Sam Lowes makes Ducati debut: “I had a smile on my face, beautiful to ride”

Sam Lowes has called the Ducati Panigale V4 R ‘beautiful to ride’ after making his WorldSBK appearance at the Jerez test.
Sam Lowes, Ducati WorldSBK Jerez 2023
Sam Lowes, Ducati WorldSBK Jerez 2023

Although poor weather stopped Lowes from testing on Monday, the former Moto2 rider made the most of Tuesday’s improved conditions to gain some experience with the Pirelli tyres.

Lowes, who has come across from Moto2 with the Elf Marc VDS team aboard Ducati machinery, admitted he needs to adapt some areas of his riding to suit the Superbike-spec machine, however, it was a very promising test for the Brit. 

“Today started off with a lot of excitement and anticipation,” said Lowes. “I was desperate to ride the Ducati and make my WorldSBK debut, but it wasn’t ideal conditions. 

“Before I went out for the first run on a wet track, I was super nervous. But after three laps I had a big smile on my face because the bike was so rider friendly, and it gave me confidence straightaway. 

“I feel at home immediately with my new crew and they’ve been able to explain to me where I need to focus on to be fast on a superbike but also tell me what I’m doing well. 

“I have to change my style after such a long time riding in Moto2, but we need to take it step-by-step. I certainly need to look at how I’m braking. But I love the bike. It does some things incredibly well and it is beautiful to ride.”

Lowes also called the speed of the Panigale V4 R ‘very impressive’ as he gets set to compete on the best bike in WorldSBK at the moment. 

The Panigale V4 R has won the last two world titles in the hands of Alvaro Bautista, while also being the most dominant package for independent riders such as Axel Bassani and Danilo Petrucci.  

Lowes added: “The speed is very impressive. I kept changing gears, but the bike just wants to keep accelerating, and I was impressed with how well the electronics manage the performance on worn tyres. 

“I’m already looking forward to racing now in 2024. I know WorldSBK is a very high level class, but this test has convinced me that we can be competitive because I know there is such a big margin to improve. 

“It has been a big effort from the whole Team and Ducati to get me out testing this side of Christmas, so I’m very grateful for that. 

“Now I’ll enjoy a little break but I’m already raring to go for 2024!”

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