Hi Danny, what are you up to at the moment?

Danny Kent:
I'm just at home watching some of my races from the season, I've already seen Le Mans again and now I'm watching Argentina.
For enjoyment or education?

Danny Kent:
It's to see if there's anything I can learn for future races. The more you watch the more you see, I've already raced there but maybe there'll be something. Having said that, with the season going as it's going, you're always going to enjoy it a bit!
And the season going pretty well...

Danny Kent:
Definitely. We're racing at world level and so far it's got to have been my best year.
So I guess in darker days when you came back to Moto3, this was exactly how you were hoping things would work out.

Danny Kent:
Yes, this was always the plan; it just took a bit longer than we were hoping but better late than never.

Honestly when I started at Husqvarna my motivation was still pretty good and because of that we set ourselves some pretty high expectations. We expected to have a good year.

The problem was that coming back into Moto3 really wasn't an easy step because it had moved on. The lap times when I returned in 2014 were about 1.5 seconds quicker than when I left there in 2012. Those faster lap times combined with having to relearn the Moto3 bike meant that the beginning of the year was pretty difficult.

It really took me until about half way through the year before I got used to the situation and was then strong again for the second half.
So there wasn't any particular change you made half way through the season which accounted for the improvement?

Danny Kent:
Not so much but there was a change we made in the way we set the bike up at that time to suit my riding style. The improvement came from a combination of me just getting better, us getting used to the situation and that set up change.
What point in the season did you decide to make the move to Honda?

Danny Kent:
Maybe three quarters of the way through the year, just before we went to Malaysia and Australia. We actually had a few offers and people who were interested and it looks as if we made the right choice!

This year I really feel as if I've got the whole package. From the very first time sitting on the Honda after Valencia last year I immediately went half a second faster than I'd done on the Husqvarna I'd just got off.

Efren (Vazquez) had been riding it in the morning and I jumped on it in the afternoon and without too much messing with the settings I was already half a second up. I was even 0.1s up from the race weekend pole position time.

That short test and pace gave me so much motivation to prepare in the off season, to work hard, lose weight and start the season really strong. I've really gelled with the team and the bike and I feel I've got everything I need to win races at the moment

It's always a bit nerve racking when you get on a new bike because everything can work out or you can sit there thinking 'What have I done?' but I can say that I've loved the Honda from the moment I left the pit lane.
So how would you compare the Husqvarna and Honda?

Danny Kent:
Without being specific, the most important thing was that the Honda just generally suited my style more than the Husqvarna did. The Honda is an easier bike to ride for me. The base setting of the Honda is also already a fast setting, you can go to each race without having to do too much work and I can get the bike to the limit really quickly. That means that I'm getting loads of laps done at a good pace right from the Friday because I had a good feeling from the start.

The ease of set up also means that we've been fast from the off at each track this year. We're not having to change the settings for each track and the bike we raced at Qatar and Le Mans were really quite similar.

With the Husqvarna we were usually changing the settings a lot more and sometimes just before going into the race so when you started you really weren't sure if they were good or bad. With the Honda we've usually got the bike race ready on the Friday

Another important aspect for me is that the Honda will hold the line through fast corners, when I get on the gas it just keeps turning rather than running wide. That was one of my big problems last year on the Husqvarna. But overall the bikes are great and I really can't complain.
Well, given that you're gapping the field in Moto3 I guess your complaint would fall on deaf ears

Danny Kent:
Well, we weren't able to gap the field at Le Mans but we'll try again at Mugello!
Has your preparation helped for this season?

Danny Kent:
Well, I've probably trained twice as hard for this season as the last one, I know that I've been running and cycling twice as far and also been in the gym twice as long because that pace I saw at the end of last season really motivated me to come into this season a lot fitter and stronger. I think all that hard work has paid off.

In my mind, the fitter I am, the stronger my mind is and I think that's why we haven't made any mistakes. We've been so consistent in practice, qualifying and the race and I feel that a lot of that's down to my fitness.
Looking at your conduct and racing this season, you seem very calm and mature, would you agree?

Danny Kent:
Yes, I'd agree 100 per cent and I have to say again that a lot of that comes from fitness. The harder I work in the gym, the fitter I feel and the stronger my mind is so your reactions are faster and you feel better in general.

That's true for me but not necessarily for other riders but for me I need to go to a race knowing that I've put the work in. We're in a position now that if we're clever we can fight for the championship and that might only come along once in a lifetime so I've got to be all there fitness-wise.
Is it like being a jockey where you have to spend all your time minding what you eat or drink?

Danny Kent:
No so much, for me I'm pretty young so as long as I'm working and training hard, I'm not going to starve myself. I'm going to be a pretty normal 21 year old and if I fancy the odd burger that'll be fine as long as I work it off. With the drinking, during the year I don't really drink but after a race where we've had a good result we'll always go out for a good meal.
Your new team is the highly experienced Kiefer team, correct?

Danny Kent:
Yep, the one that won the championship with Stefan Bradl.
So a team with great experience in Moto2...

Danny Kent:
Yeah they've got great experience in Moto2. I've got a 1 year contract with Kiefer but if they put together a Moto2 team then they have the option to retain me if we can come to a good agreement.

But at the moment I'm really trying not to think of next year because with the results we're getting at the moment next season will take care of itself.

As long as I keep going with these results everything will fall into place and that's why I want to concentrate on this year
How about crew continuity from last year to this?

Danny Kent:
The team have pretty much got the same personnel that they've had for the past two years so I've fitted in with that. That can work with three riders because Efren has brought over his crew chief and mechanics from the year before and that's the only change from the team's point of view.

