Danny Kent is to return to the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in Moto3 for 2014. The move had been widely anticipated after Kent made the surprise announcement after the Aragon round that he was to leave the Tech 3 Moto2 team. Kent rejoins the Ajo Moto3 team aiming to compete for wins and the Moto3 title, and completes a very strong rider line up in the team. Kent will be teammates with Australian sensation Jack Miller, and the highly regarded Red Bull Rookies Cup winner Karel Hanika. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, currently inside the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, will be shifted out to the one-rider structure currently occupied by Niklas Ajo, with Air Asia backing.
The KTM Ajo team will be one of the favorites for the 2014 Moto3 title, with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team being the other. That team, run by Emilio Alzamora, will field Alex Marquez and, if he doesn't win the Moto3 championship next Sunday at Valencia, Alex Rins, though they will be switching from KTM to Honda, with HRC building a brand new, far more powerful Moto3 machine to take on the mighty KTMs.
Other teams to watch in 2014 include the Gresini squad, who will be switching to KTM and fielding Isaac Vinales and Niccolo Antonelli, Team Sky (the VR46-backed team run by Vitto Guareschi) with Romano Fenati, and possibly Team Calvo, if they can secure the services of Miguel Oliveira.
Below is the Ajo team's press release:
Red Bull KTM Ajo rejoin forces with Danny Kent for 2014
British rider returns to team for whom he rode in 2011 and 2012, to compete for another year in the Moto3 World Championship.
Reigning Moto3 Team World Champions, Red Bull KTM Ajo, will reunite with Danny Kent next season. The 19 year-old Briton, born in Chippenham in 1993, will return to the team run by Aki Ajo in Moto3 after a year in the Moto2 class. Kent competed for the team in 2011 and 2012, making his debut in the World Championship and claiming his first Grand Prix victories.
A runner-up finish in the 2010 Red Bull Rookies Cup series led to Danny Kent undertaking his first full World Championship season in 2011. He did so in the 125cc class, as a Red Bull KTM Ajo rider. Kent finished the year in eleventh place overall, with fourth place at Jerez –in only the second round of the season– his best result. This experience was further built upon in the first year of Moto3 competition, in which he took two wins –at Motegi and Valencia– plus an additional podium at Assen. Fourth placed overall in the season’s final standings, the Brit moved up to Moto2 this season. His best results in the intermediate class were twelfth place finishes at Brno and Sepang.
The addition of Danny Kent to the team, alongside Jack Miller and Karel Hanika, completes the Red Bull KTM Ajo lineup for 2014.
Aki Ajo -Team Manager
"I am very enthusiastic to have Danny Kent onboard for next season, forming an excellent trio with Jack [Miller] and Karel [Hanika]. In 2011 and 2012 I had the chance to work with him, and I am very happy with that experience. With an extra year of racing under his belt, this second opportunity to work with him will be very fruitful for both parties. I am sure that we will understand one another easily from day one and be stronger, so I can’t wait for the first tests in November.
I’m sure that this past year will be very useful for Danny’s performances next year. He has taken good results and has learnt a lot. Moto2 is a different category; I am convinced that he will be even stronger in Moto3."
Danny Kent - Rider
"I am very happy to be returning to the Red Bull KTM Ajo team. I think that this is the best opportunity possible. This is a very hard-working group, very professional and always in the fight for wins and titles. I want to make the most of this second spell with the team and finish as high up the order as possible at every race. I can't wait to get started and begin working hard. My collarbone injury is getting better every day, I have more movement, so I think that I will be ready for the first test in November.
Red Bull KTM Ajo are a group of professionals who work very hard, and that is why they have won so much. Their way of working and that of Aki [Ajo] are different to other teams, and I like it. Aki is strict and methodical. I want to make the most of his experience, listening and learning from all the advice that he gives me."