Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight has claimed his fourth win of the ’08 US Grand National Cross Country Series following victory at the Loretta Lynn’s GNCC. The third US GNCC event in a row in which Knight’s claimed the top step of the podium, victory at round five of the 13 event championship was made all the harder due to a flying rock from the rear wheel of a lapped rider hitting the Manxman in the throat. Despite being struck in the windpipe by the rock on lap two Knight managed to move himself back into the lead of the race before claiming a comfortable win.
Firing his KTM into life the minute the starter’s flag dropped Knight started better than he had at the last three rounds of the US GNCC championship and was well placed as he exited the first few corners. Not wanting to risk anything he then eased himself into the race by taking things steadily for a few miles before then working his way forwards. Once out front David opened up a 20 second lead before running into trouble on lap two.
Following a rider he was about to lap Knight found himself hit in the windpipe by a flying rock. Initially struggling to breath before finding that he was having troubles swallowing David opted to slow his pace for a short while in order to make sure he wasn’t seriously hurt. Overtaken at this stage by Australian Shane Watts Knight quickly found his feet once again and past the former GNCC champion before pulling away from his XC1 Pro class rivals.
Come the end of the penultimate lap Knight was over one-minute ahead of second placed rider Joshua Strang, which is how the race ended as Knight claimed his fourth win of the series so far.
Now with four wins and one runner-up finish to his credit David Knight leads the ’08 US GNCC series by 44 points. The sixth round of the series – The John Penton GNCC, takes place on May 11 in Millfield, Ohio after which three more rounds follow before the championship’s two-month summer break.
David Knight: “It’s great to have got another win. And I got a good start for a change. I took things pretty steadily after the first few corners and a few riders got past me, which I wasn’t too worried about. I had a little bit of arm pump but I managed to pass the riders that were ahead of me and opened up about a 20 second lead quite quickly.
“On the second lap a rock from a lapped rider hit my windpipe, which wasn‘t painful but made it hard to breath for a while. I was struggling for a while and decided to slow down a bit. That’s when Wattsy past me. I followed him for a while, got my breath back, and then caught right up to him. He was having a hard time passing one lapper, which is when I past him. He went one side, I went the other, and when we past him Wattsy it my bike and went down.
“I felt good again then and put in a couple of good laps before taking it steady on the final lap. The track conditions were good and although I didn’t win by much more than a minute I was pleased with my result. It was a good day, and moving further ahead in the championship is always good.”
Results – US GNCC ’08 Rnd 5, XC1 Pro class
1. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team)
2. Josh Strang (Suzuki)
3. Charlie Mullins (Suzuki)
4. Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna)
5. Nathan Kanney (KTM)
6. Paul Whibley (Suzuki)
7. Jason Raines (Yamaha)
8. Jimmy Jarrett (Suzuki)
9. Garrett Edmisten (Kawasaki)
10. Jesse Robinson (Kawasaki)