Lowes, the former sparky, aiming to shock the old establishment

Lincoln lad could claim a very unlikely British Superbike title victory at Brands Hatch tomorrow

Alex Lowes, a 22-year-old who hasn't won a championship since he was a 10-year-old child, is poised to rock motorcycling's establishment by claiming the UK's premier category, the MCE British Superbike series, at Brands Hatch this weekend.

The Lincoln rider lies third in the championship table on his 1,000cc WFR Honda Fireblade, only 24 points behind the leader and double British champion Shane Byrne, with 75 available in the three races over two days. Lowes already leads the reigning British champion, Tommy Hill, who is in fourth place, after a late-season burst of form that has inspired him to victory in the last two rounds of the series.

But the former electrician isn't allowing the pressure to affect his strategy for the final round, in which six riders are vying to walk away with the championship. Winning the British title can often act as a gateway to the World Superbike or MotoGP championships.

"I'm feeling pretty relaxed about the weekend," Lowes said. "I really enjoy the track, and I'm just going to go out and see what happens. I don't want the situation to get on top of me.

"In 2011 I fell out with the WFR team and ended up where I seemed to be riding a different bike every weekend for other teams. I was crashing and I lost my confidence. Some people who go through a season like that never recover, but I've got my confidence back and it's made me a stronger person."

Myles Schofield, WFR's managing director, said: "It was Alex's raw talent that made me go back to him after our falling-out. He is clearly at one with the machine and can do astonishing things with whatever bike you put under him.

"But what he needed was some kind of care and attention to make up the rest of what is required to become a top professional motorcycle racer. Patience, thought, preparation, interpretation, thinking about what you're trying to achieve – all those things that were just out of his reach just a year ago."

Lowes will hit around 170mph when he qualifies on the 200-horsepower Honda today, and then competes in an 18-lap race. Tomorrow the Superbike pack contests two 20-lap races on the 2.6-mile track.

He started racing on the dirt at the age of eight, and once won the Hull and District Junior 65cc Motocross Championship – a humble achievement that hardly seemed like the doorway to becoming a title contender in British Superbikes. He started road racing when he was 12, and has competed on 125cc and 600cc bikes as well as superbikes, but has not yet won even a minor road race title.

Lowes and Schofield make an explosive, new-kids-on-the-block package, for this is only the second year that the WFR squad has challenged the 15 other teams on the British Superbikes grid. Schofield is encouraged by new rules in the championship that limit the electronic aids on the bikes.

"At some point in the future a rider would have been able to pin the throttle wide open all around a circuit, and the electronics would do the work for him," he said.

"Now they have to develop throttle control and understanding, and awareness of the limits of their tyres."

Can the WFR team win the BSB title in only its second year of operation? "I don't want to tempt fate, but the way Alex is riding at the moment there is a chance," Schofield added.

"In motorcycle racing anything can happen. But I won't be disappointed if he just finishes somewhere near the top among all those more experienced riders."

Defending champion Hill said: "It's gutting how the last few rounds have been, but that is how racing goes sometimes. I just need to try and win all three races and then anything can still happen."

In the slipstream? Lowes' title rivals

Shane Byrne, 35

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki

The double British champion is the most experienced, with experience of MotoGP and World Superbikes

Josh Brookes, 29

Tyco Suzuki

Fierce Australian is desperate to claim his first British Superbike title; only rider to have scored points in every round so far this year.

Tommy Hill, 27

Swan Yamaha

Last year's championship team has suffered a late-season slump, and Hill starts the weekend with a 42-point deficit.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor