29 June 2015
Moto3 Assen: Kent: Main thing is to use your head
Danny Kent secured his seventh podium from eight races at Assen and was content to once again extend his Moto3 championship lead
Danny Kent stressed the need to think in the heat of battle as he extended his championship lead courtesty of his seventh podium from eight Moto3 races at Assen.
Involved in an epic seven-way duel for the race win, Kent took his now customary breather from the action at the front to eye the opposition up before the inevitable final lap showdown.
Starting the final lap in third, the 21-year old was shuffled back to fifth on the back straight but a move on Romano Fenati at turn ten preceeded a daring surge through Ramshoek which looked to have secured second place.
Had it not been for Fabio Quartararo's late-braking prowess, Kent would have placed second but the Englishman was nonetheless content to secure another top-three finish and extend his championship lead over Italian Enea Bastianini.
“Really, I wanted to be a little bit closer to the front, but it worked out quite well, because I was able slipstream to get myself into second in the second to last corner,” said Kent. “Admittedly I maybe braked a little bit early into the last corner, either that or Fabio braked quite late.
“But the main thing is we're on the podium again, we've had seven podiums out of eight races, we've extended our championship lead and that's what we're here for. To keep chipping away and keep pulling away.
“To be honest, my pace in warm up was a lot faster than it was in the race. It's normal, when you've got seven riders, you go into one corner, one rider passes you, you go into another corner, another rider passes you. That's half a second just like that. The wind definitely picked up from warm up to the race.
“It was another one of them races where you try to pull and as soon as you got to the front, you were hitting all the wind first. Just sat mid-group and see where I was stronger than them, pounced on the last lap. This time we weren't able to get the race win, but we got another podium, and we beat Bastianini, and that's our main contender at the moment.”
Kent scored his first grand prix podium at the Dutch track in 2012, a race that was famous for the contact with then-team-mate Sandro Cortese on the fearsome run to the Geert Timmer chicane.
The current championship leader by 58 points admitted that move had played on his mind as he negotiated his way through the exciting scrap at the front.
“That actually happened with me and Fenati into that corner, I was thinking "Sandro? Sandro!" That was going through my head, because in 2012 I just leaned on him, and I'm not doing that again. There were a few moments out there, but when you're in that corner, you're going so fast, there's not a lot you can do once you're in it. I don't think there were any stupid passes or dirty passes.
“A few times Bastianini came up the inside of me, he sort of stayed right at the side of me so I couldn't turn into it. Especially into the last chicane. I knew exactly what he was trying to do, so I just broke that little bit harder, just to slot behind him, otherwise I would have gone wide. We're getting to that time of year where me and Bastianini are fighting for the championship so he's going to try and play a few mind games, but we're ready.”
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