Thruxton may have been Danny Kent’s local round but having only ridden their once before, the Buildbase Suzuki rider was one of the revelations of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship round at the weekend as he claimed his maiden BSB podium.
The 25-year old has had a relatively slow start to his full-time BSB career, with just four points picked up in the first six races, but changes in set up at Brands Hatch two weeks ago saw him crack the top ten twice and he brought that form and confidence to Thruxton being fast in both the wet and dry.
“The start of the season hasn’t gone to plan but we made a good step forward at Brands and again at Thruxton where I felt confident right from FP1 and we’re now seeing that in the results,” said Kent.
“I’ve let the team to make all the changes with the bike so I could concentrate on riding but I’ve gradually been adapting my style to suit the Superbike. In the early rounds, I had a few crashes as I was using the front brake too much and trailing the brake into the corner, like what I’ve been used to in other classes.
“I was asking too much of the front but I’m now learning to trust and rely on the engine braking more and those small steps have enabled me to cut out the mistakes and be more consistent.”
Kent’s only prior visit to Thruxton came in 2019 when he rode the Bike Devil MV Agusta but after taking strong sixth and ninth place finishes in the dry at the weekend, the final race saw him truly shine and with superb pace, he closed right in on leaders Jason O’Halloran and Danny Buchan.
A race win looked very much on the cards before he settled for the final rostrum position but had he pushed a bit harder in the early laps it could have been a different story.
“I went with the wet front and intermediate rear but I was a bit nervous at the beginning as the only other time I’d used the inter was at Brands and it wasn’t as wet there. I wasn’t sure of the grip levels or how hard to push so I was really careful in the early laps which allowed the gaps to open up.
“If I’d had more experience with the bike and tyres, I would have gone harder in the early laps but I let everything come to me and then started to close back in. My pace was really good, especially in the first two sectors, and if I’d had lots of BSB podiums before, I would have gone for the win but I didn’t want to do anything silly and crash.
“It was more important to give myself and the team a podium as it increases our confidence ahead of the next round, a track we know well and one I enjoy with it being more of a GP-style track.”
Kent was fifth fastest at the Donington test earlier in the year and with Kyle Ryde having shone on the Suzuki there last year, don’t be surprised to see the former Moto3 World Champion run with the leading pack once more.