Strategic Kent extends title advantage
Danny Kent may not have won at Mugello but the English rider rode like a champion as he picked his way through the pack to finish second. The race was incredibly competitive with a group of 15 fighting for the lead and when Kent dropped to the back of the group it looked as though his title hopes would take a hit.
The Leopard Racing star had other ideas however and gradually eased his way back to the front until he was running second at the final corner. He had thought that he may be able to avail of a slipstream from Miguel Oliviera to overtake the Portuguese rider on the run to the line however he had to settle for second and a crucial 20 points.
"The plan for me was not to go into the last corner on the last lap in the lead," said Kent. "But we still extended the championship lead with second place despite not winning the race. That's the main thing for us. I knew that I had the pace to catch back up to the group when I dropped back but i didn't plan on going back as far as 15th! I wanted to save the tyres at that point because on the first few laps I tried to pull away but you lose so much on the front straight when you're in front so my plan changed to sit at the back of the group and save my tyres for the last few laps."
Given that he couldn't drag past the KTM on the run to the line Kent was asked if there was now a deficiency in power from the Honda but he rejected any such ideas and said that all the engines have their own areas of strength and weakness.
"I think that for me the KTM has been very strong all year, they haven't changed their engine all year but they've changed their settings. I'm not worried about the top speed because today showed that we are strong and can fight for race wins. As far as engine power is concerned it was impossible for anyone to break away if they were leading onto the straight because you'd be down to be sixth or seventh at the first corner. For me all the engine manufacturers are very similar and each has their own strengths."