1 September 2015
MotoGP Silverstone: Kent: The best victory of my career
Danny Kent completes a historic home win at a drenched Silverstone, insists it's the finest of his career to date
Danny Kent put home pressure and talk of his future to one side to complete a dream win around Silverstone to strengthen his grip on the Moto3 world championship.
In abysmal conditions Kent rode an astute race, benefiting from early leader Isaac Viñales' quick fall to assume control of a race that saw closest championship challenger Enea Bastianini fall out of proceedings in the closing laps.
As rain intensified, Kent comfortably managed the gap to Jakub Kornfeil in second and, despite claiming it was “the longest race of my life,” eventually splashed his way to an eight second victory, the first by a rider in the junior class around Silverstone.
“You're never safe in conditions like that,” said a delighted Kent. “I thought I was safe with three laps to go, then the rear wheel came round on me and I thought that was the race over. Races like that are always difficult, especially the last four laps, the rain got harder and harder, and instead of it being just wet, there were puddles starting to form on the track and making it a lot more difficult.
“This is why us riders train so hard, you need to concentrate 110%, it's so easy to go out there and make a slight mistake, and easily crash. It was the longest race of my career, but it is the best victory of my career, and if there is one race on the calendar that you want to win, it's your home Grand Prix, and we were able to do that.”
While in a seemingly unassailable position with three laps to go, Kent came close to falling as he suffered a frightening out-of-the-seat moment. He admitted that from there, finishing was his only priority.
“I just wanted the race to finish! I saw the rain coming down harder and harder. It wasn't only there, I had a few moments after that as well. Some of the corners were really grippy and there were at least three corners out there which were really greasy. I just had to keep concentrating, luckily there were a few TVs round the outside of the track.
“It was quite hard to see my pit board, because it was quite close to the first corner, if I was watching that, I would outbrake myself into Turn 1. So I was trying to look at the TVs to see how far I was and to see where Bastianini was. After I saw him walking through the gravel, I calmed down a little bit, and saw, nine seconds, now we just have to get this win.”
The win crowned a difficult weekend, which started in the worst possible manner after a machine problem kept him out of FP1 in its entirety.
Maintaining his cool in the face of raised home expectations, Kent said the feeling of victory in front of the vocal support was one that he would savour.
“It was amazing. When I got to my grandstand and everyone was waving the Union Jacks with Danny Kent on, I had goose bumps – and not from how cold it was! From all of the people behind me, cheering me, they'd waited all day, the results weren't great for the other British riders, and so to end the day with a British Grand Prix winner, it's great for me, but it's great for the whole of Silverstone.”
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