KTM Enduro Factory Team rider David Knight ended the fifth round of the Enduro World Championship, the GP of Italy held in Castiglion Fiorentino, with his head held high and with a smile back on his face having claimed his first win of the season. Switching to a 300cc two-stroke machine for the event, Knighter got off to a great start by topping the Friday night super test before then winning five of the first day’s 10 special tests. In doing so he placed 17 seconds ahead of team-mate Christophe Nambotin. On day two David returned to the podium with a third place result. Again performing well, and finishing just 16 seconds behind eventual winner Nambotin, a mistake on the opening extreme test in part prevented David placing higher.
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With extreme heat making the Italian event a tough one for all competitors, Knight took an early lead in the E3 class by placing at the top of the results on the Friday night super test. Showing that despite his relative lack of time adjusting to EWC competition on a two-stroke he was focused and determined to win, David rolled his momentum into the first full day of competition with a strong opening lap. Getting stronger as the day progressed his eventual 17 second winning margin brought with it good reason to celebrate as he took to the top step of the podium once again.
An early mistake on the extreme test on lap one cost David around 10 seconds on day two. During the remainder of the day David battled against Nambotin and Joakim Ljunggren with just 16 seconds separating the three at the end of the day. In finishing third David was delighted with his return to form.
David Knight: ‘I’m really pleased with my results. Although the first day went really well I felt that it was all about learning, and getting used to racing a two-stroke again. It’s the first time I’ve been on a two-stroke in world championship competition for many years, so there was a lot to adjust to. The fact that I was able to do what I did and win just shows how good the bike is. I didn’t have any problems at all and really enjoyed the day. On Sunday I had a really sore back on the first lap, from my crash at Erzberg. I also made a mistake on the first extreme test, which cost me about 10 seconds. I struggled on the enduro test on the first two laps as well. You have to go fast in different places on a four-stroke so I was learning a lot on the second day. But to be on the podium again was great. I’m second in the championship again, which is also good. It’s been a fantastic weekend and I’ve enjoyed myself. I’m back where I feel I should be.’
Results – GP of Italy, Day 1
1. David Knight (KTM) 52:16.25; 2. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 52:33.75; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 53:04.29; 4. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 53:31.68; 5. Aigar Leok (TM) 53:57.56…
Results – GP of Italy, Day 2
1. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 57:52.49; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 58:03.59; 3. David Knight (KTM) 58:08.97; 4. Aigar Leok (TM) 59:17.62; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 59:24.83…