TEXAS (Nov. 13, 2005) - 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.
Event winner David Knight
photo: Rich Van Every
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.
HIGH RATE OF ATTRITION
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.
Knight celebrates his win
photo: Rich Van Every
"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.
For more information, visit http://www.redbulllastmanstanding.com/.
1. David Knight, KTM, Isle of Mann (U.K.)
2. Nathan Kanney, YAM, High Falls, NY - 09:51 behind winner
3. Michael Lafferty, KTM, Estell Manor, NJ - 14:38 behind winner
4. Justin Williamson, YAM, Sanford, FL
5. Billy Russell, KTM, Watsonville, CA
6. Patrick Garrahan, KTM, Boulder Creek, CA
7. Jimmy Lewis, KTM, Costa Mesa, CA
8. David Kamo, KTM, New Plymouth, ID
9. Ryan Dudek, KTM, Costa Mesa, CA
10. Jeff Melik, YAM, Girard, OH
11. Eric Rhoten, HON, Montrose, CO
12. Steve Leivan, YAM, Golden City, MO
13. Guy Perrett, HUSQ, Kamloops, BC (CAN)
14. Cole Kirkpatrick, KTM, Lubbock, TX - 1hr. 10:46 behind winner