Despite discomfort from injured hip KTM star earns one/two result in Enduro 3 class
David Knight made a successful return to the Enduro World Championship at the GP of Portugal winning the competitive Enduro 3 class on day one and placing as a close runner-up on day two. Unsure how he would perform having been forced to withdraw from the GP of Spain only one week earlier due to a problem with his left hip, Knight made a winning start to the Portuguese event when he topped the Friday night Super Test before going on to win the opening day by a little over four seconds.
Locked in a three way battle for the day one win with Mika Ahola and Christophe Nambotin in Vale de Bravo David claimed winning times on both the motocross and extreme tests to ensure he started the third and final lap holding a slight, but important, advantage. Keeping his cool and remaining mistake free David placed second, third, and second again on the three final tests to claim a hard fought victory ahead of Ahola and Nambotin.
Day two again saw a three way fight for the win between Knight, Ahola and Nambotin, ending with Knight claiming the runner-up position. Finding things notably harder on the second day due to discomfort from his hip David remained in contention for the win throughout the day, arriving at the final test of the event just seven seconds off the lead. Knowing that his chances of winning were slim Knight gave the test his all but was unable to claim a repeat of his day one victory and secured a well-deserved runner-up result.
David Knight: ‘It’s great to get two full days of competition completed, especially after not finishing in Spain. I was surprised how well things went on day one. I wasn’t pushing to the absolute limit – I was just trying to enjoy myself. I felt like I was riding well, just not taking any big risks. I didn’t know what my hip would be like. It’s such a frustrating problem, but I’m pleased that my riding was good. Mid way through the second day I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish though because of my hip. I didn’t have unbearable pain, it was just difficult moving around on the bike like I wanted and it was constantly aching. With all of the lose stones you had to keep putting your feet down. I’d had a steady opening lap, then a bad second lap, and then I started to feel ok again. I gave it a real good go on the last lap and did good times. I needed to pull seven seconds on the last test to win the day, which was going to be hard. I hit my gear lever on a tree stump and then got stuck on one of the hills so I wasn’t able to win like on day one.’
Results - 2011 World Enduro Championship Round 2
Day 1, Enduro 3 class
1. David Knight (KTM Enduro Factory Team) 56.31:93; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 56.36:12; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 56.40:40; 4. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 57.47:51; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 58.00:70; 6. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 58.02:56; 7. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 58.23:24; 8. Jordi Figueras (Gas Gas) 58.38:94; 9. Mark Tarkkala (Husaberg) 58.50:11; 10. Juan Perez (KTM) 58.57:83
Day 2, Enduro 3 class
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 54.24:38; 2. David Knight (KTM Enduro Factory Team) 54.41:49; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 54.47:18; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 55.57:68; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 56.23:26; 6. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 56.56:75; 7. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 56.57:34; 8. Alessandro Botturi (Gas Gas) 57.04:08; 9. Jordi Figueras (Gas Gas) 57.37:05; 10. Fabio Mossini (Beta) 57.57:87