Title or bust for Sam Lowes in quest to become 2022 Moto2 World Champion

Sam Lowes will head into the 2022 Moto2 World Championship as the highest-placed returning rider as he seeks elusive GP world title with Marc VDS

Sam Lowes - Marc VDS

Sam Lowes says his goal is ‘clear’ next season as he bids to secure an elusive Moto2 World Championship title in what will be his eighth season in the intermediate class.

The British rider has established himself as one of the series’ front runners since making his debut in 2014, but has enjoyed his best campaigns since his failed foray to MotoGP with Aprilia in 2017 sent him back to Moto2.

After seeing his hopes of title glory in 2020 scuppered by an injury sustained just as he’d assumed the lead in the overall standings, Lowes looked to be consolidating his status as a title favourite at the top of the 2021 season when he won the opening two rounds.

However, thereafter the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez took control, with Lowes ending the season in fourth overall and 121 points off the top of the standings.

Ahead of what will be his third season with the Marc VDS team, the nine-time race winner and 2013 WorldSSP Champion will begin the 2022 season as the highest-placed returnee, earning him de facto title favourite status.

It is a tag that gives him both confidence and a sense of pressure to step forward and score World Championship glory.

“My goals for next year are clear. I must be fighting for the World Championship, and I believe both myself and the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team can do that together,” said Lowes, twin brother of Kawasaki WorldSBK rider Alex.

"I want to be competitive and battling at the front in every race because if you do that, you’ll be a title contender.

"I need to improve in a couple of areas because the competition in Moto2 is so tight, but I aim to come out fighting for the World Championship from the first race.”

Who will be Sam Lowes’ rivals for 2022 Moto2 title?

Though he finished one spot lower in 2021 than he did in 2020, Lowes arguably heads into 2022 in a better position to come good on his lofty status and become only Britain’s second GP World Champion since 1978.

Former team-mate Augusto Fernandez returned to form in 2021 and will lead the charge for title defenders KTM Ajo, while Aron Canet will link up again with Pons Racing in his bid to take another step forward and Ai Ogura certainly made an impact in his rookie campaign with Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

Elsewhere, Lowes will have his own team-mate Tony Arbolino to contend with at Marc VDS, Moto2 veterans Jorge Navarro and Marcel Schrotter are steady hands that potentially stand on the cusp of something great.

Though his 2021 Moto2 campaign didn’t sparkle as expected, Joe Roberts is highly tipped for a title run, while his countryman Cameron Beaubier made great strides over the course of the year as he adapted from Superbikes.

Then there are the rookies, led by teenage sensation and Moto3 World Champion Pedro Acosta, who will arguably command the most attention when the season gets underway, while new VR46 protege Manuel Gonzalez could be primed to steal his countryman’s thunder after a breakthrough year in WorldSSP.