Danny Kent unfazed by Moto2 testing pace

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 22 February 2013 11:09

Danny Kent says he’s not worried by a difficult start to the 2013 Moto2 pre-season after illness and bad weather hampered his bid to adapt to the Tech 3 Racing Mistral 610 machine.

The first test of the year in Valencia last week was practically a write off with the former Red Bull KTM Moto3 rider laid low by a chronic bout of flu that robbed him of all of his energy.

The illness could not have come at a worse time for Kent, who has been working himself into the best fitness of his career after an intensive winter training schedule with double World Superbike champion James Toseland.

This week’s three-day session in Jerez was then badly disrupted by rain, with only day of dry track time available for Kent, who was down in 25th position on slick tyres.

He did set the third best time in wet conditions on the final day and he told MCN: “We struggled a bit on the first day in the rain but on the last day we made a big improvement with the bike and how I felt with it and I was third fastest and only 0.3s off the best pace.

"I felt more confident getting on the power on the final day and I felt a lot more in control of the bike.”

Kent admits that he has plenty of work to do to bridge the gap to the leading pack in dry conditions but says he is not overly concerned to be struggling to break into the top 15 at the moment.

He added: “We’ve got some work to do in the dry. I’m still trying to find a good set-up in the dry but and I am not worrying about times at this stage. I’m just trying to learn as much as possible and trying different things with the bike to get a better understanding of it.

"These tests were never about me coming to set the world on fire. I just need experience on the bike and we have got to work a lot on improving the exit of the corner. That could be my style and the way I am going into the corner. I’m still riding a bit like Moto3 where you had to rush into the corner and then I’m trying to get on the throttle too early.”

Accurately judging the potential of the Moto2 field can be difficult though at this stage of proceedings, with the official race engine not available until next month’s final test in Jerez.

Kent has been using a bog standard Honda CBR600RR motor, while some of his rivals have been testing with a full Supersport-spec engine and some the engine that was used in last year’s Moto2 series.

Kent added: “We have been using a standard engine and that’s been about 7-8bhp off what some of the other guys have been testing. It will be interesting to see what happens when we all get the official engine at the final test, but I just need seat time and that’s what is going to make me improve.”