moto2 / Kent & Oliveira overcome new challenges in Argentina
After a week characterized by high humidity and high temperatures on Sunday morning came unexpected rain, turning team plans on their head.
The Leopard Racing Team had 20 minutes at their disposal in morning Warm Up to make the best of the situation, Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira ending in 15th and 17th respectively. Both were focused on the race and had collected good data should the race be held in similar wet conditions.
But the race proved to be a difficult one for the two riders of the Leopard Racing Team, Kent losing his advantage from a great Qualifying and Oliveira unable to find the same feeling as in Warm Up, both riders struggling in the first lap.
Subsequently the 21 year old from Portugal made the best of a bad situation and finished the opening laps in 16th place, the doors to championship points on the verge of opening.
Kent blamed his performance in the opening laps on a lack of feeling with his Kalex, unable to perform in mixed conditions. Neither rider had ever raced mixed conditions such as these and were learning with each lap.
Three laps from the end, in a key moment, a small braking error occurred for Oliveira and forced him wide, dropping him to 21st at the Finish line and a minute behind race winner Zarco. Simultaneously Kent forced his way through the field after his poor start, coming back to end the day in 16th place and just 0.159s from the points.
Tomorrow the team will return to Buenos Aires and from there transfer to Texas where in seven days the Grand Prix of the Americas, the third race of the 2016 season, will take place.
#52 Danny KENT – 16th:
“Obviously it’s not the result we were hoping for. Having a great weekend until the race and we went into the race with very mixed conditions. They were conditions that were new to me in Moto2; I’ve not had them before. The first half of the race I had no confidence at all especially in the wet parts with slicks. This is something I need to improve on as we lost too much time then. In the last five laps when it was dry, it wasn’t so bad. We’d lost too much at the beginning. I’m disappointed to sorry to the team. We made a step forward from the first race but hopefully we can recover in Austin.”
#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA – 21st:
“The day began in the wet warm-up, I had a good feeling with the bike and I was expect to race on slicks. In the first two laps, maybe I was too conservative and I lost time. During the race I could keep a good pace, I was 16th but I made a mistake and ran wide with 3 laps to go, that was it for me. In Austin my objective will be to improve my grid position and then fight from the start till the end!”
Moto2™ Race – Gran Premio de la República Argetina 2016:
1 – Johann ZARCO / FRA / Ajo Motorsport / Kalex / 23 laps
2 – Sam LOWES / GBR / Federal Oil Gresini / Kalex / +1.347
3 – Jonas Folger / GER / Dynavolt Intact GP / Kalex / +2.754
16 – Danny KENT / GBR / Leopard Racing / Kalex / +58.437
21 – Miguel OLIVEIRA / POR / Leopard Racing / Kalex / +1’00.406
Moto2™ World Standing 2016:
1 – Thomas LUTHI / 34 points
2 – Johann ZARCO / 29 points
3 – Sam LOWES / 27 points
10 – Danny KENT / 10 points
16 – Miguel OLIVEIRA / 5 points
Photo credit: Leopard Racing