From my point of view I've been working with a new crew chief and mechanics but the feeling I've got with them is really good. My crew chief comes from near Assen and I get on really well with him, we talk between races quite a lot and I'm really happy there. Winning a world championship isn't just down to the rider and I'm with a team that can get it done.
How is it between riders in the team?

Danny Kent:
We're all given the same equipment by Honda and with the rules in Moto3, the bike you get at the beginning of the season will be the same one you ride all year. The bikes for each manufacturer really are the same so I think that means that it's all down to the rider and that means it's a great show.

Sometimes you're out there and the top 15 can win the race. I think in Qatar 10 riders were in with a chance. It can be a bit annoying when so many riders are fighting for the same bit of tarmac into one corner but it is good fun and I hope it's great for the spectators to watch.

You can see that on the comments on Facebook and Twitter where people are often saying that they'd rather watch the Moto3 race than the Moto2 or even the MotoGP because there are so many riders in the mix.
Is it good to have a really fast rider like Efren in the team so that you can show your speed compared to his?

Danny Kent:
Yeah, that is good for me because all the other teams are seeing that with Efren being on the same bike and me often being able to pull a gap it makes a good comparison.

But that doesn't mean that we won't be going to some races where Efren's fast and that'll mean that we can share more quality data.

All three riders team share their data freely but to be honest, this season I've been working pretty much on my own with my crew chief and mechanics. We've been pretty much doing our own job but with me being a bit faster there's no reason why he shouldn't look at my data.
In America you'd gapped the field by 8 seconds, do you find it easy riding your own race?

Danny Kent:
That's what I work for, I just try and get out on track and ride by myself, ride my own race and try to get fast laps done alone. Then when I go into the race from those laps I know my own pace. That's also helped by the fact that the bike's set up will be there or thereabouts almost from the start.

That technique means that I don't make mistakes because I know where each brake marker is and where to get on the gas, I prepare for the race by riding those laps within myself and it's something I enjoy.

The only problem is that when you're riding by yourself the race can seem very long and it's fitness that allows you to maintain your concentration. Overall though I much prefer pulling away and leading the race by a few seconds and that's going to be my aim for the rest of the season. I've done it twice so far and there's no reason why we shouldn't do it again.
As a rider who works at their own pace do you find it annoying that so many wait for a tow?

Danny Kent:
It can be annoying but it's almost part of being in Moto3 that you have to work with that. Where there's not so much power people are going to do it.

In Argentina with the long straight for example a rider can pick up half a second or even more and half a second can mean being outside the top 15. No, it is annoying but that's Moto3, what can you do?

What will I achieve by getting annoyed with something like that. If someone messes up my lap there are always other laps, I need to stay calm, keep my head down and do what I'm doing.
You also seemed pretty calm where you were interviewed at the back of the grid at the start of the Le Mans race...

Danny Kent:
I actually was calm, I knew from FP1 and 2 that I had a strong pace and when you've qualified at the back of the grid you've almost got nothing to lose. I just treated the race like any other and was more worried about being taken out by another rider than anything else.

I knew I had the pace to get to the top 5, so once I made my way through that big bunch of riders I started to relax. My front tyre was still good but half way through the race when I was 5 seconds behind the leading group I had to push the back tyre more to catch them. That meant that at the end of the race I couldn't get on the gas as I wanted.

Also when you've got a good championship lead and your main rivals have crashed out maybe you need to settle for 4th.
Did the 'P4 OK' pit sign influence you?

Danny Kent:
For me it was a good job, maybe I could have made a lunge for the podium but there was a bigger chance of me crashing and losing those big points. No I'm happy what we did in Le Mans.

When I was riding that race I was definitely thinking of the championship and when I saw Fabio crash in front of me that definitely took a bit of pressure off my shoulders because if he'd stayed in I might have had to beat him. It was that that allowed me to settle for fourth. If my two rivals hadn't crashed out I might have had to ride a different race.

Having said that, I think that coming back from 31st was one of my best rides of the season, that and Argentina where I was again able to work at my own pace.
When you win, do you get a financial bonus?

Danny Kent:
Yes I do and you get that in a lot of world championship contracts. If you get onto the podium you get a few bonuses from sponsors.
Do you think that Jack Miller going straight to MotoGP has opened a door?

Danny Kent:
I'd say yes because you've got to say that he's not doing a bad job. Now it's happened teams may have a look and see if they can do it again. It really depends how Jack does this year. If he were coming last every race then the teams might think they'd made a big mistake, but so far Jack's doing a good job. Jack's a friend of mine anyway so I wish him well.

In the future there might be more opportunities for Moto3 riders to jump straight to MotoGP.
What do you think of the light turquoise as a race bike colour?

Danny Kent:
It's strange actually because when I started racing in MiniMotos that was the colour we picked and now I'm in world championship racing I've got the same one. It's a nice colour and people often say that it's our bikes that stand out the most on the grid.

You get to like the bike fine when it's that fast, for me the design's good and the bike's good.
So now it's off to Mugello...

Danny Kent:
It's actually a track I really enjoy so I'm looking forward to getting out there. Honestly Le Mans is one of my worst tracks of the year, I've never liked riding there and always seem to struggle. Mugello really suits the Honda and my style so it should be good.
I'm sure your rivals will be happy to know that, and do we get the first interview when you win the world championship?

Danny Kent:
It's a long journey but I'll do an interview no problems.
Thanks Danny

Danny Kent:



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