Former Moto 3 World Champion Danny Kent will return to the British circuits next year with the announcement today (Wednesday) that he has signed for Norwich-based Morello Racing to contest the 2020 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.
The 25-year old, who won the world title in 2015, will campaign a Kawasaki ZX-10RR in the 12-round series with personal sponsors Platform Hire also joining the team in their title quest. The signing of the eight-time Grand Prix winner, along with Fraser Rogers who joined the team earlier this month, firmly indicates the intentions of Morello Racing and team owner Steve Buckenham as they look to regain the Championship they previously won in 2015 and 2017.
Kent has proven to be one of the UK’s finest talents and after finishing second overall in the 2007 Aprilia Superteen Championship, he soon progressed into 125cc GP competition where he took a superb runners-up position in the 2010 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. That paved the way for the Wiltshire rider to contest the following year’s 125cc World Championship for the renowned Red Bull Ajo Aprilia team, going on to have a major impact on the world stage.
After finishing 11th overall in his debut season, he progressed to fourth in 2012 when he rode a KTM in the inaugural Moto 3 World Championship with his maiden podium coming at Assen. However, he bettered that at both Motegi and Valencia when he took his first Grand Prix victories.
With 2013 seeing him contest the Moto 2 World Championship, he returned to the Red Bull Ajo team and Moto 3 in 2014, this time on a Husqvarna where more podiums followed but the highlight in his career came the following year when he switched to Honda and Leopard Racing.
No less than six victories came his way, including the British GP at Silverstone, and with three additional podiums he duly won the 2015 Moto 3 World Championship, becoming the UK’s first Grand Prix solo motorcycle champion since Barry Sheene in 1977 and the first in the Lightweight class since Dave Simmonds in 1969.
Three more years in the Moto2 class subsequently followed with three top ten finishes taken in 2016, including a best of sixth at Qatar, whilst he made his debut in the British Superbike Championship last year, scoring points at Brands Hatch for the Movuno Halsall Suzuki team.
Just as Scott Redding did this year, when he won the British Superbike Championship title, Kent is now looking to re-ignite his career in the UK and has already had a successful test on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, albeit in wintry conditions, at Donington Park.
Danny Kent: “I’m really happy to be joining Steve and Morello Racing for 2020 and joining a team that’s won the championship twice already obviously gives me great confidence in the team. We’ve planned a good pre-season testing schedule so that I’m 100% ready for the first race and I can’t wait to get started with them. I’d personally like to say a big thanks to Steve and Chris for giving me this opportunity and a big thank you also to my personal sponsors Dave and Mandy at Platform Hire; without them and Steve this would not be possible.”
Steve Buckenham, Team Owner: “It’s really great to have Danny on board at Morello Racing as he will bring a wealth of experience to the team although he will of course have a period of adjustment as he gets used to the Stock bikes and Pirelli tyres. However, with a good pre-season testing programme at the British circuits and a test abroad so he can get the feel of the bike, I believe he will run very well in the Superstock 1000 series.”
“A big thank you has to go out to Dave Williams of Platform Hire Ltd for putting the deal all together as without him, it would never have happened. I’m also delighted that Rob and Karen Peters from Banhams WA are back with us as one of the team’s sponsors so we’re looking forward to the new season and with Fraser and now Danny on board, 2020 will hopefully be an exciting season for Morello Racing.”
The 2020 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship gets underway at Silverstone on April 10-12-10.