Sam Lowes is optimistic about what the upcoming MotoGP season has in store for him after finding a set-up on Aprilia's 2017 RS-GP that he believes will make him competitive.
The MotoGP season kicks-off in Qatar at the Losail International Circuit on the 24th of March.
Making his debut in MotoGP will be Sam Lowes, who has a twin brother who competes in the WSBK series.
Lowes makes the leap from Moto2, where he finished last season in fifth place after registering two wins and six podiums.
The 26-year-old Briton will form part of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and will race alongside Spanish talent Aleix Espargaró.
While the campaign facing Lowes is a daunting and intimidating prospect, after the final day of testing he revealed that the team had found a setting on the bike that felt fast and so had settled his nerves somewhat.
“We put a package together, went out and the bike felt so good,” said Lowes on Sunday.
“I think we can have a good start to the race weekend, build on where we got today. The direction that we've found is a really positive one.
“The base setting that we've got now, we can just fine tune on the race weekend. This week we've changed a lot. Where I'm at at the minute, it was what we needed to do. I feel quite relaxed and I think I'll turn up and have a go.”
As is often the case in motorsport different teams and individuals will have different goals for the season as they are operating under very different circumstances.
Pushed on his targets for the year ahead, Lowes explained that success would simply mean constant improvement.
“The target for me is: say I'm 40 seconds off at the end of the first race and I'm ten seconds off in Valencia, that's the target,” he continued.
“It's hard to put a position on things. At the start you don't know how everything is. I want to see a clear progression.
“Obviously there will be [tough] moments in the middle of the season but if I can be a lot, lot closer at the end then that's the goal.
“Obviously I want to be in the points at the first race. I can be there.”