Claiming his sixth victory at the annual Weston Beach Race David Knight has become the event’s most successful ever solo competitor. Tied on five solo victories with Rob Meek prior to the start of this year’s event the KTM Enduro Factory Team racer finished ahead of Tom Church and Brad Anderson at the end of a long, tough race. Battling against his rivals, the wet, power sapping sand, as well as having a number of crashes during the three-hour race while also fighting arm-pump and cramp and in both legs, Knight eventually placed two-minutes clear to once again prove himself as king of the Weston Beach Race…
Q: Congratulations on your record-breaking sixth Weston Beach Race solo win, how was it this year?
DK: ‘It ended much better than it started and was a pretty eventful three-hours, like it always is. I made a pretty good start but didn’t want to lead the first few laps so I let some riders stay out front. Well’ that’s what I planned to do because I found myself leading again soon after so let a few riders past again. It wasn’t until the last hour that I felt like I was riding anywhere near as well as I could. I was too tense at the start, because I wasn’t sure how my hips would be. It’s great to win again, and to get the record for the most wins, but the race doesn’t get any easier.’
Q: You didn’t seem your normal dominant self during the first hour of the race, were you struggling with your hips?
DK: ‘Not with my hips too much, but with arm-pump, a misfiring bike, crashes, and cramp. I was over it at the end of the first hour. Nothing seemed to be going right and although I didn’t want to be leading I just couldn’t get things to come together. I almost went over the bars I don’t know how many times, I did crash a few times, and just wasn’t feeling good at all. It was more like a long motocross than in other years, maybe that had something to do with it.’
Q: Everyone knows that you’re still not 100 per cent fit and still working back to full fitness after your double hip surgery, were your hips ok?
DK: ‘They weren’t too bad really. Not having lots of walking to do before the event like at Enduro World Championship events made things easier. My biggest problem was getting cramp, which isn’t easy to get rid of when you’re racing. My legs aren’t as strong as they need to be and keeping my legs up when I’m sitting down is hard. I put my feet down hard a few times when I landed from a few of the jumps, but my hips weren’t too bad.’
Q: During the first hour your bike didn’t seem to be running too well, what did you do to fix it?
DK: ‘Nothing, whatever the problem was it cleared itself. We think the bike was just getting hot. It was like the plug had fouled and I was losing power – down the straight it was misfiring and when I made my first pit stop I didn’t think I was going to finish. But then it started running great and never gave me any problems after that.’
Q: After a difficult first hour how did the race play out for you?
DK: ‘It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on once the race starts and I was having problems seeing my pit board. I thought I was second behind Brad Anderson but then I was told that I was second behind Tom Church. That was the only pit board signal I saw, the one telling me I was second. I got going a bit then but stayed behind Tom as I wasted some time in the pits. I think it was the next pit stop that I was told I was leading. For half a lap I had a good battle with Tom but pulled away enough to know that as long as nothing stupid happened I could win.’
Q: ‘During the first hour you seemed to be much more relaxed, was that because you knew you were in a position to win?
DK: ‘Not really, I just felt more comfortable on my bike. It took me a lot longer to learn the track this year but also during the second half of the race I didn’t have any problems as my arm-pump had gone and I managed to find a rhythm. I kept pushing pretty hard and opened up a couple of minutes on Tom in second. It’s difficult during a long race when you’re having problems. You can’t stop and sort things out, or rest, so I’m really pleased that I was able to get over everything that was going on during the first hour and win. It was a tough race but winning made it worth while.’
Results – 2011 Weston Beach Race (Adult solo race)
1. David knight (KTM)
2. Tom Church (KTM)
3. Brad Anderson (Honda)