Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight leads the ’07 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup following three highly impressive performances at the opening round of the three-event series held in Barcelona, Spain. Reverting to two-stroke machinery having clinched the ’07 AMA Endurocross championship just a few weeks earlier aboard a 450cc four-stroke, Knight claimed two wins and a runner-up finish to take an early championship lead in the first ever FIM sanctioned indoor enduro series. Finishing behind David in the overall results was Finland’s Mika Ahola, who currently holds the runner-up spot in the championship, with Spain’s Xavi Galindo third.
This year’s Barcelona Indoor Enduro provided exactly the type of action packed racing that has made the Spanish event such a popular one with both enduro fans and riders alike. With its seamless mix of demanding technical sections and high-speed straights this year’s course proved difficult for all riders, with even Knight coming unstuck on a few occasions. With a series of qualifying heats and LCQ races determining which riders would participate in the main events, this year’s Barcelona Indoor Enduro featured three finals, with points from each shaping the event’s overall results.
Winning both of his qualifying heat races Knight passed trough into the main event with ease. Making the challenging Barcelona track look much, much easier than many of his rivals David took an early lead in the first final and along with KTM team-mate Taddy Blazusiak pulled away at the front of the race. Not wanting to take any risks David remained calm and when Taddy hit a rock and broke his chain guard the AMA Endurocross champion cruised to a comfortable win.
Race two proved to be a very different story for David. Clipping Xavi Galindo’s rear wheel in turn one Knighter was sent crashing to the ground and was forced to start the race dead last. Quickly catching the rear of the field David worked his way forward passing riders during each of the four laps, managing to work his way up to second at the chequered flag.
Race three was similar to the first in as much as Knight nailed the start and was then never headed. Simply keeping himself out of trouble during the opening laps of the race David built up a commanding lead and claimed his second win of the night, which gave him the overall win and sees him lead the ’07 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup standings with two rounds remaining.
David now heads to Texas, USA where he will defend his Last Man Standing title before returning to Europe to compete in the second round of the Indoor Enduro World Cup in Munich, Germany.
David Knight: “It took me a while to get used to racing a two-stroke again, as I wasn’t revving the bike hard enough half the night, but things worked out great and it’s fantastic to have won the event and taken an early lead in the championship. My heat races went well. In the first one I got a good start and just got my head down and stayed ahead of Johnny Aubert. You had to watch some of the rocks because they were pretty unforgiving. In the second heat race the track started to get really tricky in places so after another good start I just made sure I kept out of trouble and moved through into the finals without too many problems at all.
“The first final was very similar to my first heat race – I got a good start and just took my time in the opening laps. One of the rock sections had changed a little so the line I had been using was no longer the best. Taddy Blazusiak started to push me a bit but I knew that it would be hard for him to go faster than I was and not make any mistakes even if he did pass me. I just tried to build on my pace steadily and when Taddy broke his chain guard I won easily.
“I enjoyed the second race of the night the most despite crashing in the first turn. I tried to be safe and it backfired on me and I went down. I was able to get passed most riders in the rocks but then fell when some other riders crashed in front of me. I managed to get passed Taddy and into second and just ran out of laps to get into the lead. Considering I was last to finish second was pretty good.
“I had another good start in the final and managed to pull away and win that quite comfortably. I’m really pleased with the way I rode and despite not winning all the races I think I showed that I was the best rider. I really liked the three final format because it gives you the chance to have a bad race and still do well. It’s a great start to the championship and I’m looking forward to seeing what the event in Munich will be like now.”
Results – ’07 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup, Rnd 1, Barcelona, Spain
1. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 4 points (1+2+1)
2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 9 points (2+5+2)
3. Xavi Galindo (KTM) 13 points (4+1+8)
4. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 15 points (3+7+5)
5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 17 points (11+3+3)
6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 19 points (5+10+4)
7. Tom Sagar (KTM) 23 points (8+4+11)
8. Gregory Eyries (Yamaha) 23 points (8+4+11)
9. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 24 points (9+9+6)
10. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 27 points (7+11+9)
11. Alessandro Botturi (Honda) 28 points (10+8+10)