British racer Sam Lowes says his target in his third and final year of Moto2 competition is to be able to step up to the premier class as a World Champion.
An impressive sophomore campaign in Moto2 was enough to earn Lowes a contract to step up to the Aprilia MotoGP team in 2017 as a full race rider, after combining development duties with one final season in the intermediate class with Gresini next year.
And the Briton says being a relatively recent convert from World Supersport, where he was champion in 2013, makes his chance with the Italian manufacturer all the more valuable.
“For me it’s very important as I am different to nearly all the other guys in this paddock,” he said in an interview with MotoGP.com.
“I have only been here two years and don’t have as much experience, so it’s not easy to get the opportunity.
“I am really grateful and I hope I can go there as Moto2 World Champion and do a great job in MotoGP.”
As part of his switch to the Gresini team, Lowes will ride the class-leading Kalex chassis after two years spent on Speed Up machinery.
The Brit said he noticed an immediate improvement with his new mount during private testing last month at Jerez.
“I have tested the Kalex and loved it from the very first lap,” he said. “It’s easier to ride, allows you to get more feeling with the track and turns better.
“Next year I will be on same bike as the others, so maybe it can help me improve more.”
Zarco and Rins favourites
Asked who he felt would be his main obstacles to title success, the 25-year-old expects a high number of potential winners – but singled out reigning champion Johann Zarco and rookie of the year Alex Rins as the favourites.
“I think in Moto2 anyone is capable of surprising you,” said Lowes. “[Danny] Kent and [Miguel] Oliveira should be strong, plus [Lorenzo] Baldassarri finished this season well.
“Also both Marc VDS riders [Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez] will improve and be up there too. I could name 15 riders that I think are more than capable of winning races in 2016.
“But for me, Zarco and Rins will be the main challengers for the championship.”