Danny Kent’s guide to Silverstone26/08/2014
Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider analyses the track which will host his home Grand Prix this weekend.
Danny Kent lives less than half an hour away from the Silverstone Circuit, which this weekend will host the twelfth round of the World Championship. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo reaches his home Grand Prix after taking a first podium finish of the season with a third place at the Czech Republic GP. This was also the first time that Husqvarna had been on the rostrum in the factory’s debut year in the Moto3 World Championship. Kent wants to repeat the Top 3 finish this Sunday in front of his home fans.
At 5.9km, the Silverstone Circuit is the longest on the calendar and has a total of 18 corners –8 left handers and 10 right handers. Kent made his Grand Prix debut at the track in 2010 and took a best result of sixth there in Moto3 in 2012.
For Danny Kent, the first sector is not decisive in terms of the race, but crucial to a quick lap time. “The first sector is fast and, along with the last sector, I think it is the key to a fast lap. It is a very fast and flowing section. The first corner is taken in third or fourth gear and opens up onto a straight. Here there are four linked corners: Left, right, left, right. Taking them well is important because you exit onto a long straight, ‘Hangar straight’, which can be crucial to achieving the best time.”
The next part of the British track has similar characteristics, where coming out onto the straight as fast as possible is again key. “The second sector is also very fast. After a quick right corner you have another straight, there is a chicane that forces you to shift gears and slow down. This leads onto another straight after a quick turn. Without a doubt, it is one of the most critical areas of the track.”
The third sector is completely different. “This is the slowest part of the entire track. You have two quick corners that take you to a sharp right hairpin right wing, where you have to go very slowly. When you come out, you have a small straight and no time to go up the gears before a left hairpin. The exit from this one is important, because then you have a left hander which leads onto the last straight before the home straight. Going out of the left hairpin it is important not to go too fast, in order to get a better line onto the final corner. On this one you get on the gas hard when you exit, as quickly as possible.”
The finish line at Silverstone is right at the end of Turn 18. “In the last sector there are not many corners –and those that there are, are rather fast. You have the long straight on the penultimate sector and come up to a fairly tight left. Then, on the last two corners it is easy to run off. Especially because last year, with the brakes and slipperiness of the track, it was very difficult to stop the bike. If you go too fast into the first of these corners you can ruin your whole lap on the next one, because you’re not going to go into it well. It opens onto the finish line, which in this case is right at the beginning of the straight.”
The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider believes the key to a fast lap at the track, which he knows perfectly, is “the first sector, with its long straight, and the last part. It is vital to exit the corners well to get positioned for the straights and set as fast a time as possible.” For the Sunday contest, “the race will be decided on the last two sectors, so it is important to be strong there. The first sector is not going to win you the race.”
“The truth is that I like the circuit in general and I don’t have a favourite corner. I like riding here and want to do well for those who come out to support me and throughout the year have to make do with watching on television.”
Circuit information – Silverstone Circuit
Length: 5.900m / 3.666 miles
Left corners: 8
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 770m / 0.478 miles