MOTOGP KENT NO EXC
SEASON PREVIEW Reigning Moto3 champ Danny Kent knows that his world title will count for ‘I feel as though I have a point to prove in Moto2’
You wouldnõt think a rider that won six races and a historic world title last season is going into 2016 feeling like theyõve a big point to prove. But thatõs precisely where Danny Kentõs mind is at heading into the first showdown of the season in Qatar this weekend.
The euphoria of becoming Britainõs first Grand Prix world champion since Barry Sheene some 38 years earlier evaporated quickly and the motivation driving the 22-year-old now is to show last yearõs success was no fluke.
All the painstaking work Kent did in enhancing his reputation last season is on the line again now heõs back in Moto2 for the first time since a deflating and demoralising venture in to the intermediate class in 2013.
Kentõs assault on Moto2 in 2016 though is a completely different proposition. Heõs armed with the Kalex chassis that has become so domi- nant that 24 of the 30 riders lining up under the Losail International Circuit floodlights will be straddling the German frame.
No retreat, no surrender this time around. There can be no excuses. Even more so considering he has moved back to Moto2 with the Leopard Racing team and crew that helped him secure the Moto3 crown in a nail-biting final round decider against Miguel Oliveira in Valencia last November. And nobody is more acutely aware of that than Kent.
ÒIN 2013 everybody knew I wasnõt on the best bike. IÕM riding a bike now that is winning races and winning championships, so I donõt have any excuses. I feel like I have a point to prove because if I had jumped straight to Motogp a few people would have said I only did that because I did s**t last time in Moto2,ó said Kent, who is ambitious but also a realist.
Òthere is no point trying to expect what I did in Moto3. IÕM realistic and not stupid by saying IÕM going to win the championship in my first year back,ó he added.
Kent had little time to reflect on his recordbreaking Moto3 success before he threw himself head first into plans for 2016.
ÒI had a couple of Moto2 tests straight after Valencia, so didnõt get much chance to get used to it. About a week after the last race I was flying home from Spain, bored and with time to think, and it suddenly dawned on me what happened. I was like Ôbloody hell, I am world champion.õ I am going to be a world champion for life and nothing will change that. IÕM over it now because Iõve got a new challenge to look forward to,ó he added.
Kent doesnõt want to get to Valencia in midNovember though looking back in anger.
He said: ÒIF we come to the last race of the season and I havenõt achieved a podium I will be disappointed, but I believe in myself enough to do it.ó
The fact that so many riders are on the Kalex with the same Dunlop tyres and Honda motor means Moto2 is a class where rider talent can standout.
And Kent added: ÒAS a rider you can learn a lot and you can only make yourself better from it
Having turned down a Pramac Ducati ride in Motogp for 2017, Kent isn’t planning on waiting much longer for a premier class chance. He said: “We all want to go to Motogp and it is a risk because if I have a s**t year then the opportunity to go might never come. (Alex) Rins has shown that you can win races in the first year and I am sure if we can do that after winning the title in 2015 we should have the door open to move to a few Motogp teams in 2017. It all depends on my results this year because I won’t be getting a Motogp ride based on what I did last year, even if I was world champion.”
first year was a bit of a disaster. People saw me work hard and it was good for me to do well on that bike because it made people think that if they put me on something else I’d do well,” said Lowes.
Life is good. But it can be better. A Moto2 world title will make life great, and you’d better believe Lowes when he says he can do it.
The 25-year-old, who will ride a Kalex for former 125GP world champion Fausto Gresini, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that I am capable