Danny Kent hailed the positive first day of his return to the Moto3 class, stating it "could have been a much better start" as he ended Friday's second free practice session second fastest.

The former world champion is making a return to the class which he won in 2015 for a one-off appearance in Aki Ajo's Red Bull KTM colours, after leaving the Kiefer Racing Moto2 team before the race at the Circuit of the Americas.

Kent had to contend with wet conditions in both of Friday's sessions, but placed inside the top eight in both, and showed a real turn of pace in driving rain in the afternoon.

Not even a small crash at the Chemin aux Boeufs S-bend at the close of the afternoon could dampen his spirits

"I hadn't ridden the [Moto3] bike in the rain since Malaysia 2015," he said. "It helps a little bit because I've got experience with this team. They've got experience with me. They more or less know how I work. I know how they work.

"To be fair, I don't think it could have been a much better start to the weekend. There are still a few areas that I need to work on. I'm happy. I'm enjoying riding again which is the main thing.

"[In FP1] we were having a few issues with the bike cutting out. The track was getting a bit better and in the final few minutes I decided to come in. To be only 0.2s off, and we came in early, we could have been even faster.

"Again, [in FP2], when I crashed, I think I had two red helmets and then had the crash. They resurfaced the track and it's really grippy. Overall, it was a good day."

On the faces manning his side of the garage this weekend, Kent explained, "There is a guy called Oscar, who has got experience with the team. He was the crew chief of Arthur Sissis in 2012. Then another rider the year after.

"He's got a lot of experience and he was in the team when I was in the team. We have experience together. I feel like this is helping me a little bit because we all know each other already."

On Thursday, Kent explained his reasons for dramatically leaving Kiefer's Moto2 team to Crash.net, saying racing had lost its fun factor, its enjoyment. Asked how much easier his day had been when the spring in his step was factored in, he said, "I think the whole day goes a lot quicker.

"You just enjoy the day. Before, I'd have a bad result, feel miserable and I didn't want to walk in the paddock. I just wanted to be in the box or go back to the hotel. Now I'm just enjoying it. I can have a laugh with the team and have some good results with it."

By Neil Morrison

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