One of the world’s best off-road motorcycle racers withstood all challenges Saturday night in earning the inaugural Red Bull Last Man Standing title under the moon-lit night skies above the Red River in North Texas.

In doing so, David Knight, 27, of Isle Mann, U.K. outran 87 other invited riders, overcame stomach flu-like conditions, and tackled numerous ‘element’ obstacles with names such as Joshua Tree, Triple Threat and Texas Stadium.

‘There was one field in the entire race where you could exhale for about 10-15 seconds,’ said the 2005 FIM World Enduro Champion and KTM factory rider. ‘This is one of the toughest races I’ve ridden. The race ranks
up there with the best of them.’

The Brit’s stiffest competition came from seven-time AMA National Enduro champion Michael Lafferty (Estell Manor, NJ) and GNCC regular Nathan Kanney (High Falls, NY). Kanney, 22, leaped forward several places in the two-lap night stage, surpassing Lafferty when he encountered light equipment failures following a spectacular crash.

‘I went to get a drink, and as soon as I did that, I hit a hole, and next thing I know, I was end-over-end trying to find the bike,’ said the 30-year-old Lafferty, who fell back to fifth upon returning to the pits for repairs. He later made up the lost time on the final lap and finished third overall behind Kanney.


The one-of-kind event with a unique racing format began with a day stage comprised of two 40-mile laps across some of the most difficult and varied terrain in North America. Over half of the invited riders did not finish the second lap, leaving only 18 riders standing going into the final two-lap night stage.

Running in reverse direction and aided by night lights, only 14 of the 18 finalists crossed the finish line on the second and final lap. While Knight finished just under 10 minutes ahead of Kanney, the last man to cross the finish line an hour later was 18-year-old Cole Kirkpatrick (Lubbock, TX). The young Texan completed the final lap without rear brakes. Earlier in the day, Kirkpatrick ran out of fuel, caught a spectator shuttle back to the pits, grabbed fuel and pedaled a bicycle to his resting bike to refuel.

‘It was gnarly,’ said Kirkpatrick, the top finisher from Texas who regularly competes on the Texas State Championship Enduro series. ‘There were rocks bigger than anything I’ve ever seen. You get to the hills and everyone’s watching you, so you have no choice but to go up.’

Kirkpatrick may have shown the most ingenuity and true grit out of the field of pro and semi-pro riders, but it was Knight who took home the sole Red Bull Last Man Standing trophy and the majority of $18,000 in prize money. Other riders could only take home memories.

‘I had a blast,’ said seventh-place finisher Jimmy Lewis, a former Baja 1000 winner and Dakar Rally podium finisher. ‘I wish there were more races like this.’

A one-hour television show of the event airs on Speed TV on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 pm ET. The show re-airs Dec. 13 (2 pm), Jan. 6 (2 am) and Jan. 8(6 pm). All times Eastern. Check local listings for exact times.


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