Knighter?s troubled season continues
Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight finished in fifth position at the third round of the US GNCC series, the Steele Creek GNCC, having taken an early lead in the race before running into problems when his fuel tank vent hose became blocked. Competing on a 450cc four-stroke for the first time this season after racing a 250cc two-stroke at rounds one and two, Knight went from leading the race to second behind Shane Watts before returning to the lead only to then drop outside of the top 10 as the blocked fuel tank breather hose caused his bike to stop. Eventually realising what the problem was and fixing it Knight?s bike then ran out of fuel due to the earlier problem, which cost him a further four to five minutes. Following a late race charge Knight eventually claimed a hard fought fifth place finish.
The first rider to exit turn one Knight?s decision to revert back to familiar machinery seemed to have been a good one as he took an important early lead. Not feeling 100 per cent during the opening lap he then opted to follow round one winner Shane Watts while he settled into his rhythm. Feeling ready to make a break David passed the Australian and set about opening up a lead at the head of the Pro class but soon after hitting the front for the second time his bike started running poorly. Continuing with a sick running machine for a further 10 minutes David?s bike eventually stopped in a water crossing close to the pits. Eventually removing a troublesome fuel tank breather hose David?s bike instantly began to run perfectly, but David was left outside the top 10.
Planning to complete three laps before stopping for fuel David?s bike stopped just meters passed the place where it had stopped on lap two, this time due to being out of fuel. With the blocked breather hose having caused the bike to use much more fuel then planned Knight eventually got to the pits, re-fuelled and set about chasing down the leaders. With a huge amount of ground to catch up Knight managed to work his way from 13th to fifth having caught up several minutes on the leaders during the last two laps of the race.
Although disappointed with his result Knight was pleased with his speed, his decision to revert to a four-stroke and with his previously injured hand, which gave him no troubles during the race. David is now up to eighth in the XC1 Pro class championship standings.
David?s next event will be round four of the US GNCC series, The Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina, April 15.
David Knight: “Considering everything that happened I?m pretty pleased with the way things went. I don?t know what I?ve done to keep having bad luck, I just hope I?m over it now. Getting back on a four-stroke was great, I was able to ride feet up most of the time and felt really comfortable on the bike. I didn?t feel too settled from the start so I decided to follow Wattsy while I loosened up a bit. Right when I wanted to make a break my bike started running rich, which we later figured out was a blocked fuel breather pipe. I lost a load of time with my bike running badly and then when it stopped twice.
“When it stopped the second time I knew that any chance I had of a podium finish was pretty much over. I rode the last few laps like they were a special test and my speed was really good, which I?m pleased with. I crashed with Charlie Mullins near the end of the race, which left me with a sore ankle, but it was a racing accident. Despite the problem with the breather I was really pleased with my bike, the way I rode, and with my hand that didn?t give me any problems.”
Results XC 1 class ? US GNCC Series Rnd 3, The Steele Creek GNCC
1. Barry Hawk (Yamaha) 2:41.32