British rider Danny Kent says he was satisfied with a steady rather the spectacular debut in the Moto2 world championship in Qatar on Sunday night.
Kent, who won two out of the last four Moto3 races in 2012, has found the transition to the heavier and more powerful 600cc Moto2 machine a difficult one and in Qatar a lack of front-end confidence saw him qualifying in a lowly 26th position.
The Tech 3 Racing rider though reverted back to a set-up used by Belgian rider Xavier Simeon last season for Sunday’s 20-lap floodlit season opener and he was able to fight his way into the top 20 to finish in a respectable 18th.
Speaking to MCN after his debut at the Losail International Circuit track in Doha, Kent said: “Obviously I wanted to be higher up but this class is really hard and nobody comes straight in and starts running at the front immediately.
"The biggest problem I had all weekend was no confidence in the front. We went back to a setting Xavier used last year and that was completely different to what I had been using but it helped.
"We have got a lot of work to do but the main issue is the lack of experience. I am lacking confidence with the power of the engine. In Moto3 you could go from zero to full throttle by just whacking it wide open but on this bike you’ve got to be careful because the rear comes round really quickly on you.
"It is all about gaining confidence to get on the power and control the slide when the rear does break loose.”
Reigning Moto3 world champion Sandro Cortese only finished one place higher up the final order in Qatar and after some close battles together last season, Kent said the German was his benchmark for the year.
He added: “I was very close to Sandro last season so he is the best gauge for us at the moment. I raced with him for a long period on Sunday night and he finished one place in front of me, so that shows we are doing a decent job.”