all by myself, but because I was passing him under the brakes, where could he go? So, he hit me as I was sliding. It is a shame because I had the chance to put in another solid performance in that race. I have been to say sorry to Jonathan and his guys. It is also a shame because we are doing well, getting a lot out of the bike, and riding it on the limit. I would have liked to have taken points in that last race but the Assen weekend in general has been quite good.”

Axel Bassani, stated: “It has been a difficult weekend, also for the weather, which was always changing between wet and dry. It was not easy to understand everything, partly because it was our first time here with the Kawasaki. In Race Two on Sunday the feeling with the bike was a little bit better and the position of the bike was much better because we tried something new. When I tried to push I made a mistake and went out from the track completely, and I restarted last. I wanted to just finish the race try to take some information and data for the next races. We will stay positive and continue to work to find a good way forward.”

Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) retired in the Superpole Race but took a point for 15th in Race Two. He is now 22nd in the championship with two points.

2024 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Alex Lowes:
2024: Races: 9, Wins 2, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 4 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 37 (17 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

Axel Bassani:
2024: Races: 9, 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: 545 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 108 – second overall