Lincoln ace Alex Lowes ready to let loose in British Superbike showdown
Alex Lowes will be riding with the shackles off when the British Superbike Showdown gets under way at Assen this weekend.
The Lincoln rider booked his place at BSB's top table with a fifth and sixth place at Donington Park last time out.
Now he has the chance to become British Superbike king over the next three rounds at Assen, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
He faces almighty competition from the likes of two-time champion Shane Byrne and 2011 winner Tommy Hill.
Along with Supersonic BMW's Tommy Bridewell, Lowes is an outsider for the title, but after riding cautiously at Donington in a bid to secure his Showdown place, the pressure has been lifted off the Team WFR Honda ace.
"I'm relaxed now. I'm not worried about whether I'm going to get in the Showdown. I can just go for it and see what happens," said Lowes, who goes into the Showdown in fifth place with 502 points.
"I think I can be as fast as anyone else in it. Whether I can be as consistent, I don't know.
"The top three (in the championship) is my goal and if we can get on the podium then we've got a chance."
BSB moves into the unchartered territory this weekend with its first ever visit to the iconic Assen circuit in the Netherlands.
But the popular track won't hold any surprises for Lowes, who rode there last year during his spell with the Castrol Honda World Superbike outfit.
The 22-year-old struggled to make an impression during his brief spell on the world stage.
But Lowes is a different rider this year after adding consistency to his undoubted speed he expects to be racing at the sharp end at Assen.
"I really love the track," he declared. "I'm looking forward to it and I think I'll go well there, maybe even win a race.
"That's what I'm aiming to do. Since Donington I've been in the gym working hard to make sure I'm in the best shape possible."
At Donington, Lowes was involved in a spicy battle with WFR Honda team-mate James Westmoreland, who had an outside of breaking into the Showdown himself.
Despite Lowes being in the far stronger position, no team orders were enforced – and he doesn't expect that to change during the Showdown.
"I don't expect any team orders and that's fine. He (Westmoreland) needs to race for himself," added the former North Kesteven School pupil.
"If I can't do the job myself, I don't deserve to be in there.
"Hopefully Westy can get on the podium as well."