Isle of Man rider David Knight (KTM) won the Muntjac Enduro, round one of the British Enduro Championships, in the Thetford Forest at Brandon on Sunday.
Kiwi champion Jason Davis (Husqvarna TE449) had to settle for 32nd spot overall after he encountered problems with his rear shock with only one lap to go. He had been running mid-pack.
All week long, bands of heavy rain had swept across the country and drenched the Thetford Forest.
KTM’s Knight had no problems all day and, at the end of lap five, he even had time to adjust his rear shock settings and change his seat. For the rest of the riders, it was tight particularly for the riders on thirsty bikes who needed refuelling.
Knight led from start to finish and won the premier grade despite a recent back injury.
Alex Rockwell was second overall on a Husaberg FE390. He also won the junior class.
Defying his age, Paul Edmondson was third. It was is a magnificent achievement from a rider who first stood on this podium over 20 years ago.
KTM rider Greg Evans was fourth overall and Husaberg rider Simon Wakely was fifth.
Young Australian rider Ben Burrell (KTM) was eighth and, also of interest, motocrosser Carl Nunn (KTM) was 14th.
“I’m really pleased with the way the event went,” said Knight.
“It’s always a tough one-day race and I normally find it hard because you can’t attack the special tests properly because they’re relatively short and mistakes are hard to recover from. But I really felt relaxed this year.
“The first test was slippery, but I put in a good time that meant I had a decent lead straight away. After that I just made sure I didn’t make any mistakes and towards the end of the event I got a couple more good tests in.
“I did some riding and testing in Spain the week before the event so I was looking forward to trying out some of the changes we made to the new bike, and they worked well. I head to the United States for 10 days of riding now before more testing and racing back in Europe.”
Rockwell was satisfied with his say too.
“Finishing second overall to David Knight is like winning the event,” said Rockwell.
“The bike ran perfect all day but I’m still learning how to get the best from it so we are still working on the set-up.”
MPS Racing new signing Davis, the 2010 New Zealand enduro champion from Whangamata, said: “Although by the end of the day my rear shock was broken, I’m happy with my performance.
“My pace was good overall and I feel fit which gives me confidence heading into the next two rounds of the BESC. All I need now is a little luck!”
1. David Knight (KTM Enduro Factory Team) 1488.33;
2. Alex Rockwell (Husaberg) 1588.51;
3. Paul Edmondson (KTM) 1608.50;
4. Greg Evans (KTM) 1615.59;
5. Si Wakely (Husaberg) 1643.64;
6. Tom Sagar (KTM) 1663.16;
7. Ashley Wood (KTM) 1684.63;
8. Ben Burrell (KTM) 1691.66;
9. Daryl Bolter (KTM) 1713.22;
10. Jamie Lewis (KTM) 1791.14.
© Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com