Alex Lowes reckons the development work done by Yamaha through the winter will enable him and team-mate Michael van der Mark to fight for race wins in 2018.
With the season set to get underway in Australia this weekend, Lowes has told MCN in an exclusive interview that he is certain the YZF-R1 can win races this year after he made a vital step forward in 2017.
“I fully believe, 100% that I can beat Jonathan, we just need to see where we are with the bike,” said Lowes. “We can win races, maybe from the start of the year, but I know the bike is going to improve over the first three or four rounds too so we should get stronger as the year goes on.
“If you look at winter testing, Kawasaki seem to have stepped up with the new rules straight away and seem to be just as fast. It’s not going to be easy, but I do believe our bike is a lot closer than it was last year. If I can do a better job on some weekends and have more confidence, I’m sure I can push towards that top step.”
For an extensive 2018 World Superbike season preview, pick up this week's MCN