Knighter Finishes Second At US GNCC Rnd 1

March 7, 2007 8:12am

Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight got his ’07 US GNCC campaign off to a flying start by claiming a well deserved runner-up spot at the opening round of the series held in Vero Beach, Florida despite going into the event less than 100 per cent fit. Unsure how he would perform due to having only spent a few days on his race bike in the weeks leading up to the event as a result of injuring his left hand while practicing at home on the Isle of Man, Knight rode a steady and calculated race to claim the runner-up spot behind former GNCC champion Shane Watts.

The 33rd rider to take his place on the start Knighter was forced to line-up right on the inside of the XC1 class, facing a tight right hand first turn, with all of his championship rivals to his left. Getting his bike fired into life quickly as the starter’s flag dropped Knighter was unable to carry his speed around the corner due to the congestion in turn one. Despite getting boxed in at the first turn David arrived at turn two just inside the top 10.

Moving his way forwards Knight quickly moved inside the top five, working his way up the leader board with each passing lap. Passing several riders on the first lap and second laps in one of the few muddy sections of the track, after the first round of pit stops David started battling against Charlie Mullins and Garrett Edmisten. With Mullins dropping back into fourth Edmisten moved ahead of Knight during part of the second hour of the race before David upped his pace, passed the Florida rider, and opened up a small advantage.

Knowing that only one rider – Shane Watts, was ahead of him Knight gave the last lap of the race his all despite two huge blisters on his left hand. Crashing mid-way around the lap he then decided to settle his pace and crossed the finish line just under two minutes behind Watts to claim the second place position and make a great start to his ’07 US GNCC campaign.

David’s next event will be round two of the US GNCC series, The General GNCC at Washington Georgia, March 11.

David Knight: “I’m over the moon to have finished in second, it’s the same result Juha got in ’05. I just want to get through the second race now with a similar result and then get my hand fully healed up and get bike fit and ready for the rest of the championship. The first few laps were hard because of the dust and not knowing exactly where all the tree roots were, but things went really well.
     “Getting 33rd pick of the start didn’t help me but I made an ok start considering I was right up the inside and just tried not to make any mistakes during the opening laps. The dust made it hard to catch and even follow some of the other faster guys, but I worked my way passed several riders and felt good at the end of the first lap.
     “I’ve not done much riding during the two weeks before the race so I didn’t feel as fresh on my bike as I should. My hand wasn’t too bad thankfully, but it did start to give me some trouble towards the end of the race as I started to get really bad blisters. My lack of bike fitness was more of a problem.
     “I’m still not 100 per cent settled and comfortable on a two-stroke yet after riding a four-stroke for so many years but I know that the more I race the better I will feel. All things considered I’m more than pleased with finishing second. It was a hard race but a great result to start the championship with.”
Results XC 1 class – US GNCC Series Rnd 1, The Triton GNCC

1. Shane Watts (KTM) 2:52.28
2. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 2:54.22
3. Garrett Edmisten (Kawasaki) 2:55.01
4. Charles Mullins (Yamaha) 2:55.14
5. Jimmy Jarrett (Suzuki) 2:58.24
6. Simo Kirssi (Kawasaki) 2:59.58
7. Barry Hawk (KTM) 3:00.46
8. Jesse Robinson (Kawasaki) 3:00.54