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Consistency becomes domination

Consistency becomes domination

2015 has seen the lightweight class truly dominated for the first time in over ten years.

Round 9 of the Moto3™ World Championship saw Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) complete his most dominant weekend of the season so far, topping every session by at least 0.3 of a second. The German GP weekend represented Kent’s season as a whole in many ways; domination even after tough situations where many others would struggle. Only once has the Brit missed the podium, in Le Mans when he raced from 31st on the grid to fourth. Kent’s wins have also been dominant, three out of his five victories have seen him cross the line over five seconds before the rider in second.

The lightweight class is known for its fiery action, five riders all diving into the corner together with elbows out. In a class as vicious as this, consistency is often what wins championships, both Alex Marquez in 2014 and Maverick Viñales the year before proved this. Marquez took three wins to Miller’s six and claimed the title, Viñales won three rounds while Luis Salom won seven and only finished third. In each of their championship years their final result looked uncertain after nine rounds, but Kent looks certain.

Domination is a rare thing in a world championship, the best of the best fight against one another and there’s little room for error. The 2015 season has seen Kent make few errors and even when he has, such as in Le Mans or his crash in Qualifying for the German GP, he has bounced back almost as if nothing happened. Kent has gone beyond consistency and is dominating.

Five wins, three podiums and a fourth have so far been Kent’s rewards for years of hard work and grinding in the championship. In the last ten years no rider in the lightweight class has had as strong an opening nine rounds as Kent. In 2010, Marc Marquez’s championship season in the 125cc category, saw him take five wins and two podiums in the opening nine races but also a retirement and a seventh place finish. Close, but not quite to Kent’s current level. Nico Terol in 2011 also took five wins in the first nine races, but struggled for podiums otherwise.

One has to go back to 1997 to find a rider who has had a better opening nine races, a certain Valentino Rossi who won seven, claimed a podium and suffered one DNF. Since 1997 Rossi has gone on to win a couple more championships. The 2015 season is Kent’s current focus as with another nine races to go anything could still happen, but certainly it looks promising for Great Britain to have its first world champion since Barry Sheene in 1977. The country has not had a lightweight class champion since Dave Simmonds in 1969, when he won on a Kawasaki.

Moto3, 2015, Danny Kent, Leopard Racing

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