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Kawasaki/Racer X Race Report

David Knight won the Guthrie, Oklahoma Maxxis Endurocross Saturday night, leaving him one race from taking the MMI $50,000 Triple Crown of Endurocross.
 
This Endurocross at the Lazy E is round two of three, something new for 2007. Denver was also new, last weekend, and Knight won that too, then overnighted himself to race a GNCC that he didn’t win. The final round is Vegas and the MMI $50,000 is waiting for him if he wins that.
 
Knight won a good battle with David Pearson for the early lead, and two-time Western Regional 125cc SX champion Damon Huffman made a charge from the back on a two-stroke RM250 for second.
 
Knight’s “day job,” at least in the U.S., is the Can-Am GNCC series, which he is leading. When asked what was he thinking about during the main - the triple crown or the win, he said “Next week’s GNCC!“ He usually flies back and forth between the U.S. and back home to the Isle of Mann for a GNCC, but with two Endurocross weekends and GNCC together, he’s been staying here for a few weeks. 
 

Knight is KTM’s international tough-guy first-stringer so whenever they need someone that can win a race that requires a lot of strength, expect to see him there on a KTM going for it. This Endurocross was that kind of race, with a lot of logs for jumps that you had to hit pretty hard to go fast on. As the day went on, Knight kept asking to make his suspension stiffer and stiffer so he could hit things harder.
 
The Lazy E is a big rodeo arena, so the floor space is big but the seating doesn’t look too impressive. The track took up more space than the previous Endurocross events at the Orleans, so the racing was more predictable. With the crowd backed away from the floor and the spills not as frequent, this was a different kind of Endurocross - intense and tough, and hard to pass. 
 
The sport is still so new that the best way to do Endurocross isn’t for sure yet. The main had a mix of four-strokes, two-strokes, and even trials bikes that do really well. Keith Wineland just missed the podium on a Montessa!  Even the best tire design is up for grabs, with riders using a mix of knobbies and trials tires.
 
The stars are just as mixed up as the bikes, and the list is impressive. At Guthrie were Guy Cooper, John Dowd, Ty Davis, Damon Huffman, Knight, and the who’s who of off-road, people like Lafferty, Nathan Woods, Abbott, Pearson, Dietrich, Brozovich, and trials superstar Geoff Aaron plus even more.
 
Knight’s speed was good and he didn’t have to worry unless he got a bad start. Huffman won his heat race and was a threat to win, but his main started out from the back after getting backed up in a first turn bottleneck while Knight and Pearson got away.
 
True to Endurocross tradition, the LCQ was a circus! Destry Abbott was leading it, but Brozovich passed him, and one of the trials guys was chasing them. Brozovich stalled on some rocks, Abbott stalled behind him, and while the two were trying to get going again, the trials guy caught them both, and he stalled on the rocks too! All three sat there for a moment, as if no one wanted to win. Brozovich did. 
 
Knight and Pearson had an intense but short battle at the beginning of the 8-lap main. Dowd was jammed in the same bottleneck in the first turn that claimed Huffman. Bozovich, Matt Karlsen, and Dietrich got stuck in the first turn too.
 
Knight got to the inside of Pearson in the swimming pool, where he made an inside pass in the water and pinned it, making a big splash and taking the lead. Huffman passed trials riders and everyone but Knight for the second spot, and Pearson held on for third. Wineland was the top-finishing trials guy - fourth! 
 

 

 

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