Rumours that Sam Lowes will ride an MV Agusta in the World Superbike Championship next season have gathered further momentum after it was revealed that he has tested the manufacturer's F4RR Superbike during a private test in Italy this weekend.
Lowes is a rider in demand following a tremendous season in the World Supersport Championship, the five-time race winner heading into this weekend's event in Turkey with a shot at sealing the title over Kenan Sofuoglu
two rounds early.
Indeed, with a comfortable 54 point lead over his rival alleviating some of the title pressure, Lowes duly took the opportunity to join MV Agusta for a private test of its F4RR Superbike in Brescia this weekend, with GPOne.com
reporting that he completed 47 laps.
The test goes a long way to confirming speculation that MV Agusta is seeking a move into World Superbikes next season following a competitive return to factory-backed competition in the World Supersport Championship this year.
With this in mind, several teams have been connected to running the burgeoning project already, including Lowes's well-funded Supersport team Yakhnich Motorsport, former WSBK champions Althea Racing and ParkinGO, the team behind MV Agusta's podium-winning return to Supersport racing.
As for Lowes, while the test could be seen as a favour to Yakhnich to determine whether they could be competitive in World Superbikes with MV Agusta, it is also a chance for the youngster to decide whether he would consider developing an entirely new machine to coincide with his graduation to Superbikes.
The man himself has already told Crash.net
that he is keen to extend his relationship with Yamaha, though the Japanese manufacturer's uncertain future plans at this level could prompt Lowes into an alternative route.
Indeed, Lowes's options for 2014 remain open, with agreements in place with Yakhnich Motorsport – who have always signalled its intentions to step up to World Superbikes next season – and Yamaha, while a number of leading Moto2 team have expressed an interest in the youngster's services too.
Though it was originally proposed that Lowes could ride a Yakhnich Motorsport-prepared Yamaha YZF-R1 next season, the Russian outfit is said to be seriously considering entering into a more attractive deal with MV Agusta to run a burgeoning factory-assisted effort. Even if they don't agree terms with MV Agusta, Yakhnich Motorsport's Superbike options appear to be broad, with a possible deal to run Aprilias or Ducatis also hinted at.