Wednesday, 21 January 2015
With a bit more than a week to go before the 3rd round of the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship in the Messukeskus of Helsinki (Finland), we catch up with the actual runner-up ofTaddy BLAZUSIAK (PL – KTM) in the overall and the oldest rider of the Championship: David KNIGHT (GB – KTM)…
Hello David, with two second places in two Grand Prix, are you satisfied of your start of season?
David KNIGHT: “Yes I’ve made a good start and I didn’t expect to be as strong this early as I really didn’t prepare at all for the series very well or no where near my normal standard!”
You’ve managed to score a nice heat win in Germany. We’re sure this one gave you maximum confidence for the next rounds…
D.K: “It gives me confidence but mainly because I’ve built the bike myself with no testing and using settings that I’ve guessed and used in the suspension from past experience, as far back as from 2006 and it seems to have worked so to win a race so soon gives me confidence. At the same time I was a little disappointed as I’m sure I had the speed to make 2 wins maybe even 3 in Germany but a couple of small mistakes from myself and other riders cost me and to beat Taddy it’s not possible to make mistakes!”
What will you have to do to beat Taddy on an entire Grand Prix?
D.K: “I believe my riding is as good if not better than Taddy‘s at this moment but he is extremely fit and that’s where he is beating me…”
With a tougher level and while people was saying you would have some difficulties to reach the podium, what is your secret to stay competitive and remains as the best contenders for BLAZUSIAK?
D.K: “I wouldn’t say the level is any tougher at all, the level at world championship is always as tough as you can get. I didn’t hear these comments but it’s probably because I was pretty quiet in the off season and not putting videos on Facebook every day and hyping myself up like some other riders. Some people might wish I was finished with but I’m nowhere near the end yet, and I know I’m still a top contender and don’t need to talk the talk to make myself believe it, results speak the loudest!”
First 201 Heat win for Knighter in Riesa (Germany)
“Many of riders in my situation would probably have very wisely quit!”
In Poland you said you didn’t have any time to train during the off-season and you confirmed your participation to the SEWC just few weeks before! What’s happened during this off-season?
D.K: “I didn’t have a ride, I had no sponsor and I really thought that I wouldn’t make it to the Super Enduro series. Also myself and Emma had our second baby in less than 2 years, our daughter Blae was born in October and it’s been very hectic to try and juggle everything as anybody with kids knows it’s hard work to get time to fit in everything and almost impossible to get any sleep so getting enough training in has been tough. It’s getting very difficult to make any money in Enduro and it’s only my love for the sport that keeps me coming and staying involved so I have also been taking a few Business ideas a step forward for the future. Many of riders in my situation would probably have very wisely quit. I need to earn a living to survive and this has to be my main priority now unfortunately and not racing.”
You’ve signed a contract with KTM UK few days ago. What are now your goals and the race you will compete in during the 2015 season?
D.K: “Yes I done a deal with KTM UK, it’s purely for British races, Enduro, Cross Country and Extreme plus races like Weston beach race. For SuperEnduro I pay along with my paygroup sponsor and the bike is from KTM UK.”
How do you feel to be back on a KTM? Is it a really good bike?
D.K: “I feel at home, the bike is great and it’s basically a stock bike with good suspension and an FMF exhaust which shows how good the bike is, and I obviously suit them as all my major titles have been won on KTM’s.”
“I don’t feel any different to 10 years ago.”
You’ll have 37 in few months, how long you’ll stay on a bike and be competitive?
D.K: “As long as I’m having fun and enjoying it I’ll be competitive, I don’t think age is a problem, motivation is the key. Mike BROWN is 43 and still winning! Really I could go another 5 or 6 years and be competitive; I don’t feel any different to 10 years ago.”
Is now SuperEnduro W.C a real goal for any rider?
D.K: “I think for some riders yes, mainly the ones who enjoy technical riding. It’s very tough out there and it’s a hard championship to win without doubt!”
Why do we have a so low number of EWC riders in SuperEnduro? Now both seasons are very “complementary” and EWC has a long winter break of 6 months. Is it a so tough level?
D.K: “I think many riders are lazy and don’t put enough work in but also the manufacturers should be putting pressure on their riders to compete. Many riders in the Enduro World Championship are terrible at technical riding so SHOULD want to improve. Doing the indoor series would help some riders immensely, especially younger riders and riders who have been near to winning a title but haven’t due to struggling technically. Riders like NAMBOTIN , MEO and RENET would be a great addition but they have won titles and can win Enduro anyway, they have good program’s already without doing SuperEnduro so they really have no need to do it, only if it was worth their while and clearly it isn’t which I can totally understand. 10 years ago I could earn 3 to 4 times more money at a race if I won that what we can now, so this is a big factor also, why risk getting injured to ride without start money and only prize money.”
What do you think of the arrival of Red Bull TV and some Live TV Coverage in SuperEnduro?
D.K: “Everyone I spoke to who watched Poland live was raving about how good it was to watch live, this is what the sport needs. But also many people thought Germany would be live also and were very disappointed that it wasn’t. The Germany coverage has been very difficult to find and it needs to be promoted much more. To make SuperEnduro get to the non enduro people it’s got to be promoted more. This FIM Go Pro ban on helmets is stupid and also riders not being able to take their own footage and sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or on websites is also stupid as it’s like hiding our sport away, surely we want as many people to watch it as possible to expand it, get bigger sponsors and build it up and up. Then everyone wins and the riders might actually be able to earn enough money racing.”