2008 and reigning U.S. Grand National Cross Country Champion David Knight, preparing to compete in the 2009 World Enduro Championship for the fledgling BMW Motorrad Motorsport team, started the New Year off on excellent footing recently by winning the opening round of the five-round 2009 British Enduro Championship. After a two-year hiatus from the British Enduro Championship, Knight and his 480cc-motivated BMW won the single day event Muntjac Enduro on Sunday, February 22 over Husqvarna rider Si Wakely and Husaberg¹s Tom Sagar.
After an extensive testing program that has gone on for close to a month, Knight and BMW Motorrad Motorsport showed up at the Muntjac Enduro to blow the cobwebs out of the 480 and make sure the BMW was competition fit and ready for the approaching 2009 World Championship.
Cautiously, in the first and opening test, Knight placed third. After stalling the BMW in a difficult and rutted turn, he regrouped to place fifth in the second test. Four seconds behind Si Wakely¹s Husqvarna 450 with only the third and final special test remaining, Knight and his BMW were masterful in the rough, whooped out sand, Knight was up to seven seconds faster than any other rider in the gnarly 41-minute loop. To that end, his combined 4-5-1 stage scores made him the winner of the Muntjac Enduro.
"It's great to start my return to the British Enduro Championship with a win,² he smiled afterwards. ³The Muntjac is a tough old event, especially because there are two tests early in the day and then one right at the very end. It's the type of special tests where it's hard t pull any real advantage but easy to lose time if you make any mistakes. I didn't make too many mistakes but the first test was really slippery. I tried to push hard in a few corners and almost came off, so I took it easy.
"The second test was much better. There were a few lines in the corners, which made it a lot easier. I was going well but then I stalled it in a corner, which made it hard to keep my rhythm. I knew that me performances were going in the right direction, and although I didn't win that second test I was quite confident that I could go a fair bit quicker in the last test.
"The unique thing about the Muntjac Enduro is that after your first two tests you have all day to think about the last test because you don't ride it again until right at the end of the day. The tight time controls sorted me out. I knew that I wouldn't lose any time. The final tight time control was great - I knew I was up on time so I took it steady during the second half. I was able to carry that pace into the final test. I'd also made a few small adjustments to the bike, which helped, so I felt good during the last test. I knew I needed to do and had a good run. I guess not winning the first two tests meant I had it all to do in the last one but that's the way it goes with a test like this. I didn't win the first two but I wasn't too far behind. If I'd have pushed too hard too soon there's a good chance I would have made a mistake, crashed, and then winning probably wouldn't have been possible at all."