Sam Lowes is setting himself a target of podiums and status as top independent when he makes his much anticipated WorldSBK bow next season.
The Englishman will switch from Moto2 to WorldSBK in 2024 aboard a customer Ducati Panigale V4 R prepared by Marc VDS Racing, which joins Lowes in making a transition from the Grand Prix ranks.
The move will see the 2013 WorldSSP Champion go into combat on track with brother Alex, the first time the twins have squared up to one another on the international stage.
Getting his first taste of Ducati machinery this week during a test in Jerez, a buoyant Lowes says it didn't take long for him to feel at home on the V4 machine, despite the inclement weather conditions hampering Marc VDS Racing's programme.
“It was great, I loved it,” he told BSN.
“We didn’t get in all that we hoped, as the weather wasn’t nice to us, but it was so good to get some laps on a Superbike and the Ducati.
"My first laps were wet but I felt good straight away and was surprised by how much the bike gave confidence and was nice to ride, even in cold wet conditions."
While a string of riders in recent years have crossed over from Moto2 to compete in the WorldSSP class, the step switch from triple-cylinder prototype machinery to a 1000cc Superbike is less common.
Indeed, Lowes says the differences between the two bikes is stark but feels he knows which areas he needs to work on already
“The speed and weight are a lot different to Moto2, also the stiffness of the bike. Of course, with 25 dry-ish laps, it’s hard for me to say to much more, but I felt that I understand a lot already and have highlighted the areas I need to work on - which actually weren’t where I thought!
“I still need a lot more time and laps to see, in detail, many things, but it was massive effort by the team and Ducati to get this test together, so I appreciate that a lot."
"Podiums, top independent are targets..."
While Lowes isn't playing down the challenge of proving competitive in a high-quality field of riders - across both the factory teams and top satellite efforts - he is still setting himself lofty targets for his rookie campaign.
"The level and depth of WorldSBK right now is amazing and I am proud to be part of it.
“Mostly, my targets will be to quickly learn the bike, the tyres and the championship as the format is a lot different to Moto2.
"Once I have everything figured out, then I believe we will be fighting at the front.
"Top independent is a target, also for the team, but the aim is to be fighting for the podiums.
"I can’t wait to get on track with Alex too, we will enjoy it a lot."