Moto3 championship leader Danny Kent will ride for his current Leopard Racing squad in Moto2 next season, having rejected at least one offer to move directly to MotoGP.
The 21-year-old’s strong form had attracted the attention of the MotoGP paddock, with Kent at one stage tipped to follow in Jack Miller’s footsteps and graduate directly to the premier class from Moto3.
He was offered a three-year deal by Ducati to join its satellite Pramac squad in 2016, a seat that eventually went to fellow Briton Scott Redding, and was also thought to be in contention for a ride with the Aspar Honda squad.
But now it has been revealed Kent will step up to Moto2 with Leopard Racing, joined by current Moto3 rival Miguel Oliveira aboard the pacesetting Kalex machine.
Kent previously raced in the intermediate class in 2013 for the Tech 3 squad, but dropped back down to Moto3 after a troubled season on the uncompetitive Mistral 610 bike.
“As a rider, even though you have all these offers, your future isn’t clear until it’s signed on paper,” Kent told BT Sport.
“I’m happy to stay with the team, take my career up to Moto2 next year with the Kalex.
“First we need to get this year done and dusted, then we can concentrate on next year.”
Leopard's Moto3 line-up in 2016 will consist of Fabio Quartararo, who moves across from the Estrella Galicia team, and CEV Moto3 frontrunner Joan Mir.
Aspar could make Ducati switch
With Kent’s future settled, attention will now turn to the future of the Aspar team, which is rumoured to be considering a switch to Ducati machinery next season.
That could result in Ducati-contracted Colombian Yonny Hernandez joining the Spanish squad, potentially alongside Eugene Laverty, who has an Aspar contract for 2016.
Miller meanwhile, who will be entering the second year of a three-season deal with Honda, is now expected to be confirmed at the Marc VDS outfit alongside 2014 Moto2 champion Esteve Rabat.
2016 MotoGP line-up so far:
|Tech 3 Yamaha|
|LCR Honda||Cal Crutchlow|
|Marc VDS Honda||