MALMESBURY'S Danny Kent feels he's taken a step forward in his challenge for the Moto3 World Championship when securing his joint-best finish of the season at the Assen circuit in Holland, writes Alannah Fellows.

The 20-year-old was able to get a strong start from his 11th place on the grid and was fighting for a podium place early on in the race.

At the track where he gained his first Moto3 podium, he spent much of the race in the group battling for fourth and eventually crossed the line in a close eighth spot.

Kent now lies in 14th position in the world championship standings alongside Red Bull Husqvarna team-mate Niklas Ajo.

Kent said: "Undoubtedly we have taken a step forward. All weekend we worked better, both me and the team.

"I’m a little disappointed because I think I had enough pace to try to catch the two at the front, but every time I took the lead of my group, other riders overtook me on the straights and then were slower on the corners.

"That allowed the leaders to escape and I couldn’t fight for the podium. It’s not that my bike was slower – the Husqvarna worked really well – but in this class it is very easy to take advantage of a slipstream to gain positions on the straights.

"Overall I’m pretty happy and we have to continue like this. At Sachsenring we will try to take another step forward.”