Alex Lowes could be set for a MotoGP switch in 2014, with strong rumours in Indianapolis last weekend that the BSB title contender is close to agreeing a deal to move to Paul Bird’s squad.
MCN understands the 22-year-old, who has won four races in his BSB career, has reached a pre-contract agreement with Bird, who is keen on bringing young homegrown talent to MotoGP.
Bird refused point-blank to confirm Lowes was a prime target for next season but the millionaire businessman did confirm in America that he will run two bikes again in 2014, with both using his own British-built PBM frame powered by Aprilia’s ART motor.
If Lowes does move to Bird’s squad, then he is likely to partner current rider Michael Laverty.
Bird though wants to see improved results from the Irishman before committing to an extended deal.
Bird told MCN: “I’m keen to keep him but he needs to up his game a little bit. If he has two good results in Brno and Silverstone, which he knows, then we’ll be on for next year. I’m keen to keep him and I really like him. The job is there for Michael so it is up to him now. He needs to impress me in these next few races, which I am confident he can do.”
Bird had briefly negotiated with Honda about buying a production Honda RC213V for 2014 but is not pursuing that as an option.
Current Honda WSB rider Jonathan Rea had been linked with the ride but his name has since been mentioned with the Forward Racing squad about racing a Yamaha YZR-M1 engine and chassis package.