David Knight takes top spot in Red Bull Last Man Standing qualifying


BULCHER, TEXAS (December 7, 2007) - Two-time defending champion David Knight led the charge in qualifying for tomorrow's Red Bull Last Man Standing in Bulcher, Texas. The Red Bull/KTM rider from the Isle of Man threw down the gauntlet to his fellow competitors and claimed the top spot (and thus first choice of starting position) for the main event. Newcomer Taddy Blazusiak from Poland The best of the riders' two qualifying runs was used, with the 100 fastest riders advancing.

Under sunny skies and warm temperatures - in sharp contrast to last year's snow and ice, which cancelled qualifying - the hopeful riders lined up and, one by one, took off onto the ten-mile qualifying course, which was used to determine tomorrow's starting positions for the 40-mile loop, which will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with the blast of the starting cannon. The riders who finish within one hour of the first finisher in the day session will advance to the night session, starting at 5:00 p.m., with the course direction reversed.

The rest of the top-ten, following Knight (17 minutes 14 seconds) in qualifying were:
2) Russell Bobbitt (USA) 17:38
3) Taddy Blazusiak (POL) 17:51
4) Wally Palmer (USA) 17:55
5) Cole Kirkpatrick (USA) 17:58
6) Nathan Kanney (USA) 17:58
7) Justin Williamson (USA) 17:59
8) Colton Haaker (USA) 17:59
9) Justin Soule (USA) 18:07
10) Chris Birch (NZ) 18:07

"I came out the first year and had an awesome time and won the race, same thing last year. It's getting good coming out here. There's a lot of competition this year, but I'm up for it and ready to go. It's a tough race. There are three or four of these types of races around the world, and this is the only one in the US. We'll see what happens, being the end of the year. A win would be a great bonus for me. The first year, the race wasn't too difficult. Last year, it was extremely difficult. So we'll see what happens this year."

"Taddy Blazusiak is definitely the main guy to look out for. There are plenty of others who are able to run at the front. There are a lot of places on this course where you'll have five or ten go's at them to get over them and move on. And Taddy's trials background will really help him."

"This will be a very difficult race. The weather looks very nice for tomorrow. Last Man Standing is one of the most difficult races in the world, on level with Erzberg, which is what the top riders all say. It is long and exhausting. And racing in the night is a big charge for the riders. This is my first year here, and KTM think I can be a guy to challenge David Knight in this race, so that's why I'm out here. I just have to go out and ride my best. Physically, I feel great. This race is all about speed but also you need skills in the technical sections. I know last year only had two guys finish, but I'm not going to think about who's going to finish the race. I'm just going to go flat out from the beginning and finish the best I can."