Knight in shining armour
REIGNING World Enduro Champion David Knight has claimed motorcycling manufacturer KTM its second consecutive outright win at the Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE).
The current championship leader of the 2007 American Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) from the Isle of Man arrived in Australia only days before the event, with little time to acclimatise, overcome jetlag and prepare.
Bike time was also limited for Knight, with only 30 minutes of testing available on his chosen machine, the 2007 model KTM 450 EXC.
An end result of consistency and experience paid off for Knight as he took the top podium position for the outright win over Chris Hollis in second and Stefan Merriman in third.
"Last year Juha Salminen from Finland won the outright title for KTM, so I'm thrilled to back up his win with another crown for KTM," Knight said after his victory.
"On the opening day of the event, I eased my way into racing while trying to acclimatise to the time difference and race plan which saw me in third place by days end.
"By day two, I had picked up and took the lead but I had some stiff competition from Stefan Merriman and AJ Roberts who were equally as determined to take the title. On day three I increased my lead even further, but times were still relatively close and I knew it was the motocross section on the last day that would decide the winner.
"The final day consisted of a trail ride to the local Coffs Harbour motocross circuit. Before our bikes went into Parc Ferme the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, so the KTM 450 EXC had been prepared with a dry weather set-up.
"By the afternoon the weather had turned and rain had set in. Once the bikes are locked up in Parc Ferme there is no option to work on the motorcycle again, so I was stuck with a dry weather set up, in wet conditions and I knew I would be in for a challenging last ride.
"The motocross circuit was extremely slippery and I had to play it safe and ride consistently without error to maintain my lead, if I came down and lost 30 seconds I would have lost the outright win.
"Other competitors were falling around me and even though I struggled with the dry weather set up, I held it on with no crashes to take the win for KTM."
Knight now intends to head back to the UK for a rest over their summer before returning to the USA for the Grand National Cross Country.
Next on the Australian off-road racing calendar is the Hattah Desert Race this weekend in the Victorian border town of Mildura.