News 25 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Kent secures second Rookies Cup pole in succession


Danny Kent secured his second pole in a row within the first 10 minutes of practice as rain then swept across the Donington circuit for most of the afternoon. The 15 year old Briton looks forward to his home race but knows that Sachsenring winner Jakub Kornfeil will be just one of the threats. The 16 year old Czech was second quickest to Kent in the ultra brief dry period and in a class of his own for most of the wet second qualifying period. Third on the grid and 4th fastest in the wet second session is 14 year old Japanese Daijiro Hiura.

“I’m happy to be on pole again,” said Kent. I’ve just got to make better use of it than I did at the Sachsenring. In the wet I was just concentrating on getting a good rhythm, sorting out braking points and stuff for the wet and not crashing. A dry race would be good but the wet is OK too. I think it’s going to be a great race, Jakub, Sturla, Florian Marino, there are a lot of guys who can be at the front.”

“I just felt really good all day today,” explained Kornfeil. “In the wet and the dry it didn’t matter. I was enjoying the bike and the track and it was all working well. I felt just as comfortable as I did at the Sachsenring last weekend and I am really looking forward to the race, I don’t care if it is wet or dry.”

Sturla Fagerhaug, the 17 year old Norwegian, still leads the Cup chase by a very handy 25 points after 5 of 8 races, but after falling early in the first 30 minute qualifying session is back on the 4th row of the grid, 13th fastest. Fagerhaug was 2nd here a year ago just ahead of 16 year old South African Mathew Scholtz who is also only 7th on the grid but was almost as fast as Kornfeil on the drying track late in the final session.

“I like the track for sure,” says Scholtz who actually crashed mid way through that drying second session. “I just ran off the dry line through the fast right hander onto the back straight and it highsided me. The bike wasn’t damaged much so I got on it again. The first part of the track is a lot of fun, I’m not so sure about the second half, the tight section. This morning I didn’t really get going when it was dry but I think it will be a good race tomorrow.”

Points leader Fagerhaug is looking forward to the race despite the frustrations of practice. “It all went well in the free practice this morning but on the second lap of the first qualifying I got a false neutral coming out of the chicane, then it jumped into 2nd and highsided me. That was the end of that session. Then in qualifying 2, in the wet it, was OK but I wasn’t pushing too hard even when it started to get a dry line because I knew that I no-one could improve on their lap time and it is too easy to get off the dry line and crash. I like the track though so wet or dry in the race I just want to get up to the front and race with the guys.”

The Californian who is developing so well as a road racer, Jake Gagne, will also be a man to watch. “It’s a fun track, it’s just the last 2 tight corners that are causing me problems, I love the first part, all fast and flowing,” enthused the 15 year old who has now been on the podium at both the last two races.