Danny Kent has become the first British rider in an incredible 38 years to lift a Grand Prix world title, after the 21 year old finally clinched the crown with a sensible ride at the final round of the season in Valencia.
Starting from 18th after a disastrous qualifying session, the Chippenham rider was able to pick his way through the field to eleventh, despite the best intentions of teammate Hiroki Ono, who engaged Kent in a battle he didn’t need in the closing stages of the race.
Only needing to finish 14th to take the crown from only rival Miguel Oliveira, he took victory with ease after a last lap corner between Antonelli, Fenati and Vazquez promoted him to ninth at the flag.
Lifting a GP title for the first time since Barry Sheene’s 500GP victory in 1977, the Leopard Honda rider was nonetheless cool and collected after the race.
“It wasn’t a big problem having Ono interfering – but I was controlling the gap back. It’s a massive relief, because we’ve gone into four races now thinking that we could win the title – and it’s done now!”