Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight is now 35 points clear of his nearest XC1 Pro class rival in the ’08 US Grand National Cross Country Series thanks to a convincing win at round four of the championship – the Big Buck GNCC staged in South Carolina. Finishing over one-minute ahead of Australian Josh Strang Knighter overcome yet another bad start to work his way into the lead of the race on lap two. Once out front David then opened up a comfortable advantage at the front of the field before claiming his third win of the season so far.
Getting a bad but ‘not that bad’ start to the race having failed to kick his 450cc KTM into life as the starter’s flag dropped, David passed several of his championship rivals in the very first corner as they lay on the floor in turn one having collided off the start. Quickly closing in on the early race leaders David had worked his way up to fourth at the end of the first lap. From there he moved into the lead on lap two before steadily extending his lead lap on lap.
Finding it difficult initially to pull away from Suzuki riders Josh Strang and Charlie Mullins due to lapped riders, as the track got rougher and rockier David was able to extend his lead to over one-minute. Having no problems during the closing stages of the race, once out of sight of his nearest challengers Knight opted to ease his pace on the sixth and final lap before claiming a deserved win. Joining David on the podium were Josh Strang and Charlie Mullins.
With three wins and one third place finish so far in the ’08 US GNCC championship David is already 35 points clear of his nearest championship rival Charlie Mullins. The next round of the US GNCC series is the Loretta Lynn’s GNCC, which takes place in Tennessee on April 27.
David Knight: “I missed the jump off the start again but it wasn’t as bad as it was at the last race. I was away after about four kicks so I wasn’t too far behind. There was a small pile-up in the first turn as well, which helped me, so it wasn’t like the rest of the XC1 class riders were miles ahead of me. I was on them pretty quick.
“I just had to pick the riders off one-by-one because there were some pretty dusty sections to the track. In the trees conditions were great but out in the open you had to be pretty careful because of the dust. I had a great line at one of the river crossings, which no one else seemed to be using. I remembered it from last year and it worked for me again because I think I got past four riders on the first lap, which was important for me.
“I wasn’t able to pull away too much once I got to the front because there were a lot of lappers. But once the track got a bit rougher in the trees I was able to open up a b it of a gap at the front. I pushed pretty hard mid-way through the race and then eased off a bit on the last lap.
“Three wins from four rounds is great. Apart from my starts everything is going really well. Who knows next race I might even get a good start.”
Results – US GNCC ’08 Rnd 4, XC1 Pro class
1. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team)
2. Josh Strang (Suzuki)
3. Charlie Mullins (Suzuki)
4. Paul Whibley (Suzuki)
5. Nathan Kanney (KTM)
6. Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna)
7. Jason Raines (Yamaha)
8. Jesse Robinson (Kawasaki)