Title holder David Knight came, saw and almost conquered the unique twin cylinder Premier Class race at Erzberg on Thursday, finishing second in the opening event of the Erzberg Rodeo
The reigning World Enduro Champion from the Isle of Man rode his KTM 950 Super Enduro R to a clear eight seconds advantage to lead in the first lap but was deprived of victory when Simo Kirssi of Finland was two seconds faster in the second lap over the Iron Mountain. The rules of this distinctive event define the winner not as the rider with the fastest aggregate time over two laps but instead the title goes to the one who puts in the fastest single lap.
‘Knighter’ had flown in specifically for the race on Thursday and immediately leaves to return to continue competing in the Grand National Cross country (GNCC) in the USA, where he is currently second in the standings.
‘I could have been faster in the second lap but I made a small mistake at the exit of one of the corners and that cost me a couple of seconds,’ David Knight said after the race. ‘All in all I am still quite happy with the result because I didn’t have any chance to practice and conditions were quite slippery so I rode rather cautiously.’
Austrian Werner M?(KTM) was third and KTM factory rally team members Giovanni Sala of Italy and Spaniard Marc Coma were fourth and fifth. Overall four of the top five riders were onboard the KTM Super Enduro 950 R, a tribute to the power and performance of the machine, which more than proved itself over this extremely tough terrain.
Riders had to contend with hot, dry and very dusty conditions that virtually obliterated vision as they tackled the course carved into the remains of an old open cut iron ore mine in the Austrian province of Styria.
The premier class race was the opening event at the Erzberg Rodeo. Known for being one of the most challenging rides for motorcycle enthusiasts, the event draws a huge crowd to Erzberg (Iron Mountain) for a long weekend of events that culminates in the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday.
1. Simo Kirssi, Finland, BMW, 9:02.93
2. David Knight, Britain, KTM, 9:06.80
3. Werner M? Austria, KTM, 9:14.45
4. Giovanni Sala, Italy, KTM, 9:21.27
5. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM , 9:29.50