Sam Lowes will be KTM-mounted in 2018 when he returns to the Moto2 championship, after the announcement at the weekend that his new Swiss-based CGBM Evolution team have penned a deal to become the Austrian manufacturer’s first satellite team in the middleweight class.
And, with KTM planning an expansion of their MotoGP effort to four bikes in 2019, it could well provide the perfect route back to the premier class for the former Moto2 championship contender after he was unceremoniously given the boot by Aprilia half way through a two-year MotoGP deal with the Italian manufacturer.
Speaking at the San Marino Grand Prix, KTM Motorsport vice president Jens Hainbach says that the CGBM Evolution team’s level of competition means they were the sensible partner for the Austrians to sign up with.
"We are very happy with this partnership in Moto2 with CGBM Evolution as it takes KTM further into Moto2 with another strong team as our Moto2 customer service progresses similar to what we have done in Moto3. We've had a cooperation with CGBM for some years supplying WP Suspension with success and race wins so we know their work ethic already. We like this work ethic; it's a good fit with ours. Sam Lowes is confirmed as riding who knows how to win in Moto2 so we are very much looking forward to the future in Moto2."
And team boss Fred Corminboeuf says that the deal – and the confidence put in their team by both KTM and suspension partners WP – mean that they can concentrate now on winning the title.
“I’m pleased to officially announce that we will collaborate with KTM in 2018 and 2019. We will equip our riders with their material. I’m really excited about this step in the history of CGBM Evolution. I remember when we brought suspension system specialist WP Suspension, who’s already a long-term partner of KTM, to Moto2. The change to KTM is a strategic step for us.”
The rumour could be doubly good news for Lowes, too, with the possibility of a return to MotoGP as KTM expands to a four-bike team in 2019 a real possibility for him thanks to KTM’s speediness to reward success on their equipment.