Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team’s David Knight scored a mixed bag of results during the last weekend in September as the former two-time Enduro 3 world champion competed in both the opening round of the ’07 AMA Endurocross Championship in Colorado before jetting into round 11 of the US GNCC series in North Carolina. With the opening event of the three-round Endurocross series the first indoor race of the season, Knight started as he means to go on by claiming victory ahead of trials rider Keith Wineland and former World Supercross Champion Damon Huff-man. Disappointingly things didn’t go as well for Knight at round 11 of the US GNCC series. Having claimed victory at round 10 to extend his championship advantage David could only manage an eighth place finish after crashing in turn two and then struggling to work his way forwards due to the tight nature of the course and an injured thumb.
Marking the start of the indoor enduro season the opening round of the ’07 AMA Endurocross championship saw a capacity crowd enjoy spectacular racing at the National Western Complex with David Knight showing just how serious he is about claiming back the Endurocross championship from last year’s winner John Dowd. With the event bringing together many of the States top off-road racers including Mike Lafferty, Ty Davies, Ricky Dietrich, Geoff Aaron and John Dowd, Knight claimed an impressive win and in doing so took his first step towards claiming the Motorcycle Mechanic’s Institute $50’000 Triple Crown Bonus.
Flying overnight in order to get to round 11 of the US GNCC series in North Carolina Knight’s hopes of extending his championship lead were ended when he crashed in turn two, which put him last in the XC1 Pro class. Having made more than his fair share of bad starts this season, and having always been able to work his way back to the front of the pack in no more than a couple of laps, Knight struggled to work his way forward due to the combination of having injured his thumb and the tight nature of the track. Although working his way up to 10th by the end of the opening lap Knight only managed to move forward a handful of additional positions during the following six laps and although getting as high as seventh on lap six finished in eighth.
With two rounds of the ’07 US GNCC series remaining Knight holds a 12-point lead in the overall championship standings.
David Knight: ‘Obviously I’m really pleased to have won the opening round of the Endurocross championship but I’m not happy with eighth at the GNCC. Both championships are important to me but I really needed a good result in North Carolina with just two rounds of the GNCC series to go.
‘The Endurocross event went really well. It was certainly different racing indoors again after such a long time. I’d been practicing a lot at home over indoor style obstacles and I felt like I was pretty well prepared. Anything can happen indoors, I guess John Dowd showed that by not qualifying, but I kept out of trouble and got the win.
‘It’s hard racing two events in one weekend, especially when one is on Saturday night and the other starts mid-day on Sunday. But I felt ok, I just had a bad race. It was a really bad track to fall on the second corner. I’ve had plenty of bad starts this season and have been able to work my way forward ok, but not this time. The track was really tight and I just couldn’t make any progress. I made some mistakes, hurt my thumb, and just couldn’t get passed riders. I guess I have to look on the bright side and I’m still leading the GNCC championship, as well as the Endurocross series too.’
Results – AMA Endurocross round 1, Denver, CO
1. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team)
2. Keith Wineland
3. Damon Huffman
4. Nick Brozovich
5. Dave Pearson
6. Phil Smage
Results – XC 1 class US GNCC Series Rnd 11, Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC
1. Charlie Mullins (Yamaha) 3:07.33
2. Paul Whibley (Honda) 3:08.15
3. Barry Hawk (Yamaha) 3:09.16
4. Garrett Edmisten (Kawasaki) 3:09.59
5. Glenn Kearney (Suzuki) 3:10.16
6. Jesse Robinson (Kawasaki) 3:11.58
8. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 3:12.56