Fred Corminboeuf, team manager of Thomas Luthi's Interwetten Moto2 team, is in no doubt that Sam Lowes can carry the team to a championship victory in 2018, when the Englishman returns to the intermediate category.

Corminboeuf, who is currently overseeing Luthi's own title charge, spoke of Lowes’ fighting instincts and said the decision to go after the former World Supersport champion was an ‘obvious’ one when his availability became known.

Having struggled in his debut MotoGP campaign with Aprilia, Lowes will step down to a class in which he has won three times, opting to replace the MotoGP-bound Luthi in the Interwetten squad.

While pouring offers from three Moto2 teams, Lowes felt Interwetten, which will switch to a KTM chassis after using Kalex equipment for the past three years, was the best bet to ensure he returns to winning ways as soon as possible.

“You look for a race winning team, and that’s a race winning team,” Lowes said at Misano, three weeks ago. “It finished second last year, is fighting for the world championship this year, and to join that kind of team. You want to be in a team that’s got success and you want to be a part of it. They wanted me to ride and that’s that.”

And Corminboeuf believes Lowes will return to the class as a smarter rider in 2018, having benefited from a character-building year in MotoGP, and insists the winning the world title is the main aim for him and rider.

“This [the title] is the target,” said Corminboeuf. “It’s the goal. You never know. Something can happen, rookie guys arrive so strong… But he’s one of the biggest guys in Moto2 next year and he should be at the front, always. That’s it. That’s the goal.

“OK, sometimes we might finish P5 if that means we lead the championship. But the goal is the championship. That’s for sure. Sam is ready for that. I think he’s also taken a lot of experience this year from MotoGP to see how he needs to manage everything.

“Last year he was so fast in Moto2, but a little bit too crazy maybe. But I’m sure now he’s already changed his mind. He’s a really smart guy, you know? When he closes the helmet he’s sometimes a little bit too crazy a rider. He maybe used to be like this in the past but not now. He’s a smart guy. He’s a strong guy and he will do a good job.”

Corminboeuf feels that four days of testing in November should be sufficient time for Lowes to get used to the KTM frame, and says he has already been in contact with the Englishman about working toward next season.

“We fit well together quickly,” he told Crash.net. “He’s a strong guy. He’s a sportsman. He’s a fighter and I like that. I’m a fighter and I like people fighting for the result. It was obvious that, if we had the chance, to put this guy in my team. After the first meeting, from my side and, I’m thinking from his side too, he was happy to collaborate with us.

“It will not be easy in the beginning but it’s a part of the job. First, we start working from Aragon. I’m already talking with him about what’s up, and what he needs to do. I saw him crash this morning [on Saturday at Aragon] and I saw how he reacted. He jumped on his scooter with his friend.

“We start working already now [saying], ‘OK, you need to think about that and do that.’ It’s good for him, for Aprilia and it’s good for us. The key will be when he jumps on the bike in November after the last race, he should feel comfortable and at home first.

“After we will have four days testing in November and he has four days to recover, relax, [be] smart, get a good feeling with the team and after we will be ready in February to jump on the real straight line to go on the first race.”

On the reasons behind the switch to KTM equipment, Corminboeuf added, “Because we know well KTM; because it’s on the first year; because we’re already in connection with them for some years, especially with WP suspension. We like challenges. We like doing something well. To be part of the KTM family is incredible.

“We are proud that KTM chose us. They had the Pons team, they had many teams wanting to choose KTM but they chose us for many reasons. One of those reasons is that I have a very good crew. They are hard workers and they can help for this KTM [chassis] to improve a little bit and to be fast. It will be a good challenge for the future to stay in KTM.”

 

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