Alex Lowes has extended his contract with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team for another season. The 24-year-old Englishman is to stay in World Superbikes for 2015, where he will race the GSX-R1000.
Lowes' decision brings an end to rumors that the Englishman was set to join his brother in the Grand Prix paddock. Lowes had explored a number of options in Moto2, but none stacked up against remaining with the Voltcom Suzuki team in WSBK.
Who Lowes' teammate will be is uncertain. With Eugene Laverty set to move to MotoGP with the Aspar team, there is an empty seat in the team. The departure of Aprilia from WSBK puts a number or riders on the market, with Leon Camier and Loris Baz the top riders still without a ride
The press release from Suzuki announcing the re-signing of Lowes appears below:
LOWES RE-SIGNS FOR VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI
Team Suzuki Press Office – September 25.
Alex Lowes will continue his partnership with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki for the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season.
Lowes is confident his progression with the Suzuki GSX-R will allow him to become a consistent front-runner during his second season in the Championship and the British racer is eager to return to the tracks he has been learning as part of his apprenticeship year.
Extending his contract with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki for a further 12 months, Lowes will remain with the team until December 2015, and will be back in action on his GSX-R1000 next week at Magny-Cours in France for the penultimate round of the 2014 Championship.
Despite a rocky start to his rookie year aboard the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 - fracturing his left foot during the season’s opening qualifying sessions at Phillip Island in Australia – the reigning BSB Champion has developed well on the World stage, demonstrating huge speed and achieving two podiums and two fastest-laps in 2014 so far with four races left to run.
“My first year with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki in the World Championship hasn’t always been easy but overall it’s been great! You learn a lot about yourself and the team when things don't quite go right and now at this stage of the year we know exactly where we need to improve, both on and off track. I'm really enjoying my riding again after some injuries early in the year and looking forward to continuing my improvement and being more consistent in 2015.
“The World Superbike Championship is a fantastic series to race in, it's been great to race at so many new tracks but it has also meant I've had a lot to learn! My second year will allow me the opportunity to continue my development with the benefit of a year’s experience, so I’m really looking forward to the next stage in my career.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team and all the sponsors and partners for their continued faith in me, bringing me up from BSB Champion to the World level and continuing that support into my second year as a World Championship racer. I’m confident we can challenge at the front with the Suzuki GSX-R next year and will be aiming, as ever, to achieve my very best for all involved.”
Paul Denning –Team Manager:
“There have been a lot of challenges for Alex this year; new Championship, new team, new bike, new tracks, and learning the electronic control strategies used at World level. It’s not easy to jump straight-in from a domestic series and be competitive, but Alex has clearly shown his raw speed, determination and understanding of what’s needed to run with the fastest riders.
“Alex’s most important attribute in terms of our decision to extend the contract is simple – he is blindingly fast. The second year together will allow us to make better decisions, improve consistency and to understand what’s needed circuit-to-circuit to achieve the best performance. In some cases, that might mean settling for a result that is below our target but is the best that can be achieved on the day; and that approach will come with time and experience. However, when the opportunity is there; we need a rider who can win – and Alex fits that bill perfectly.”