David Knight ready for return to 2102 Enduro World Championship
Following a 2011 season wrecked by injury, KTM Enduro Factory Team rider David Knight returns to the Enduro World Championship next weekend fit, strong, and determined to win another Enduro 3 world title. Here the three-time E3 champion talks about how his pre-season preparations have gone and his hopes for the year ahead…
How’s your pre-season preparations been, racing both British and Spanish Enduro Championship events?
David: ‘My results have been a bit mixed. At the opening round of the British Enduro Championship I won both days, which I was really pleased about. The conditions were very muddy and it was a tough weekend of riding so to come away with two strong wins there was very rewarding. I also rode the opening round of the British Sprint Enduro Championship too. The conditions were extremely cold and on the first day I crashed and hurt my hand but I recovered well the following day to get the win.’
You also travelled to the Spanish championship, but things haven’t gone so well there?
David: ‘Yes, with the first two rounds of the Enduro World Championship being held in South America I was conscious of getting in some training on dry and dusty conditions. I suffered with a small bike problem during both rounds but when everything was going good I was pushing for the Enduro 3 class win. I was pleased with that as the quality of the riders competing was high and the tests were quite tight and twisty, which made it hard work on the bigger four-stroke bike. Unfortunately, we had some bike problems but I think we’ve almost fixed the issue.’
Last year you were sidelined following double hip surgery, are you now fully recovered?
David: ‘Yeah, I’m feeling really good about how I’m riding at the minute. Everything is back to normal and physically I feel 100 per cent. I spent a lot of time during the winter working on my fitness and building my strength back up. I’m looking forward to getting back into world championship race mode again.’
With the world championship kicking off next weekend in Chile, what are your expectations for the season ahead?
David: ‘My goal is to win. I want to be the world champion this year – that’s the only goal that I have in mind. It’ll be a tough fight this season as there’s some really good talent in Enduro 3, which is sure to make it an exciting season. My immediate goals are to make it through Chile and Argentina without problems. Last year my season ended before it really began and I know from that how important these next few weeks will be. I’ll be racing to win but if I can’t then I know it’ll be crucial to end each day on the podium.’
As you mentioned there is a lot of talent in the Enduro 3 class this season. Do you see Christophe Nambotin and Joakim Ljunggren as your biggest rivals?
David: ‘I think they’ll be the two strongest guys to look out for, but I hope I’ll be stronger. I think Christophe will probably be the biggest threat – he proved that last year in his battles with Mika Ahola. He’ll be a serious championship contender, that’s for sure. Also Joakim has stepped it up as well. He now does a lot of his training in Spain so he’ll be fast in those conditions and he’s also got a home race this year so he’ll be keen to do well in that. But I’m experienced enough to know that this will be a long season and what matters is being consistent at every event.’
What are your thoughts on racing in South America, have you ever raced there before?
David: ‘I’ve only ever been to Mexico and that was in 2008 for the FunEnduro race. I think Chile will be even ground for everyone. Judging by what I’ve seen and read about it, it’s going to be somewhat hard pack and stony so it won’t be the same as what the ISDE was a few years ago. I enjoy those types of conditions and think they should suit me. I’m looking forward to getting the championship started.’