Alex Lowes has given a clear hint that he will be a contender for this year's MCE British Superbike Championship title after picking up a pair of podiums on his Samsung Honda debut at Brands Hatch.

Though the youngster has been tipped as a pre-season favourite following his impressive end to the 2012 season, he remains a relative novice compared to his main rivals and comes into the year with a new team following the exit of WFR Honda.

Despite this, Lowes would prove a close rival to Shane Byrne throughout the Brands Hatch weekend, qualifying on the front row and mounting a victory challenge in race one before settling for second. It was a result he would go on to repeat in this second race, placing him a single point behind Byrne in the overall standings.

'Chuffed' to come away with a pair of podiums - which remain only the fifth and sixth of his burgeoning BSB career -, Lowes was also happy to have shown strong, consistent pace from start-to-finish.

"My intention coming into this round was to maintain the consistent form that I had at the end of last season, so I'm really happy with the way things have gone. In the first race I made a good start, which was pleasing considering the difficulties in getting away swiftly that I had last year and then I had good pace throughout and to be able to stick in behind Byrne who is always awesome here was very good.

"Then the second race, another second, and I'm really chuffed to have two podiums. I didn't expect the pace to be as hot as it was at the start but I rode really hard and wanted to be a get closer to them. Then at the end, I thought Byrne would clean me out when he went wide but I was OK and on the podium and that is what I want to keep doing."