After wrapping up the 2013 World Supersport title, Sam Lowes is heading for Moto2. In a brief statement on the Yakhnich Motorsport website, posted on Sunday night, Yaknich announced that they would be stepping up to compete in both the World Superbike and World Supersport classes in 2014, and that Lowes would not be joining them. Instead, Lowes has signed a two-year deal to race in Moto2, though the statement did not mention who Lowes had signed with.
The announcement comes after weeks of negotiation between the Yakhnich team and Lowes. Lowes had originally signed a deal with the team to race for another two years, stepping up to World Superbikes for 2014. But the decision by Yakhnich to switch to MV Agusta in both classes left Lowes worried that the bike would not be competitive, and that he would not be able to challenge for a WSBK title to go with this WSS championship. At first, Lowes looked like being stuck with Yakhnich unless he paid a hefty penalty, but an agreement has been reached which will release Lowes from his contract, while retaining a promotional role with the team.
Which team Lowes is headed to is as yet uncertain, but the generally well-informed German-language website Speedweek is suggesting that Lowes could end up at the NGM Forward team. This would make some sense, as NGM are to race FTR Moto2 chassis for next season, and having a proven rider - and one with English as his first language - on the bike should help speed up development. Other rumors, however, suggest that Lowes could end up with the returning Speed Up team.
No doubt Lowes will make his future clear after the final round of the 2013 World Supersport season at Jerez, in two weeks' time. Until then, speculation will be rife on where he is headed.