Sam Lowes says he is thrilled to officially be crowned the 2013 World Supersport Champion after another podium finish at Magny-Cours proved more than enough to seal the title with one round in hand.
Though Lowes was always expected to wrap up the championship in France having moved just one point shy of sealing the crown, the Yakhnich Yamaha rider was still determined to close it out from the top of the podium.
Embarking on an exciting – and tense – battle with Christian Iddon and season-long rival Kenan Sofuoglu, Lowes was winding up for a final lap tussle with the latter when an ill-timed red flag on the last revolution brought about an early conclusion.
Nonetheless, 23-year-old Lowes remains a dominant first-time world champion, his superior blend of unwavering consistency and spellbinding pace having led him to five wins, five second place finishes and eight pole positions in 11 races.
Going on to praise rival Sofuoglu, with whom he has enjoyed enthralling - if occasionally boisterous – battle with over the course of the season, Lowes was naturally delighted to have prevailed over such a worthy adversary.
“I'm very happy and want to say a massive thank you to Yamaha and to everybody involved in getting me here. From when I first rode the R6 in Jerez and joined the team I felt a great feeling and I knew we could fight for the championship. To feel it and do it are two different things so I'm very happy to be world champion.
“The race was great fun, sometimes it's nice to be in a battle and take your mind off the bigger picture. I enjoyed that race a lot. I'd like to say a massive thank you to Kenan; he's a great rider, I classify him as a friend and I respect him a lot for this season. Thank you for the fight! I also want to thank everyone who has got me into the position I am in today.”
The result also marks a first title for the Russian Yakhnich Motorsport team, a remarkable achievement for an entirely new team that only entered Supersport racing full-time in 2012. The outfit will now expand into World Superbikes next year, albeit without Lowes, who is Moto2-bound for 2014
In addition, Lowes has followed in the wheeltracks of Cal Crutchlow and Chaz Davies by winning aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6, the Japanese manufacturer celebrating its third title in five years.