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Monday Conversation: David Knight

KTM's international traveling off-road superstar David Knight is 2/3 on the way to an impressive $50,000 Triple Crown bonus in the AMA/Maxxis Endurocross Series. Knight won at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, OK, in front of a modest crowd by riding smooth and surviving an early challenge from David Pearson for the lead.
       Knight has been staying at home in the Isle of Man, UK, during the Can-Am GNCC series and flying over to race and back. With the EnduroCross series added to his U.S. schedule, he's staying here for a few weeks - actually the longest he has been away from home. Last weekend he did double duty-winning the Endurocross on Saturday and flying to the GNCC the next day, which he didn't win.
       Knight stopped to talk about the traveling, the track and his competition just after he won Saturday night. 
 
Racer X: David when you were winning that race, were you thinking about winning it or winning that Triple Crown money? What was on your mind?
David Knight: The GNCC next weekend! Tonight it was important to beat Damon [Huffman] and get a good points lead. Anything can happen in Vegas, or any of these races. Damon rides good. He’s a newcomer but he has been consistent. He doesn’t crash much. When I see him ride I think of him as similar to how I ride as well. He is smooth and not taking many risks.
       This Triple Crown thing, it would be awesome to win it in Vegas. I am not thinking about it too much. I just want to get the GNCC title wrapped up and then get this Endurocross title wrapped up. If I win 50 grand I will be the happiest man in Vegas. That’s a bonus if I do good and win that. I am just trying to think of the GNCC points situation and pull meself out ahead a little bit next weekend. 
 

How it is that yourself and Huffman are able to ride so fast on this stuff without crashing? What are you doing?
Growing up doing trials riding I think. I always look ahead and look at the lines I am picking. A lot of the European riders seem to ride that way. When we first came here, to Vegas, the American riders were just pinned over things. I can do the same thing and pin it, but it scares me a little bit. For me it is better to ride calculated and smooth. Pearson and I pushed pretty hard there in that first lap. We were both pushing and got a good break on the other guys. It was good he pushed me hard. I knew I could ride that speed smooth. He was wanting it bad as well.
       We are all trying to get that 50 grand. It’s going to be hard to do. It’s worth more that winning any of the three races.
 
How do you ride this Endurocross track differently, since it was a little more spread out than the others?
This one had a lot of logs and everyone was the same speed over the logs. I have been stiffening up the suspension all day trying to make it easier on meself. Still it feels too soft when you hit them. When Pearson was hitting some of them the logs would move, so he was hitting them really hard and trying to get over them as fast as he could. When you get in the water hole, you get your gloves wet and it’s hard to hold on. There were loads of things going on. The clutch was getting hot and you could smell it. With a 4-stroke like this it’s hard on the clutch. Overall, the bike worked good and I worked good. I just want to have a safe ride at Vegas and get this title wrapped up.
 
How do you describe this Endurocross to people that are used to the other things you do, like Enduros, GNCCs, etc?
This is the most unpredictable, definitely. It’s the most intense, straight up -it’s eight laps around, you won’t believe how tough it is, like last week’s race. It does take it out of you. Riding three hour races (is different), you are not as intense. At the world championship, you are going flat out for a special test, which is pretty good for this. A GNCC is more calculated and smooth, not as fast. It takes a little bit (of adjustment).
       It’s difficult to go from this race, to a GNCC, to an extreme race. They are getting to be individual sports now. It’s like going to be a supercross rider one weekend, and trials rider the next. It’s not quite that diverse but it’s getting spread out. Guys are starting to specialize in this type of thing. Probably one day I will have to make up my mind. I have fun doing all these races and I am lucky I got the chance to do them all. It would be nice to look back at the memories when I am older. It will feel good.

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