This evening at Portimao Alex Lowes’ WorldSBK future remains undecided although personal manager Neil Hodgson is hot-footing it from the UK to try and make progress.
Although currently third in the championship, Lowes is out of the works Yamaha team in 2020 - but is not sure why - and has been tipped for both a ride with Ten Kate Yamaha or on a Kawasaki – in eithther the official KRT squad or at Puccetti.
When asked directly about the chance of a Ten Kate ride, he said, “It is interesting, obviously, it is a good team that won the World Championship before. And I think I have got a lot of experience with the Yamaha, so that could be also good.”
The Ten Kate squad has already started to diverge from the factory squad, in terms of wheels, brakes and other parts, and will also start tuning their own bikes when they have settled back into the paddock even more.
When asked if he thought they could really do it better than the official team by taking a different path, Lowes said, “Yamaha have done a good job but we still haven’t found the full solution to be winning the World Championship, so maybe (Ten Kate) think they can do something better.
Who knows, maybe they can, maybe they can’t and we will just have to wait and see. But I think it can only be good if they want to try something different. It is up to them. It is not an official team and when it comes to an official team there are sometimes directions that you have to go. I don’t know but maybe there could be some kind of advantage.”
It is also possible that Lowes would immediately be considered the lead rider in any non-factory Yamaha team he may join, and maybe he could lead the development.
Lowes gave it some consideration, saying, “Maybe, but I like having Michael as a team-mate, that is one of the things I will miss next year because we push each other a lot, push the project a lot, we are always fast in any conditions, wet or cold, this track or that track.
“Some tracks we are strong and you have to push yourself every weekend. That is good for the team and personally I think that has been a good relationship for the team.”
Lowes is still unsure why Yamaha is apparently offering him a ride in 2020, but kicking him out of the official team. “I do not know, but you will have to ask them the same question.
You know what, I am not sure, I do not really know. I have not fallen out with Yamaha, they have been fantastic to me, Crescent, the team itself has been obviously good to me as well. I feel my results have been good but maybe they wanted to change and try something different. It is not always just results in our sport.”
Lowes has apparently been offered help to stay inside the Yamaha camp, from Yamaha Europe boss Eric De Seynes. To this Lowes said, “I have a good relationship with Eric and like I say they have been fantastic with me, they want me to stay as part of the project – which is strange as to why they don’t want me as part of the main team but still part of the project. But they are still working quite hard to keep me with Yamaha. He has been good and Eric is a good guy.”
The other rumour is that Lowes may go to Kawasaki but inside the official squad or as a replacement in Puccetti for the outgoing Toprak Razgatlioglu? No-one is saying but, of Kawasaki interest, Lowes said, “It would be nice. Right now many people ask me, but my manager is coming today and he is speaking with a lot of people.
“But there is not one option I could sign today for next year. I do not have any actual offer on the table to sign so it is all just talking at the minute. Hopefully this weekend I can do a good job and try to understand a little bit more.”