Kent Keeps Cool to Claim Catalunya Victory

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Danny Kent demonstrated his supreme tactical nous once again to claim his fourth victory of the season in the Catalunya Grand Prix. The Briton led at several points but started the final lap in sixth place, only to scythe his way through the leading group to take a magnificent victory ahead of polesitter Enea Bastianini and Efren Vazquez.

From a very early stage, a leading group of nine had distanced themselves from the pack with Kent muscling to the front of the group on lap four, setting a new lap in the process. Despite his blistering pace, the championship leader was reeled back in one the start/finish straight as the power of the slipstream prevented an escape.

Danny hit the front again with five laps to go but the chasing riders relegated him to fifth in one fell swoop, prompting a change in tactic. Instead, Kent played it cool at the tail of the leading group and with 4.6km remaining, he sat at the tail of group which now comprised of six riders.

Vazquez led across the line on the sister Leopard Honda ahead of Niccolo Antonelli and Miguel Oliveira with Bastianini and Jorge Navarro between Kent and his teammate at the front. Antonelli was best placed on the run towards turn one and edged his way in front but Kent showed outstanding bravery to sweep around the outside of four riders to snatch second.

A maiden victory in sight for Antonelli but under braking for turn four, Kent dived past the Ongetta rider. Bastianini would follow through at the next corner before giving chase of his title rival but despite locking himself into the slipstream of the no.52 machine exiting the last corner, Kent held on to win by three hundredths of a second.

Vazquez showed shades of Valentino Rossi on Jorge Lorenzo in 2009, diving past Antonelli in the very last corner to snatch third, while Miguel Oliveira followed up his maiden win at Mugello with fifth in Barcelona ahead of Navarro.

Isaac Vinales produced a fine recovery ride from 20th on the grid to finish seventh ahead of Romano Fenati while Brad Binder and Philipp Oettl rounded out the top ten.



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