The Rise and Fall of Danny Kent

"Danny is probably the most talented rider I have ever worked with," Peter Bom, Danny Kent's former crew chief at Kiefer told me several times last year. Bom has seen plenty of talent in his time: he also worked with Stefan Bradl at Kiefer, Chris Vermeulen in World Supersport and World Superbikes, Cal Crutchlow in World Supersport. World champions all, and to this tally he added Danny Kent.

Less than a year after helping him win the Moto3 world championship, Danny Kent asked the Kiefer team for a new crew chief, abandoning his collaboration with Peter Bom. Kent felt that Bom had been slow to pick up on the changes in the Moto2 class during Bom's three years in Moto3. Stefan Kiefer obliged, and Kent started the season with a new crew chief and a Suter Moto2 chassis.

Three races into the new season, Kent has left the team. He competed in two races for them, scoring three points in the first, crashing out of the second. At Austin, after a miserable few practice sessions, Kent refused to race. The team could have seen the decision coming, perhaps: Kent had finished 29th in morning warm up, 2.5 seconds off the pace of fastest man Taka Nakagami.

Later that afternoon, in a series of tweets, Kent explained his decision was because of "irreconcilable differences", which had prevented him from reaching his potential. He said he was still hungry, and believed he could be competitive in Moto2. Team boss Stefan Kiefer told Dutch Eurosport, "personally, I do not think this is correct, but that's what he decided." In a press release later that day, Kiefer stated that the decision was "difficult to understand from the team's point of view."

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2017 Assen WorldSBK Saturday Notes: Trouble Boils Over

The tension that has been building between Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies finally spilled over at Assen. Three years of competing with one another for race wins and championships has strained their relationship, and on Saturday at Assen it reached breaking point.

On the final laps of Superpole, Davies was on a flying lap and came across Rea through turn seven. Being forced to sit up and avoid the touring Kawasaki, emotions got the better of Davies and at the end of the session he hit out at Rea in Parc Ferme.

“You stayed on three quarters of the track,” stated Davies after qualifying third. “I don’t know how tight a line you can pull out of that left but I’m three quarters of the track out there. You were in the way mid-way through the corner and then on the exit I had to pick it up because you were three quarters across the track, if I didn’t I’d have cleaned you out! Next time I’ll smash you from the inside and we’ll see what happens.”

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2017 Assen World Superbike Superpole Results: Hot Laps, Hot Tempers

Superpole one was contested by eleven riders, vying for two places to compete in Superpole two, with Randy Krummenacher and Xavi Fores in the two favourite spots. Superpole two ended in riders arguing in Parc Fermé.

Updated: See below.

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2017 Assen World Superbike FP3 Results: Rea Quickest Again

In the morning's untimed session, Jonathan Rea approached Loris Baz's outright lap record as the only man to get under 1'35, over eight tenths of a second quicker than his teammate, second quickest Tom Sykes. Chaz Davies, third quickest, is the only other rider within a second of Rea's time. 

Results:

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2017 Assen World Supersport FP2 Results: Sofuoglu Takes Over

With PJ Jacobsen unable to better his morning's time, the only rider in the top twenty not able to do so, Kenan Sofuoglu took over at the top with the first sub-1'39 lap of the weekend. Federico Caricasulo sat in third place overall, second quickest this session. 

Session Results:

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