2024 official riders Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani helped the refreshed KRT FIM Superbike World Championship team unveil the factory Ninja ZX-10RR at the team’s public launch on Thursday 8 February 2024.
KRT’s striking new colour schemes, graphics packages and team clothing styles were introduced to the world’s media and fans via digital platforms at 18.00-CET. Existing KRT partner Cheshire Mouldings is now a primary sponsor and lubricant specialists Motul is a new sponsor for the team.
The most significant changes for some time have taken place inside the KRT effort since the end of the 2023 season, in readiness for the imminent restart in competitive racing activities. It is apt that the visual element of the bike and rider packages is also a slight departure from some previous norms.
On the human side, there is a new-look rider line up, with the experienced KRT combatant Lowes joined by the double Independent Riders’ champion Axel Bassani. The ambitious young Italian is now enjoying his first taste of being an official rider in WorldSBK.
Alex now has Pere Riba as his crew chief, with Marcel Duinker in charge of Axel’s on-track learning curve. Other changes have taken place inside the pit-crew and personnel line-up to rejuvenate the overall effort.
After winter development from KMC in Japan and their global technical partners, Lowes, Bassani and their respective technical crews have enjoyed a successful recent test programme in Spain and Portugal. They have been running their machine set-ups to suit a series of recent changes to the WorldSBK technical regulations.
In terms of machinery, the Ninja ZX-10RR now has additional peak revs and some internal upgrades to modify engine inertia, plus some small but key changes to the top end. In combination, these initiatives will allow the 2024 WorldSBK bike to have an additional 500rpm at the top of the rev-range.
As well as continuing partnerships with Showa and many other top companies with enviable reputations in racing, KRT has forged an all-new bond with specialist lubricants company Motul, with the French company becoming a main partner of KRT for the 2024 WorldSBK season.
Alex Lowes, stated: “I really like the new colours for 2024, they are a little bit different. Every other year there have been some small changes but this is my favourite one yet. I come into 2024 with a lot of optimism. In some ways the bike, the package and the team is the same but I have some different personnel to work with. We have some small upgrades and we have been working very hard in the winter, especially in our weak areas, making the bike easier to manage over race distance. I am really happy with the work we have done. Whether it is enough to challenge at the front every week, we will have to wait and see. But I certainly feel that we have made a step forward from last year. I am excited to get going and head to Phillip Island for the final pre-season test and Round One.”
Axel Bassani, stated: “I am really happy to finally show to the world the new KRT livery for the 2024 season. I think it is a really good design and I like it. For sure there is still a lot of green but some different colours. It is also really good to finally see my factory bike in factory colours. It is always nice to have a new look each season. I hope that people like the look of the bike and also all the new team clothing. The green of Kawasaki is always special. I think we can have a really good season together. I am looking forward to going to Australia soon.”
Guim Roda, stated: “For 2024 we enter into new era where, for the first time since 2015, balancing rules have been introduced which do not go against Kawasaki’s interests. We understand it is not an easy job to balance such a diverse championship. It took a lot of effort from FIM, DWO and MSMA, so we hope we can use this opportunity to be part of the show and fight to win races. We have a very balanced project this year. Lowes, a fast rider with incredible capacity for speed, is trying to extend his performance for 20 laps - right to the end of long races. Axel, a young and talented rider, is learning how to extract the full potential of the Ninja ZX-10RR each time he goes out on track. Races this season will need to be evaluated not only by finishing positions but by the distance between the first placed rider and the others, because it will be so tight. The numbers of great riders on the grid is amazing. I’m sure this is, by far, the more competitive and exciting season in WorldSBK since we started out on our KRT project in 2012. We are making a big show and hope all the racing fans, and especially the Ninja fans, will thoroughly enjoy it.”