Progress for Kawasaki? “We’ve definitely improved the bike…”

Friday saw the culmination of a two-day test in the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, hosted on the beautiful Adriatic Coastline at Misano, Italy. Among some of the more positive feedback from the test was that of Kawasaki, with the Japanese manufacturer seemingly making gains over the course of the test. Both Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK’s Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani seemed very positive by day’s end, with both acknowledging the progress made.

“GOOD DAY… WE’VE FOUND MORE FEELING: Lowes and Bassani discuss Day 2

When the chequered flag dropped on Friday, the timesheets made for good reading from a Kawasaki point of view. Whilst Axel Bassani could only climb to P13, his teammate Lowes shot up to P7. Lowes was kind enough to elaborate on the specifics of some of the gains made during Misano testing, and said: “It was a good day, honestly. I went back to the base bike and tried some electronics stuff. This is the first time that I’ve tried the SCQ with some experimental chassis work, too. So, good day. I managed to do all of laps in the 1’33s range, which is as fast as I’ve ever gone around here.”

Similarly, teammate Bassani spoke about the gains made during the test, specifically with tyres. Bassani said: “The feeling with the SCX was better than the feeling with the SCQ. I’m happy because we’ve found more front-end feeling with the SCQ. The lap was not so good, but the ideal lap was not so bad. Now we have to check and find the right setup for the bike before the race weekend.” Lowes also made a point of mentioning the improvements made in the electronics of his ZX10-RR, saying that: “We’ve definitely improved the bike a little bit in the electronics. The bike is less aggressive to try and move, especially with the SCX tyre on the Kawasaki.”


Lowes and Bassani also both discussed the impact of bad weather on Misano across the two days, especially on Friday. When asked about this, Lowes said: “I would have liked to have done a longer run. We’ve always struggled on the SCX tyre, so we’re not 100% sure what Pirelli are going to bring, but whenever there’s been the option of the SC0, then we’re always quite strong compared to everyone else. Our bike is working well with the SC0. One of our focuses was to try and do a long run with the SCX, but we didn’t get to do that.”

Speaking about the weather, teammate Bassani was a little more concise with his answer, simply saying: “Friday had bad weather. Now we have to be focused for my home race weekend, and to try to do a good race.” When asked about potential areas for improvement, Bassani said: “I think we have to work a lot on the electronics configuration on the bike. We need to make a step, but I think for the race weekend we can do something.”

FRIENDS AND FOES: Lowes talks rivals, Bassani talks new-found ally

Interestingly, two different topics came up amongst both Kawasaki riders. Alex Lowes discussed the state of play within the wider WorldSBK field, especially amongst rivals. Speaking about this, Lowes said: “It’s so close now in WorldSBK. You’ve got Toprak and Bautista, and we know how fast Alvaro is around here on the rhythm. We can see that Toprak is really able to extract a lot from that bike, and Superpole has never been his strong suit. He improved a lot on the Yamaha last year, but he shows what a package they’ve got now when they’ve got grip.” Contrastingly, the #47 rider discussed his mentor, former WorldSBK rider Marco Melandri. Speaking about the importance of advice from someone as experienced as Melandri, Bassani said: “Marco is really important because he has a lot of experience. I try to learn something from him, and every time he is with me, it is good because I feel like I am growing up.”

Stay involved with all the action in 2024 with a subscription to the WorldSBK VideoPass!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *