26 September 2016
MotoGP Aragon: Kent to stay with Kiefer – aboard a Suter?
Danny Kent set to stay at Kiefer for 2017, but may change from Kalex to Suter chassis?
Danny Kent is set to remain with Kiefer Racing in the Moto2 class in 2017, team boss Stefan Kiefer has confirmed to Crash.net.
It appears the 22-year old is ready to sign for another season in the intermediate category, but with a strong likelihood that he will switch from a Kalex to a Suter chassis, alongside a new crew chief.
While speaking about Kent's renewal with some certainty, Kiefer, who has won world championships with Stefan Bradl in 2011 and the Englishman in '15, was unable to confirm whether Leopard will remain as the team's title sponsor.
“At the moment I can't say so much,” Kiefer told Crash.net on Saturday morning. “Believe me, the second rider is still not decided. I hope [it will be] this weekend. We are in contact with Dorna. The only thing is that for sure Danny is safe.
“Leopard is telling us that they will continue. The conversation is not enough for me so I don't know. Regarding the manufacturer, we could be on the Suter. We could be. That's what I can tell you right now.”
With German outfit Dynavolt announcing plans to switch from a Kalex to a Suter chassis in 2017, Kiefer Racing appears primed to make a similar move.
Suter tested its Moto2 chassis at a recent shakedown with Jonas Folger, with the German speaking highly of his initial impressions.
“We are also in contact all the time with Suter,” continued Kiefer. “They made a new project which is more or less new when compared with 2014. The lap times they did at a recent test with [Mattia] Pasini were not bad. Also with Jonas [Folger] last week in Valencia they were really strong.
“I think there is potential and now looks Dynavolt are already confirmed with Suter for next year. If we also go with Suter then we are a maximum of four riders, there could be even more support for us compared to 20 riders [on a Kalex].”
It was also confirmed that Kent will no longer work alongside current crew chief Peter Bom, the man with whom he forged a notable relationship just before embarking on a triumphant Moto3 campaign in 2015.
Instead, Kent will work with Italian Lucio Nicastro, currently Sandro Cortese's right-hand man in the Dynavolt squad, who has also worked with Chaz Davies in the past.
After Kent's current Moto2 team-mate Miguel Oliveira revealed his intentions to move across to Aki Ajo's Moto2 team, the German team has been on the lookout for a second rider, to team up with Kent.
Kiefer is hopeful of making a final decision this weekend, with American World Supersport challenger PJ Jacobsen a strong contender.
“Regarding the second rider the decision hopefully will come this weekend. PJ Jacobsen is one of the riders. We are also considering Axel Pons and Simone Corsi. But we don't know.”
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