World Supersport champion Sam Lowes is making his Speed Up Moto2 debut in testing at Jerez today (Thursday) - shortly before which he gave this exclusive interview to

Sam's twin brother Alex won the British Superbike title this season...
What's your perspective on your World Supersport season?

Sam Lowes:
Looking back, after the season got going and after a couple of races it just all went to plan. We didn't make the best of starts at Philip Island but still came away with a second and obviously at Aragon we had an engine problem, but after that I had a good sit down with the team and we just went from strength to strength. I'd probably describe it as a perfect season.

I learnt a lot in 2011 and 2012 which I put into practice this year and I have to say that I've learnt a lot in my championship winning year too.

Winning any championship takes a massive amount of work from so many people and it also takes a little bit of luck and things have to go your way. To make that happen I've learnt to work so much harder in preparing before the race and working during it. I've won a championship before in BSS but this was at a whole different level.

I think I've come out of the experience a different rider. I raced very strongly this year and maybe kept my head in many situations, where in the past I might not have done. I think this year I took a huge step up as a rider from being just a fast one to being one that can fight for the title.

Confidence is also a big thing and I've got a lot of that at the moment. I'd definitely say that I'm a better rider now than the one who started the season.
So on the Lowes family mantelpiece, you've now got the WSS and BSB trophies...

Sam Lowes:
Yeah, we will have, mine's with the team at the minute but when it comes back to me it'll look pretty good.

I'm definitely proud of Alex for what he's achieved and I'm also proud of myself for what I've achieved, it's been a great year. As soon as I got on the bike I knew I was going to be strong and it's that self-belief that carried me through.

You can't say which title is the greater. Alex is the youngest ever BSB champion, 23 like me, and set lap times at Assen and Silverstone that were faster than the Honda World Superbike riders so what he's achieved this year is very impressive and all credit to him.

Mine's a world championship though so I hope that gives me some bragging rights but they're both great championships and think it's good for the sport for us both to have them.
Did you watch the BSB final race?

Sam Lowes:
I watched all the races afterwards because I was in a race myself. I could have watched the last race live but I chose not to because I was too nervous - I get more nervous watching Al than for myself.

I'm glad I wasn't able to see the first race where Alex crashed at Druids, it would have been too much. As I say, I could have watched the last race live and knew that Leon [Haslam] was watching it but could only handle watching it on rewind after I knew that Alex had done the job.
Which races of your season did you learn the most from?

Sam Lowes:
Turkey was a big weekend for us for a number of reasons. Kenan has huge support there, it was also a track I didn't know and the fact that I could win the championship meant that it was a big event. I learnt how to control my emotions and a lot of other things that weekend. I came second in the race and almost won but I felt I did well to perform at that level on that track, it was good for me.

I also learnt at Aragon because I was riding with a broken wrist, a broken scaphoid, and got all the way to the last lap when the engine broke. It was difficult to take physically and emotionally because I'd put in a huge amount of work to put myself in that position on the last lap. It's those kind of things that make you stronger and make you progress as a rider. You've got to learn to keep coming back from these things and keep digging in.

To be honest though, with the way I was riding this season, I felt that it was my year. I felt strong and confident from the start and always felt that I could battle and beat Kenan.

We had a good battle at Assen where I beat him on the last lap. It's been a few years since he's been beaten in a battle, he's been beaten in races but not necessarily in a head to head so that was a boost psychologically.
Turkey was a brilliant race, did you feel the tension of it?

Sam Lowes:
No question. When you're on the grid normally you'd be a bit chilled and wouldn't hear too much of what was going on because you'd be focussed on the race ahead. But at that race the grandstand was right there and you could hear them stamping their feet and shouting Kenan's name. I couldn't even hear what my mechanics were saying. The fans out there are very passionate. It was a hard weekend for me and I found it quite difficult but in the end I really enjoyed the race.
How was your relationship with Kenan at the end of the season, particularly in the light of what happened at Silverstone?

Sam Lowes:
I've never had a great problem with Kenan and at Silverstone I didn't necessarily have a problem with him personally, it's just what happened.

He knocked me off so he should have been penalised. It's like what happened to Alex in BSB at Assen, he was disqualified from the race for knocking Shakey off and Kenan did exactly the same to me. At the end of the day though I took it on the chin and at the last few races of the season we got on better than ever.

There was a lot of respect each way. He's a three times world champion so that alone deserves my respect. He said a lot of nice things to me especially after Magny-Cours and he wished me all the best in Moto2. He said that if I went there with my head held high and had good people around me that I could win the championship. I thought that was generous of him.

We definitely parted friends. If I went to the WSS paddock I'd certainly stop to talk to him.
How did you part with Yakhnich?

