Danny Kent held his nerve to win last year's Moto3 title and become Britain's first grand prix champion since Barry Sheene, in 1977.
“It's with you forever,” Kent replied, when asked about the best part of being a world champion during an interview with Crash.net
“Not many people can say they are a world champion and I've got that with me for the rest of my life. But the last race was November and testing starts again soon so there is only a short time to celebrate and I'm already working hard to try and do the same in 2016.”
Just days after his title triumph, Kent was starting a new chapter in his career with a debut Moto2 test for Kalex.
The 22-year-old admits memories of his 2013 'disaster' were hanging over his return to the Moto2 class. But some impressive lap times, relative to both the established 600cc stars and his own past pace on the Tech 3 machine, soon put the Englishman at ease.
“We went to Jerez for a two-day test. Kalex gave us a bike just to familiarise myself ready for 2016. Already after two days we had a great feeling. We were only 0.3s from the fastest lap time by Rins, which I think was a pretty respectable job,” Kent said.
“It was a big relief because I had that disaster of a year in 2013 and obviously I wanted to confirm we won't be doing the same in 2016. Already after two days I was two-seconds a lap faster than in 2013. So I think things are going in the right direction for another good year.”
Kent scored just 15 points during the 2013 world championship, prompting a return to Moto3 where he rebuilt his career on a KTM-badged Husqvarna before last year's historic success.
“I was able to jump onto the Kalex more-or-less knowing how much power there is and the weight and the bike. There's always a positive and a negative. It was a disaster of a year, but I'm sure we learnt something from it and that 2016 will be completely different.”
Early lap times and the experience of being a world champion aside, Kent has the added confidence of remaining with the same team (Leopard) for the first time in his grand prix career, plus use of the dominant Kalex chassis.
“I feel I've matured as a rider. Especially after last year. I learned a lot. I had a great team behind me, great crew chief, great sponsors. Now I'm going to Moto2 with the same team so it's all looking good for this year,” he said.
“It's a completely different riding style. Moto2 is twice the weight and also the power is a lot more. In Moto3 you need to carry the momentum through each corner, obviously you haven't got as much power so if you go a little bit wide and lose 0.2 it's much harder to gain it back. You have to be pinpoint precise.
“With Moto2 and the much bigger tyre you go into the corner too fast, stop the bike and then pick the bike up as early as possible with the amount of power that they have. You need to pick the bike up as early as possible for a good exit.”
The opening official Moto2/Moto3 test of the season takes place at Jerez from March 2-4.
CLICK HERE to read the full interview with Danny Kent...