World Supersport Champion-elect Sam Lowes says he has 'some nice options' to consider for next season, but says he has made no decision as to where he will be racing in 2014.
The Englishman, who took a major stride towards his first world title this weekend with a fifth win of the season at the Nurburgring, has long been anticipated to step up to the World Superbike Championship in 2014 alongside current team Yaknich Motorsport.
However, while it is commonly known that Lowes has a contract to go to Superbikes with the Russian-backed Yakhnich team for 2014, rumours over the weekend suggest he won't be riding Yamaha machinery as originally anticipated.
Instead, it is believed MV Agusta, following a fairly successful return to international competition in the Supersport class, is plotting a return to the Superbike category in 2014 and is evaluating teams to front its charge.
Though Althea Racing was originally mooted, Yakhnich Motorsport is now believed to have stepped into the fray with a plan to head up a new factory-supported team with Lowes potentially riding the F4RR.
The man himself, however, says he doesn't know where and with whom he will be riding in 2014, claiming he has options in both Superbike and 'another paddock', whilst adding he would like to extend his relationship with Yamaha following a successful first season together.
“I'm in a great place with this team, it has been a great season,” he said. “The ultimate aim in the future – not necessarily next year – is to get to MotoGP, so at the end of the day I need to make a decision. For me, being on the best bike I possibly can in the best championship is the right thing, and I have some nice options in this paddock and some nice options in another one.
“I don't know what I want to do. I have been in a lot of contact with Yamaha, they have been really good for me this year, not just on the track but off it, so that makes a lot of difference when I decide what to do in the next few years. It's an avenue I would like to go down if at all possible.
“Next year could be difficult with the rules changing and everyone a little bit unsure. I have a contract to go to Superbike next year, but I am waiting for find out if the team will do that.”
Yamaha, which pulled its factory support from the World Superbike Championship in 2011, is tipped to be coming back to the series in 2015. MV Agusta returned to the World Supersport Championship this season and has proven competitive from the off with Roberto Rolfo scoring a podium finish at Donington Park.