- Title: MOTORCYCLING-MOTO3/DANNY KENT Kent follows in Sheene's slipstream
- Date: 27th August 2015
- Summary: LONDON, UK (AUGUST 26, 2015) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTO3 CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER DANNY KENT SAYING: "If we can keep working hard and achieve that world championship that will open a lot of doors for me and it will be a great achievement because a lot of hard work has gone into it, we've had some bad years in the past and I think that's probably what's made us so strong this year."
- Embargoed: 11th September 2015 13:00
- Location: Czech Republic
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVABP85D2WAMPTODEO72PBR0K9T
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL CONVERTED FROM 4:3
Danny Kent is getting used to comparisons with Barry Sheene even if he does not know too much about Britain's late, great world champion other than a few old races on You Tube and the magnetism of the famous name.
On current form, the 21-year-old Moto3 rider is set to end Britain's long wait by becoming the country's first motorcycle grand prix world champion since Sheene's last 500cc title with Suzuki in 1977.
There is not a rider on the grid in any category, not even Valentino Rossi, who was alive when Sheene - the two-wheeled counterpart to Britain's 1976 Formula One champion James Hunt - was in his pomp.
But Kent, who races in his home British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, is bringing back memories of the distant glory days when British riders and machines ruled the racetracks.
"To the people who don't know much about racing, all you have to do is mention the name Barry Sheene and they know what you're talking about," Kent told Reuters in an interview.
"Back in those days Barry Sheene was such a big name and to be matching the same records and be beating records of that name is really good," he said.
This year Kent became the first Briton since Sheene in 1977 to win three successive grands prix and also, with his fifth victory of the season, the most successful since his late compatriot.
The Honda rider is also the first Briton since Phil Read in 1975 in any class to stand on the podium in the opening four races of a season.
"If we can keep working hard and achieve that world championship it will open a lot of doors for me and be a great achievement," he said.
Scott Redding, now in MotoGP, came close to taking the Moto2 title in 2013 when he finished as runner-up and remains the youngest rider to win a grand prix.
Kent, currently 45 points clear of closest rival Enea Bastianini of Italy with seven races remaining, won five of the first nine races but suffered setbacks in the most recent rounds at Indianapolis -- where he failed to score -- and the Czech Republic.
Kent said bad luck was part of racing and his confidence remained high but with the pressure on, and Bastianini breathing down his neck, it was time to sharpen his elbows.
"Maybe in these last few races I've been trying to defend the championship instead of actually trying to go out there and still win the championship," he said.
"I've got a target on my back and I'm 45 points in the lead so they need me to make some mistakes so that they can catch us," he said.
"But I need to be a bit more aggressive because they are starting to be a bit aggressive with me....over the next few races we will be a bit more aggressive and get our elbows out a bit more and sort of show them who's boss."
Silverstone, with the home crowd behind him, is the perfect opportunity to do that for a rider who has yet to stand on his home podium and returned to Moto3 last year after a disappointing season in Moto2.
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