Sam Lowes made a superb start to 2015 pre-season testing with the Speed Up rider consistently fast in the Valencia and Jerez tests and Lowes now feels ready to make a huge step forward and challenge for race wins in the ultra competitive Moto2 class.
Having finished last year with strong races in Philip Island and Valencia his spirits were buoyed ahead of the winter finding consistency was the problem for the team. Two front row starts showed the potential but a lack of feeling from the bike and the effect that this had on his confidence clearly took its toll as the year progressed.
"Last year I underperformed big time because of some mistakes by me but also ones by the team and the bike," admitted Lowes. "The tracks where I had the best results I still wasn't riding very well but now I've got a bike that I feel like I know how to ride it and I've got a much better team of people around me. It's so much stronger now and I honestly believe that given how I felt last year and how I feel now that there's a night and day difference.
"Last year I finished sixth in Qatar but I feel 100% certain that I can do better this year and if I can improve a little bit I'll be very close there. If I can start the season strong then you're on a roll so I'm looking at being on the podium in Qatar and then taking it from there and being consistently in the top five. I know though that I have to be on the podium this year because I need to show that I can cut it in Grand Prix and I really believe that I can."
With one test remaining before the season opening Qatar Grand Prix there's still time to iron out any issues but for Lowes it's clear that he wants the season to start as soon as possible. The bike isn't perfect yet but it's now at least allowing him to build his confidence in it and he believes that taking the jump from being an occasional threat to the leaders to becoming a consistent front runner is one that he is now read to make.
"Now I've gotten on the bike, and it's not perfect, but there's so much more feeling on it. That's given me a lot of confidence and hopefully we can do a mega job. All the guys coming from Moto3 I obviously don't know but the guys that are still in the class I know exactly what to expect from them...but I don't think that any of them know what to expect from me. I'm like Marquez and Rins in that I'm more of an unknown to the rest of the guys and I like that. I think that I can make a massive step this year."