Read the full exclusive interview with Danny Kent here

Danny Kent says his return to Moto2 is part of a long term career path having rejected an opportunity to jump straight into MotoGP as Moto3 world champion last year and is thrilled with his initial progress on the Kalex with Leopard Racing.

The Chippenham-born rider made history by becoming the first British motorcycle grand prix world champion since Barry Sheene in 1977 and despite having to wait to seal his Moto3 world title until the Valencia season finale Kent looked every inch a worthy champion from the opening rounds in 2015 with three wins in the opening four races.

As the season progressed Kent quickly became linked to MotoGP rides for 2016 with Pramac Ducati, Aspar Honda and Avintia Ducati all showing interest - as well as moves into Moto2 where he'd endured a frustrating maiden campaign in 2013 - but after weighing up some attractive offers from the premier class the British rider opted to remain with Leopard Racing for a return to the intermediate class.

After allowing the decision to settle in, which went against the advice of Cal Crutchlow who felt any rider should aim to get to MotoGP as quickly as possible, Kent is confident he can justify his choice by aiming to emulate standout Alex Rins who ended his rookie Moto2 campaign runner-up to Johann Zarco.

"My plan is to have just one year in Moto2, try to have a great year and do what Alex Rins did last year and hopefully a good MotoGP seat will become available in 2017," Kent told at Leopard Racing's Moto2/Moto3 team launch.

"I do feel it is the right step. If I didn't then I would be in MotoGP as I had a few offers last year. We had more than a few options but I feel for my career in the long run it was better to go to Moto2 and try to have some great results."

Kent says the biggest hurdle of his unsuccessful maiden Moto2 season three years ago with Tech 3 was adapting to the Mistral 610 bike. For 2016, he steps up with the same team he claimed his world title with and on the championship-dominating Kalex machine and says he's already quicker around Jerez in pre-season tests than he had ever been in 2013 at the same circuit.

"It has been really good so far, everything has been really positive and no negatives," Kent said "I'm relieved more than anything because I had that bad year in 2013 when nothing went out way and already we are gone over two seconds a lap faster in Jerez than what we ever achieved in 2013 so I think we can expect different performances in that way."

The British rider is confident he can make steady progress working with the tried and test combination of Kiefer Racing and Peter Bom as his crew chief in his garage and is naturally targeting the Moto2 rostrum.

"I am going up to Moto2 with the team I won the Moto3 world championship and they have experience in Moto2 having also won the championship in 2011 with Stefan Bradl. I believe in them and I just need to listen to them and my crew chief [Peter Bom] is very experienced so I will listen to him. I'm sure we can all work together and work hard to hopefully end up in the top group."

Read the full exclusive interview with Danny Kent here



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