Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider crashes out on the first corner. A mistake on the last lap prevents Danny Kent from taking a place on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix.
After being amongst the two fastest riders in every practice session and taking his first pole position of the year yesterday, Danny Kent battled for the win at Motegi this morning. A mistake on the last lap whilst trying to take the lead of the race relegated him to sixth place. Niklas Ajo again suffered the disappointing side of motorcycle racing, crashing out on the opening corner.
The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider had a disastrous start. After avoiding contact with another rider at the beginning of the race, on the first corner he had to go wide to avoid another rival. When attempting to get back on track, he crashed out.
Meanwhile, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider maintained his spot at the start of the race and led for the opening 4 laps. Kent was always in the leading group, although on lap 9 he was at the back of that pack in seventh position. This did not discourage the Briton, who lap-after-lap moved back up the order to start the final lap second. A mistake at Turn 11 whilst trying to take the lead cost him a podium, and he placed sixth.
The Moto3 World Championship moves on to Australia, where antepenultimate Grand Prix of the season will be held next Sunday. Danny Kent lies ninth overall with 103 points; Niklas Ajo is fifteenth with 45.
Results – Race
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 39:26.830
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.357
3. Brad Binder (Mahindra) +0.484
4. John McPhee (Honda) +0.672
5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.161
6. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) +1.796
DNF – Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 231 points
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 206 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 194 points
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 174 points
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 174 points
9. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 103 points
15. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 45 points
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”Overall the weekend has been quite difficult. On the first day we did not manage to find a good feeling with the bike or my riding style. We improved a lot in the qualifying session and had much more confidence. This morning I did not go very fast but I thought I had a good pace, so expected a good race.
My start was not good; other riders overtook me and I almost got hit by one. I had to move to the right, and then another rider did make contact and I went left at the end of the straight. It was very difficult to turn into the corner and I ran off track. I rejoined the race but I made a rookie mistake and crashed. I’m a little disappointed, once again, because yesterday we worked very well and were confident about the race. I hope that in the next few races I can get back to my level, but we have to work hard ahead of Phillip Island.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”We started the race well. To be fair, it was a very good race up until Turn 11 of the last lap. We made a good start and led the race for the first four laps. Then I dropped back a little, down to seventh place, and tried to conserve my tyres for the last two laps. On the last lap I passed four riders and regained a good position. On the straight I tried to overtake Jack [Miller] but he had the inside and I clipped the grass. Then I saw Marquez on the outside and I tried to close the door on him, but I was too far inside. I could neither brake well nor turn the bike in. It was a mistake on my part.
We must bear in mind that the weekend has been very positive and we have been very strong. I hope that in Australia we can repeat this with another good weekend.”