Making his international debut aboard a BMW Motorrad Motorsport G 450 X reigning US GNCC champion David Knight started the ’09 running of The Tough One hoping to claim a fifth consecutive victory at the UK’s premier extreme hare scramble event. Never before beaten at the demanding two-hour event, Knight looked set to do exactly as he planned and make it five wins from five starts after opening up a commanding lead just three laps into the race. Frustratingly, shortly after opening up 45-second advantage over his nearest rival David ran into a simple mechanical problem, which forced him out of the event.
Changed so as to start with a Le Mans style get away Knight and the rest of the Pro and Expert class riders were faced with a tiring uphill run to their bikes before heading off on their first lap. Reaching the end of the run second David dropped to fifth after he tangled with eventual race winner Taddy Blazusiak. Quickly up to second David followed Wayne Braybrook for much of the first lap. Passing the Gas Gas rider shortly after the start of lap two Knight then attacked the course to pull himself clear of all other riders. With the hard work done, and looking like he was headed towards Tough One win number five, Knight was then forced to ride back to the pits having experienced a clutch problem.
David Knight: “As disappointed as I am, and I am really disappointed, I’m not too frustrated with what happened because I know that my speed was good – good enough to win the race easily. I’m more disappointed for BMW than myself because I really wanted to win for them. Everyone in the team is working so hard getting everything ready for the new season. The Tough One is the only extreme event I’ll do before the start of the world championship, which is why I really wanted to compete and win.
“I made a pretty good start and followed Wayne Braybrook for most of the first lap. Once I got past I pushed hard and opened up a 45 second lead in one-lap. I was really enjoying the course, I felt good, and my bike was going great, but on the third lap I had a problem with the clutch and that was that. We don’t know what the problem is yet, but it’s something simple. We’ve tested different clutch components the whole week before the race and everything was fine. I guess that’s the way things can go some times. But like I said I’m not too disappointed because I felt really good, and my speed was good.”
Results – ’09 The Tough One
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 1.57.07, 11 laps
2. Tom Sagar (Husaberg) 1.59.46, 11 laps
3. Wayne Braybrook (Gas Gas) 2.05.07, 11 laps
4. Dougie Lampkin (Beta) 1.59.17, 10 laps
5. Edward Jones (KTM) 2.09.47, 10 laps