Disastrous weekend for Knight at ’09 WEC opener

David Knight’s hopes of claiming a third Enduro 3 world championship title were dealt a massive blow this past weekend as the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team rider scored just one sixth place result at the opening round of the ’09 WEC season, the GP of Portugal staged in Penafiel. Returning to the WEC following two highly successful years competing in the US GNCC series, Knight was simply unable to perform at his best on either the event’s enduro or motocross tests with his only special test wins coming on the extreme test.

Producing the second quickest Enduro 3 class time during the WEC’s first ever Friday night Super test, Knight’s troubles started early on day one as he struggled to 11th in class on the opening enduro test. Unable to identify exactly what the problem was, Knight, like his team mates Juha Salminen and Marko Tarkkala, was unable to attack the soft, dusty special tests. The harder David tried the more mistakes he made. Eventually finishing sixth in class having topped all of the day’s four extreme tests David made several modifications to his bike ahead of the second day’s competition.

Eighth in class on the opening two special tests on day two David’s day quickly went from bad to worse as on lap two he caught his foot under his bike’s rear wheel, twisting his knee. Shortly afterwards David withdrew from the event.

Despite fears that he may have seriously damaged his knee David is confident that he will be fit for round two of the WEC in Spain this coming weekend.

David Knight: “There’s not a lot for me to say really, other than I’m obviously hugely disappointed. There’s no hiding from the fact that as a team we struggled this weekend. We knew that we hadn’t done any real testing in soft, powdery conditions like we had here in Portugal but we were confident of some good results. Especially as things were really encouraging during the first Spanish championship race one week ago. I simply didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, and on the motocross and enduro tests there was no way I could push hard – I didn’t feel at all comfortable on the bike. Things went ok on the extreme test but that was it. We made some changes to the bike at the end of day one, but day two didn’t really start any better. Then I got cross rutted on the enduro test on lap two, got my foot caught under the bike and twisted my knee. I thought I’d done some serious damage but I think it’ll be ok. We’ll try and get the bike’s working better for next weekend but with only a few days before the second world championship race there’s not much we can really change.”

Results – WEC ’09 Rnd 1, day 1

Enduro 3 class

1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 57:35.65; 2. Samuli Aro (KTM) 58:03.79; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna) 58:18.52; 4. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 58:39.35; 5. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 58:36.94; 6. David Knight (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 58:59.87; 7. Marcus Kehr (KTM)  59:16.97; 8. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 59:23.49; 9. Tom Sagar (Husaberg) 1:00:20.98; 10. Fernando Ferreira (Yamaha) 1:02:04.44

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