By Christian Tiburtius
2012 was a breakthrough year for British teenager Danny Kent, who claimed his first podiums, pole and race victories in only his second full season in grand prix.
Riding for the factory KTM team in the new Moto3 category, Kent finished fourth in the world championship, won by experienced team-mate Sandro Cortese.
Both Kent and Cortese are now stepping up to the 600cc Moto2 class - Kent signing a two-year deal with the French-based Tech 3 team, which races its own chassis design.
Kent took time out from his busy training schedule to talk to Crash.net
about his career to date, the defining moments of 2012 - including upsetting team leader Cortese with the first of his two victories - and the season ahead…
How's the off season going?
It's going really well. I'm working really hard making the step up to Moto2 and doing a lot of training with James Toseland. It's going to be a lot harder with double the weight and double the power to what I'm used to.
Moto2 is probably the most competitive grand prix class, how are you feeling going into it?
I'm excited and eager, and doing this training with a double world champion who has raced the best is really helping. Everyone knows that he is one of the fittest motorcycle racers and working with him has made me realise how hard you have to train.
We have the same manager, Roger Burnett, and he got me in contact with James who invited me to do some training. My fitness is already a lot better than it was last year, it's made me think about things in a different way. My mind's strong and my body's strong for my first year in Moto2
Why do you race with the number 52?
When I first started I was a big fan of James [Toseland] and my first ever minimoto sponsor's daughter was going out with James at the time and I met him through that. And that's how I got to use 52.
When you first told your parents you wanted to be a motorcycle racer, what did they say?
It didn't really come about in that way. I used to go to a local go-kart track, but instead of karts, I went on the minimotos. I really enjoyed it and my dad bought me one for Christmas and I started going to the local track every Friday.