Kent be­comes first Bri­tish GP cham­pion since Sheene

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Danny Kent won the Moto3 ti­tle yes­ter­day to be­come Bri­tain’s first mo­tor­cy­cle grand prix world cham­pion since the late Barry Sheene in 1977.

The 21-year-old, who had needed to fin­ish 14th in the Va­len­cia fi­nale to be sure of the ti­tle but started only 18th, crossed the line in ninth place with cham­pi­onship ri­val Miguel Oliveira of Por­tu­gal win­ning.

The re­sult meant Kent, who was led home by Ja­panese team mate Hiroki Ono af­ter play­ing it safe through­out the race, took the ti­tle by six points.

“It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing,” said the Leop­ard Rac­ing rider, who had looked like wrap­ping up the ti­tle with sev­eral races to spare but then strug­gled as Oliveira hit a re­mark­able run of form and his own per­for­mances dipped.

“The last four races we’ve gone into the race with it in the back of our mind that we could be world cham­pion and the emo­tions were high. And fi­nally af­ter the fourth race we were able to do it,” he told BT Sport tele­vi­sion.

“I think I’ll go and have a lit­tle cry and let all the emo­tions out.” Sheene, who died in 2003, won his sec­ond and last 500cc world cham­pi­onship with Suzuki 38 years ago. Bri­tish rid­ers have, how­ever, won the World Su­per­bike cham­pi­onship since then-no­tably four times cham­pion Carl Fog­a­rty be­tween 1994 and 1999.

Kent won five races in the first half of the sea­son and had been 70 points clear with six rounds to go be­fore a se­ries of set­backs took the ti­tle down to the wire.

The Bri­ton and Oliveira, who will be team mates in Moto2 next sea­son, ended up with six wins each for the sea­son. Oliveira, who had to win to stay in the ti­tle reck­on­ing, had a bat­tle un­til the fi­nal cor­ner when Nico An­tonelli fell and took out Ro­mano Fe­nati and Efren Vazquez who had been chal­leng­ing for the lead. — Reuters

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