Less than a day after concluding his 125-Moto3 career with a victory, Danny Kent got the chance to throw his leg over a Moto2 machine for the first time as he joined new employers Tech 3 at Valencia.
Announced as countryman Bradley Smith's replacement in the team last month, Kent and fellow Moto3 graduate Louis Rossi were on track in Spain aboard the Mistral 610.
Up against more experienced riders, Kent was the fastest Moto2 rookie of the day in 22nd position, his time of 1min 38.2secs around 3.3secs off Pol Espargaro's session-topping pace.
Completing 74 laps, Kent was thrilled by his first experience of Moto2 machinery and is now looking forward to getting stuck into the series.
“It has been a fantastic experience to start my career in Moto2 and I immediately felt at home in the Tech 3 Racing Team,” he said. “This was just all about getting a feel for the Mistral 610 because it is quite a bit different to the bike I've been riding in Moto3. There is more power but the thing I noticed more than anything is the extra weight, particularly in the fast changes of direction.
“I already have a plan to build up my strength in the winter but after 74 laps today, my upper body is aching a bit. I really enjoyed riding the bike though and today was all about getting comfortable and familiarising myself with the Mistral 610 and my crew.
“I have so much to learn but it is good that I am back on the bike later this week and that's when the real work will start now that I have a better understanding of what to expect from the bike.”
Rossi, meanwhile, was half a second behind Kent in 24th position overall, but was pleased with his first impressions.
“It was a very positive day because I have been really excited to discover my new Team and new bike. It is a big step up from Moto3 to Moto2 and after 65 laps I am very tired because the bike is much more physically demanding to ride.
“Normally I can lap quite easily until the end of the day but today it was very difficult. Mainly it is because of the extra weight and the force you need to turn and change direction but also because of the extra power. I am just trying to get comfortable on the bike and slowly build up my confidence and experience.
“It was a good start today and now I'm looking forward to the next test in Albacete where we can continue the positive progress made in this test.”