GNCC

Knighter dominates ‰Ûª08 US GNCC Rnd 1

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David Knight
Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight turned a potentially disastrous start to the first round of the ‰Ûª08 Grand National Cross Country series into the perfect beginning to his GNCC championship defence as he managed to overcome a dead last start at The Triton GNCC in Melbourne, Florida and record yet another dominant win, finishing nearly three-and-a-half minutes ahead of his closest rival Jimmy Jarrett. Confident of a good result following an extensive winter of testing and training at his home in the Isle of Man, Knight was also well aware that the opening round of the 13 event GNCC series would be extremely difficult. Always a challenging race, The Triton GNCC proved to be that and more as the six-lap event took its toll on many of the Pro class competitors. For Knight things were tough right from the get go as he was left helplessly watching his XC1 class rivals as they disappeared off into the distance while he feverishly tried to fire his 450cc KTM into life. Having practiced numerous starts the day before the race, each and every one of them perfect in every way, come the most anticipated start of the GNCC championship Knight found himself left behind and with a serious amount of work to do But in typical Knight style it wasn‰Ûªt long before the come back began and he set about working his way forwards during the dusty opening lap. Fearing that those at the front of the race might open up an irreversible advantage, the defending series champion went all out to make up as many places as he could and ended lap one in an incredible sixth position. Out front FMX legend turned Rally driver Travis Pastrana lead, but it wasn‰Ûªt long before Knight was in the hunt for the lead position. Pitting for the first of his two scheduled fuel stops at the end of the second lap Knight was just seconds behind the then leaders Nate Kanney and Travis Pastrana. Quickly passing both riders Knight then started to open up what would become a convincing advantage. Making the incredibly rough track look much less difficult than it was David, having built a comfortable lead, then eased his pace a little during the final two laps but still crossed the finish line comfortably ahead of his nearest rival Jimmy Jarrett. In doing so he claimed a well-deserved victory. ‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs great to win the first round of the series," Knight stated, "but I could have made things a little easier for myself. I must have practiced 100 starts the day before the race ad each one of them was perfect. The one I needed to get right and I just couldn‰Ûªt get the bike started. Although it made things a lot harder than they should have been it‰Ûªs nice knowing that I passed each and every rider to earn the win. ‰ÛÏThe first lap was terrible ‰ÛÒ it was so dusty. I thought that I had no chance of catching the leaders, but somehow I managed it. I got stuck behind a few riders, then passed a few, and then I‰Ûªd get stuck behind someone else. Once I got into the forest tracks I came up on Hawk and Edmisten. I was a bit surprised that they weren‰Ûªt going faster than they were. I decided enough was enough at that point and decided to make a break for it. ‰ÛÏWhen I came into the pits I saw Nate Kanney just leaving, so I figured I was pretty close to the front. I passed Pastrana and Nate early on lap three and then started pulling away. I kept my pace pretty consistent and got my lead up to about two minutes and then backed my speed down a bit. The track was that rough that you had to keep pushing wherever you could. ‰ÛÏIt was nice to get to the finish. I kept counting down the mile markers all the way to the finish. I was certainly pleased the race was over. My bike wasn‰Ûªt set-up exactly the way I wanted it but it was great. You couldn‰Ûªt push 100 per cent because the track was so rough. Obviously I wanted to start the season with a win but when I set-off last thought there was no way I‰Ûªd be able to do it. I was tired at the finish but I don‰Ûªt feel the race took too much out of me. I‰Ûªm certainly glad I trained my ass off this winter.‰Û

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