Alex Lowes will make a surprise return to WFR Honda for the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship after being signed to join Graeme Gowland and James Westmoreland in the team.
Lowes made his full-time BSB debut with WFR Honda last season, the youngster proving a revelation on the sub-category EVO bike as he diced with the overall front runners, securing a best finish of fifth position at Croft.
However, Lowes would split with WFR after just three events, prompting a switch to MSS Colchester Kawasaki. Though his relationship with the MSS Colchester team began remarkably well with a pole position at Thruxton, Lowes would manage a result no higher than seventh during his time there, necessitating a split before the end of the year.
Ending the season with Motorpoint Yamaha, having also competed for Castrol Honda on the World Superbike stage in 2011, Lowes was pleased to be returning to WFR ahead of what he hopes will be a more seamless campaign.
"I feel really good about the new season and returning to WFR Honda as I have had some of my best results with the team, so it is a mega opportunity for me,” he said. “When we parted it was amicable and now I have been given the chance to return and we can really show what we are capable of. I know that the team has the potential and the ambition to be at the front; they are well respected in the paddock and now they already have some experience of the new bike from testing it already feels like as a team we have made a positive start, even though I haven't ridden the new bike yet.
"The results we had at the start of the season were unexpected as it was my first ride on a Superbike and I was up against the main Superbike riders who had more experience. I think that having ridden for different teams last year has meant I had three or four seasons experience all in one. I think that returning with the Honda will be good for me and I know I have the pace; I just need to be more consistent but that shouldn't be an issue as I won't be swapping between bikes next year! I think changing teams this season meant I was trying to push harder to try and find the limits faster and that caused the crashes. My style though suits the bikes for next season and I haven't had much experience of a bike with lots of electronic aids so I don't think I will find next year any harder.
"I have been training really hard already as I am already focused on the season ahead of me and I know that the team haven't stopped since the test in Spain. We want to be in that top six for the Showdown and you can see from this year how many riders had the chance of making the cut. I have a great team and two team-mates so we can push each other all the way. I can't wait to get out testing now so we can really hit the ground running when we start racing."
BSB 2012 will be made up of one-class, with the series reverting to EVO-inspired regulations, a move that is expected to favour WFR having dominated the class in 2011.