Sam Lowes ready to line up with racing legend Valentino Rossi
Sam Lowes could line up on the same grid as racing legend Valentino Rossi after it emerged he is in the frame for a ride with a British-run MotoGP team.
The World Supersport ace has held talks about riding for the Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) outfit in motorcycle racing's blue ribbon class in 2013.
Bird currently runs a one-man team in MotoGP, but is planning to expand to two riders next season.
Lowes, from Lincoln, is a contender for one of the seats, but he faces competition from British Superbike stars Shane Byrne and Tommy Hill.
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Byrne, 35, who rides for Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki BSB outfit, is at the top of the team's wish list.
But with youth on his side, and as a British Supersport champion and World Supersport race winner, Lowes, 22, has an impressive CV, too.
"I have held talks with Paul (Bird)," confirmed Lowes, who is preparing for the penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship with the Bogdanka PTR Honda team.
"It's flattering to be linked with a ride like that.
"But nothing is confirmed at the moment and I should know more this weekend.
"Ideally, I'd like to know what I'm doing before the last round at Magny-Cours, on October 7."
Lowes is also believed to have options in World Superbikes, which would be a natural progression after two successful years in World Supersport.
However, the carrot of a ride in MotoGP could be too much to resist.
PMB were new to MotoGP this year after bikes with tuned-up production engines – known as CRT bikes – were allowed to enter the class.
The CRT machines are much slower than the full prototype bikes raced by the likes of Rossi and current series leader Jorge Lorenzo, but are significantly cheaper to run and have helped boost dwindling grid numbers.