Knight Steps Up Pre-US GNCC Training, Wins GB XC Rnd. 1

Red Bull KTM Off Road Team’s David Knight stepped up his preparations ahead of the opening round of the ’08 US GNCC series, which takes place in Florida on March 2, by competing in and winning the first GB XC event of ’08 at Matchams Park. With his previous competitive outings this season having been on a 250cc two-stroke, Knight wanted to use the race as a pre-GNCC shake down and compete for three hours aboard KTM’s new 450cc four-stroke.

Claiming the holeshot Knight’s early advantage vanished when he momentarily took a wrong turn and dropped to second. Then getting rope caught around his rear wheel the reigning GNCC champion was forced to pit having lost the use of his rear brake. Quickly back out on track Knight needed little time at all to work his way into the lead before opening up a commanding advantage of some eight minutes.

David heads to the States on Monday, February 25, where he will spend several days testing with his Red Bull KTM team in Florida ahead of the opening round of the ‘08 US GNCC series. In the mean time Knight will continue testing and training at his home in the Isle of Man.

David Knight: “The event was great preparation for me. I knew the conditions would be sandy, like the first race of the US GNCC championship, so it was perfect for me. I wanted to race the bike for three hours before heading to the US. I’ve spent a lot of time adjusting to and setting up the new bike in recent weeks and everything went well during the race. There are still one or two little things that can be improved but I’m really happy with the way the bike performed. I also felt fresh at the end of the race, which is good.

“The race itself went well. I got about the only holeshot I’ve ever had on a 450 but then I took a wrong turn and dropped to second. I got some rope caught in my rear wheel then, which lost me about 45 seconds as I had to come into the pits to sort it, but after that everything went well. The track was quite fast so it wasn’t easy to make up time. But I pushed hard and was about eight minutes ahead at the end of the race. It was a really good event and I feel much happier now that I’ve raced the new bike for three hours.”