Danny Kent has admitted he’s thrown himself into the deep end as he tackles his first Bennetts British Superbike race this weekend.
The new Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki recruit, who is surveying options to join the British paddock next year after being cast out of his Speed Up Racing Team in Moto2, finished this morning’s first practice in 25th before moving up a place in FP2.
And despite admitting he wasn’t putting any pressure on himself for his maiden BSB weekend, Kent says he has some studying to do tonight as he looks for data to help improve his speed on the GP circuit.
“It’s like the first day back at school,” he said. “I threw myself in at the deep end coming here on a race weekend, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t really say no to.
“I’m almost trying to forget that it’s a race weekend and I think it’s quite important for me and the team to understand how it is to ride a superbike first. Compared to all the other bikes I’ve ridden in the past, they were all about corner speed, but with these superbikes it’s completely different.
“I’ve gone from 140bhp to over 220. Looking at the data now I’m trying to get on the power way too early and then compromising so much on the exits and I’m on the side of the tyre too much.”
Kent admitted that showing up at the 12th and final round with a pack of riders who have been here at least once before, twice counting the Indy circuit, isn’t ideal.
But the 2015 Moto3 World Champion says he wants to go through the learning process sooner or later and believes there’s no better time than now – on a track he hasn’t ridden in nearly a decade.
“Everything this weekend is new, whereas all the other people on track with me did all the preseason testing, they’ve rode these tracks for the last 10 years. The last time riding this track for me was 2009 on a 45bhp bike. There’s a lot to learn, but I’m going to have to do it at some point.
“I’ve been sat down with the team looking at the data and tonight’s quite important for me to look at it and see what I can do myself. I can see that a lot of the lap time can come from not even touching the bike but me changing the way I’m riding.
“Two and a half seconds off first is quite a big gap but with all things considered I don’t think we’ve done a bad job.
“It’s so early for me on a superbike, so going out in a race tomorrow with a lot of other riders I will definitely learn. I’m enjoying the experience and I have a lot to learn but we’re only going to keep progressing.”