After topping two of the three days at the final pre-season test, Sam Lowes feels he has secured a base setting with his Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 which he can battle for wins with following a productive winter testing programme.

Lowes has impressed over the off-season getting up to speed during Moto2’s switch to Triumph engines following his return to the Gresini squad for 2019.

The British rider demonstrated eye-catching pace both over a single lap and a race run on the final day of the Qatar test – including a 1m 58.439s on day three at the Losail International Circuit – to cap off his winter with strong form heading into this week’s season-opener at the same track.

Lowes, who enjoyed his best Moto2 campaign finishing the year in fifth place when partnered with Gresini running a Kalex chassis in 2016, feels he was able to understand his 2019 bike’s limits with the new Triumph power having completed his pre-season preparations.

“We come from a very positive test in which we worked very hard, so I must thank the whole team first and foremost,” Lowes said. “We also managed to complete a race simulation on the last day: we decided to do it during the day, when conditions are normally worse than at night time as we wanted to test the bike limits – and I believe we succeeded.

“Generally speaking, we had a great winter and we found a good base to work on at every GP, so I am happy and positive ahead of the first race of the year.

“The goal is to stay at the front and battle for the win.”

Lowes was also a consistent top-end challenger at last month’s Jerez test and comes into 2019 as one of the most experienced Moto2 riders on the grid having debuted in 2014 after winning the World Supersport title the year before.

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