Sam Lowes has high hopes for World Supersport title after positive start with Yamaha
Sam Lowes believes he can finally end his quest for the World Supersport title after joining the Yakhnich Yamaha team.
The Lincoln racer has penned a three-year deal with the Russian-backed squad which will see him graduate to World Superbikes with the team in 2014.
Lowes turned down other offers from World Superbikes and a ride in MotoGP with the British Paul Bird Motorsport outfit after deciding to leave the Louth-based PTR Honda team.
Yakhnich will receive official factory support from Yamaha next year and beyond, which is believed to have played a key role in Lowes' decision.
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There is also the tantalising prospect that the 22-year-old could be joined by racing icon Valentino Rossi on Yamaha machinery in 2015.
The multi-time MotoGP champion has rejoined the Japanese manufacturer after a forgettable two years with Ducati.
And it is rumoured that as part of the deal Rossi will switch to World Superbikes in 2015 before calling time on his illustrious career.
But for now, Lowes' priority is to get to know his own Yamaha after spending the majority of his career on a Honda.
The former North Kesteven School pupil tested the bike in Jerez last week.
"I was excited to test my new bike, the Yamaha R6, after four seasons riding a Honda," said Lowes, who had to contend with damp conditions at the Spanish circuit.
"Now I'm much more excited because I can see that the potential of the bike will allow me to try and win next year.
"The riding style required by this bike is different, but it was quite easy for me to understand and improve lap by lap, even in these difficult conditions.
"The team welcomed me in the best way and I felt immediately at home. I'm sure we will have a great season in 2013."
Lowes has enjoyed two successful seasons in World Supersport with PTR.
PTR boss Simon Buckmaster, who is also Lowes personal manager, admitted his team could not match the offer of Yakhnich.
"Some may be surprised because we did a deal for him to race as our rival," said Buckmaster.
"But we would never hold Sam back and his new team offered him a three-year deal with a Superbike ride as part of the contract.
"We could not offer this so we are happy that Sam has a new opportunity.
"Sam is a great rider and we look forward to competing with him in 2013."