Ex-world champ Toseland takes Tetbury's rising star Kent under his wing
DANNY KENT has enlisted the help of former motor cycling world champion James Toseland as he builds up to his first season racing in the Moto2 World Championship in 2013.
Kent, a 19-year-old from Tetbury, finished the Moto3 series last season with a flourish, winning two of the last four Grand Prix in Japan and Spain.
It not only earned him fourth place in the title race but a ride for the French-based Tech3 team this year.
Danny is a fitness enthusiast who relishes the time he spends in the gym but Toseland, who like the youngster raced on a bike with the number 52, has taken the Tetbury lad’s workrate to a new level.
“I spent three days with James in London before Christmas,” said Kent.
“James was renowned for being one of the fittest riders on the circuit and I have already learnt a lot from him. I go to the gym regularly but he opened my eyes as to how fit you have to be – and he pushes me that extra bit harder."
Later this month, Kent will be heading back to the Kensington home that Toseland shares with his wife, the chart-topping songstress Katie Melua, for some more intensive training.
“It is not just gym work,” said Kent. “We got to an athletics track as well as running through the parks and streets of London.”
On his next visit, Danny can show his mentor a large tattoo across the width of his shoulder blades that he acquired over the Christmas period and which he exclusively revealed to his almost 47,000 Twitter followers. He was kind enough to pass on a copy of the tattoo to the sports pages of the Standard.
The tattoo bears the legend 'If you tell me I can't, I'll show you I can' and incorporates his initials and his bike number 52.
Significantly, it also name-checks two late members of his family, his uncle Gary and his granddad Johnny, who were particularly supportive down the years.
“I have wanted a tattoo for some time, but I also wanted it to mean something,” said Kent.
“The inspiration came from my dad and my uncle Gary, who was also heavily into tattoos.
“Gary was a huge fan of bikes and died a few years ago, while ‘Gramps' was tragically hit by a motorcycle on the Malmesbury dual carriageway only last year.
“I went to Nick, a close friend of my dad's, who is a local tattoo artist from Malmesbury.
“I plan to extend the art in future to reflect on other special moments of my life.”
Kent will return to the scene of his latest Grand Prix triumph in Valencia when pre-season testing starts officially in February.
Reflecting on last season’s efforts, he insisted: “If I had started the season in the manner I ended it, I would have been challenging for the world title.
“There was a lot of expectation after I had done so well in pre-season but I realise now that I just needed more experience. There is a lot of difference between being the fastest for one lap and doing it for 23 laps in a race.
“In hindsight, I was not ready at the time, but winning two of my last four races and making the top six in four of the last five races shows that I became much more consistent.
“Now I can't wait for the new season to start.”