Tech 3 ‘surprised’ at Moto2 switch for Sam Lowes

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Tech 3 Racing boss Herve Poncharal said he was surprised to learn that newly crowned World Supersport Sam Lowes will move to Moto2 in 2014, having been told the British rider’s signature was off limits.

Poncharal had been negotiating with Lowes since the Brno round August, but a deal appeared dead in the water, with the 23-year-old locked into a contract with his Yakhnich Motorsport squad to switch to WSB that had a sizeable buyout option.

Poncharal was informed of his unavailability, only for Yakhnich Motorsport to announce that after clinching the World Supersport crown in Magny Cours earlier this month, Lowes has secured a two-year deal to move to Moto2.

He will move to the Italian-based Speed Up squad, which will be run by former 250cc rider Luca Boscoscuro.

Poncharal told MCN: “I chatted a few times with Sam on the phone around Brno time and he told me we were his number one option and he felt he could sort out the contract. He was with Yamaha and they wanted to help him a little bit and he was with Monster, so it made sense and I was confident and excited.

Since then it has been on and off about whether he could get out of his contract. Then we arrived in Aragon and the Russian team owner sent an official e-mail to Dorna saying Sam is with us and we are going to have him in WSB next year. We need to respect contracts and when I heard that, I thought it was game over.

Sam sent me a message saying it was going to be very difficult and cost a lot of money to be released from his contract and that it looked like he was going to be in World Superbikes next year. He said sorry and then a few days later I read the press release and I was quite surprised.

He must have found a solution and I was not informed because the last information I got from him was that we couldn’t touch him. I’m happy he is coming but I didn’t want to make a dirty move to his team owner.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt