Moto3 Argentina: Unstoppable Kent wins again

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Danny Kent took advantage of an early crash between Jorge Navarro and Nicolo Antonelli to open a commanding lead in the early stages of today’s Argentine Grand Prix. The Englishman, who is now the first British rider since Barry Sheen to win consecutive Grand Prix, moved to the front after five laps and when Navarro lost the front end the rest of the pack had to ease off and Kent was able to put himself out of range of the slipstream.

It’s the latest example of how mature Kent has become, in the first corner he maintained his second position and he then waited for his tyres to come up to temperature before starting to push towards the front. Picking off rivals one at a time Kent eased to the front and was quickly out of sight of his rivals.

For most of the race Leopard Racing held the top three positions with Efren Vazquez and and Hiroki Ono all running in the top three. Issac  Vinales was fast throughout but it was the recovery of Miguel Olieviera that was perhaps the most impressive performance. The Portuguese rider fell down the field at one third distance but using the slipstream he was able to get back to the front of the chasing group.

Questions as to whether Oliviera had the pace to fight with Kent were made academic such was Kent’s speed and by half distance he had already opened a seven second lead and able to control the gap thereafter.

The battle for the other podium spots ragged for the second half of the race with Oliviera, Vazquez, Binder, Vinales, Quartararo and Bastianini all trading places throughout the final third of the race. In the final five laps it looked as though the group battling for second, which comprised 13 riders at one point, was distilling down to a fight between eight riders with Fenati having a hugely impressive lap to move from the back of the grid to the top ten and looking to have potentially the speed to hit the front of the group.

Quartararo, who celebrates his 16th birthday tomorrow, was doing all he could to stand on the podium for the second time in a week with a series of daring moves under braking. On the last lap Vinales dived down the inside of Vazquez at the end of the back straight to claim second but the pair traded positions numerous times on the last lap before Vazquez held swap at the final corner of a thrilling battle.

Kent’s victory margin, more than ten seconds, smashed the record for the largest victory margin in Moto3 history to consolidate his position as the title favourite.

Steve English

By Steve English