2015 world champion Danny Kent’s time in the Grand Prix paddock looks to have come to a premature end, with the Brit dumped by his Speed Up team for the final rounds of 2018.
Crashing out of Sunday’s race and already dropped by the squad for next year despite signing a two-year contract, he told MCN after Sunday’s race that he's already heard rumours that his future was uncertain.
“I was told I was testing on Monday but then they put another rider on the bike, and it feels like the team have given up on me. They told me that Edgar Pons would be riding it instead, but not to replace me – then when I got to the track I started hearing rumours. It means that Sunday could have been my last race in Grand Prix. I’ve been in the paddock for half my life, and I would like to have at least have the chance to say goodbye and thanks to people.”
But with reports in Spanish media that Pons will now ride at the final five rounds of 2018 – a message that the Speed Up squad haven’t relayed to their rider despite Pons testing his bike on Monday at Aragon – Kent finally received word this morning that he will be sitting out the final races of the season.
Kent has had a difficult season with the Italian team, struggling to find feeling with the front end of the bike and suffering with his confidence as a result. That hasn’t been helped by the team’s decisions regarding his future, first by failing to keep him for the second season of his two-year deal and then with his mid-season replacement.
And despite knowing that he’s not had a season to write home about, Kent says that the position he’s been put in hasn’t helped him achieve the results he wanted and the team expected.
“The crash on Sunday was the same as the one I’ve bene having for the last five or six races, and my confidence has suffered too – as well as having a lot of shit going on in the background. It is what it is, but when you look at other riders who are in a similar situation, you can see that it’s not just a case of getting on a bike and riding it.
“There’s more to it than that, but people looking in don’t see that. I was told before the weekend I could test on Monday and then that changed, and in the situation I’m in the tests are where I can make the most progress. I need to go out and make laps and try to find a good feeling, and if they did want me to improve they’d have let me test.”