Sam Lowes:
I signed a contract with them to go to Superbikes and they were looking to go there with MV. For them it was a good move because it's such a great Italian brand but I wasn't interested in going into WSBK with that bike because I felt that it would be impossible to get a good result.

We came to a deal about the contract where I paid to get out of it, but we're both fine with each other and I'll be continuing to appear for them at events for a while. If they had gone forward with a different manufacturer it might have been different, but we parted on good terms.
Did the new rules for WSBK influence your decision as to whether you were going to stay there?

Sam Lowes:
It just made it more likely that the difference between WSBK and MotoGP would become bigger and that there would be less MotoGP managers looking to the WSBK championship for potential riders.

The options I had for going into Moto2 were all pretty strong and when I look at Marquez, Espargaro, Bradl, Bradley Smith and Scott Redding, they all got good rides in MotoGP from Moto2. If you then look at WSBK champions like Tom Sykes or Max Biaggi, they didn't.

Whether you think I can or can't cut it in MotoGP, that's still my dream and definitely my goal, I'm only 23 after all. I've got a great contract over the next couple of years that will hopefully allow me to achieve that. I need to be able to see how good I can be while I'm still young, I feel I still need to do that.

Melandri and Biaggi have also shown that it's still possible to come back to WSBK from there and have a successful career and that's the theory behind my move.

WSBK at the moment is all a little unsure and now that both championships are owned by the same people if something's going to hit a championship then it'll probably be WSBK. I genuinely think that I've made the right decision for myself.
Do you decide on future plans in collaboration with Alex, does where he's going to go influence your decision?

Sam Lowes:
No. In an ideal world it'd be great to be in the same paddock or team but in the end we've both got our own careers and we've got to do what's right for us.

Also, what's right isn't just the championship it's the specific ride. If you've got an option to ride a factory Aprilia in WSBK then you'd do it but that wasn't an option for me. My offers in Moto2 were just more competitive and in combination with the rule changes and so forth it made the choice clear.

Alex isn't going to be in the MotoGP paddock anyway, it's going to be WSBK or BSB.
There were some rumours about you going to Tech 3, what happened there?

Sam Lowes:
I spoke to Herve and I've got to say that he's one of the nicest guys I've met. I really understand his project and it's great what they're trying to do with their own bike.

In the end it didn't happen for various reasons and they were more from my side. I can't really go into details because of my current contract. Tech 3 is obviously a great team in MotoGP and I'm a little sad it didn't happen but I am happy with the deal I've got.
You've signed with Luca Boscoscuro, is he a team owner or chassis manufacturer?

Sam Lowes:
He owns Speed Up.
Why did you go for a Speed Up option in Moto2 given that Suter and Kalex are making the running at the moment?

Sam Lowes:
The team I'm riding for is currently called Forward racing and has four bikes. Two of them are run by Forward racing and two are Luca's entry.

Basically it's Gabor Talmacsi and Iannone's team in 2011 when they got multiple podiums and Iannone's team from 2012 when he was third in the championship so it's a very successful team.

This year that team was merged with Forward Racing's Moto2 effort and Corsi has been the most successful of the riders and has shown that the bike has good potential.

The thing I liked was that I was essentially riding for the chassis manufacturer rather than a team so I'll be the first to get any chassis developments or upgrades and that's very important.

I was talking to Toni Elias at Jerez and he said to me that maybe the Kalex is the best bike if you're in the first or second Kalex team, but if you're the third team you don't get anything.

Maybe it's better being the top Speed Up guy rather than the third Kalex one. The top Speed Up guy is probably as good as the Kalex guy and if not they're just a little bit behind and for me that was a good way of thinking.

As I said I'm very happy with the team and I'll be flying out [on Wednesday] to do some testing on Thursday and Friday and I'm very, very excited.
So Luca will be splitting off two of the Moto2 bikes currently being run by Forward and running them under a different sponsor?

Sam Lowes:
That's my understanding, and I'd be one of the main development riders. I'll find a lot more out over the next couple of weeks and after testing but that's how it stands.

Right from the beginning I've noticed that Luca really believes in me and has a great bunch of people around him. It was Luca's enthusiasm that really attracted me, I just love racing and I noticed a lot of that feeling in Luca too
And it's a straight two year deal with no future possibilities having been discussed?

Sam Lowes:
That's right.
Are you looking forward to the off season or are you just impatient for next year?

Sam Lowes:
After a couple of weeks I just want to get back on the bike but I've got a few tests in November which will be good for me. December and January will be mainly training but they'll be very frustrating because I won't be riding the bike so I'm looking forward to these tests.
Thanks Sam.

Sam Lowes:
No problems.