Double podium result for Knight at WEC GP of Wales

Making the most of the two month break in the US GNCC Series Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight made a wildcard appearance at the fifth round of the ’08 World Enduro Championship and promptly collected two Enduro 2 class podium finishes aboard his 450cc KTM. Choosing the GP of Wales to make his return to the WEC the former two-time enduro world champion and current leader of the US GNCC Series placed as runner-up to former team-mate Juha Salminen on day one and then finished third behind Frenchman Johnny Aubert and Salminen on day two.

With heavy rain falling throughout the opening day’s competition the GP of Wales proved to be a grueling event. Starting near the rear of the E2 class due to being a wildcard rider Knight found it difficult to match the pace of the riders that had started ahead of him due to the rapid deterioration of both the motocross and enduro special tests. But the start of the second lap saw Knight top the enduro test as he started to pull back the time he’d lost earlier in the day. Placing second in class on the next four tests Knight then topped the penultimate special test before finishing fourth on the ninth and final test. Having had a good day, but having felt that he could have ridden harder at times, Knight finished 46 seconds behind eventual E2 class winner Juha Salminen.

Although still tough day two proved to be a little easier for all competitors due to largely dry skies but for Knight the day didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Forced to fit a replacement rear shock to his bike on lap two David failed to perform at his best and opted simply to enjoy the occasion rather than push over his limits. Although not managing to win any special tests on day two Knight entertained the many supporters that had come to see him compete and placed third making it two podium results from the two-day event. Although a little disappointed that he hadn’t been more competitive during the second day’s competition David thoroughly enjoyed his one-off WEC outing.

David will now travel to Mexico to compete in the annual Fun Enduro event before resuming his GNCC training ahead of the re-start of the ‘08 championship in September.

David Knight: “I’m happy with the way the first day went – finishing second in my first WEC race in nearly two years was good and I really enjoyed it. Things didn’t go quite so well on day two though, but I still finished on the podium so I can’t complain too much. I was at a bit of a disadvantage starting after the top riders in the E2 class, especially early on day one but once the event got into the second lap I started to get things sorted. I knew it would take some time to get used to enduros again, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as difficult as it was. I’ve spent a year-and-a half-riding at 90 per cent so it was hard to get my head around sprinting again. Every test I started I set off thinking I was in a three-hour race.

“Although the first day was hard I really enjoyed it – I’d say it’s the most enjoyable race I’ve done in a long time. It was impossible not to make any mistakes but I managed to put in some pretty good tests. Juha was riding really well so I was a little way behind him but I was quite a way ahead of Aubert so I finished a safe second. I was pleased with things because I didn’t ride over my head.

“The second day didn’t go quite to plan – the rear of my bike didn’t feel right from the start of the day. I changed the shock for the second lap, which was a lot better. I was still struggling to get out of the ruts. I was riding as hard as I could but Aubert was much quicker than Juha and myself so I just enjoyed myself. It’s been a really good weekend.”

2008 World Enduro Championship

Grand Prix of Wales – Day 1

Enduro 2 class

1. Juha Salminen (KTM) 52:30.26; 2. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 53:16.38; 3. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 54:38.74; 4. Paul Edmonson (Suzuki) 55:45.58; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 55:51.91; 6. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 56:26.39; 7. Jari Mattila (Honda) 56:32.92; 8. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 56:59.78; 9. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 57:24.39; 10. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 59:16.84;

2008 World Enduro Championship

Grand Prix of Wales – Day 2

Enduro 2 class

1. Jonny Aubert (Yamaha) 48:12.58; 2. Juha Salminen (KTM) 48:57.89; 3. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 49:41.95; 4. Paul Edmondson (Suzuki) 51:39.28; 5. Rodrig Thain (TM) 51:47.27; 6. Jari Mattila (Honda) 51:50.81; 7. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 51:51.31; 8. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 51:58.01; 9. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 51:09.76; 10. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 52:31.87;


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