Red Bull KTM Off Road Team's US GNCC champion David Knight claimed his first race win of the '08 season by dominating the fourth running of the WOR Events The Tough One race. Already a three-time winner of Britain's premier extreme hare scramble race Knighter made it four wins from four starts with another impressive victory at the Nantmawr Quarry circuit. Finishing alongside David on the podium were Taddy Blazusiak and Wayne Braybrook in second and third places respectively.
Despite the much hyped and highly anticipated battle between KTM's two extreme stars Knight and Blazusiak it was UK trials rider Michael Brown that provided the biggest challenge to Knight's dominance. Winner of the Speed Trial event Brown earned a place in the main The Tough One race and able to cross the event's technical terrain much quicker on a trials that all other competitors on their enduro machines he worked his way past Knight to earn himself £1000 for leading the race at the half way stage of the race before stopping.
Despite becoming one of a number of riders to fall on one of the tyre sections early in the race Knight had things pretty much all his own way in and around the Nantmawr Quarry from the one-hour mark onwards. Second off the start David was soon past Wayne Braybrook and quickly started opening up a healthy lead while his eventual closest rival Blazusiak made several small but costly mistakes on the opening laps. Comfortably ahead as darkness started to fall David maintained his lead to come within little more than 25 seconds of lapping Blazusiak.
David's next event will be the third and final round of the Indoor Enduro World Cup in Genoa, Italy on Saturday, February 2.
David Knight: "It's great to start the year with a win, and to continue my unbeaten run at The Tough One. I've been working hard since Christmas, and have probably ridden more than I did all of last year, so I knew I was ready for the race. A lot of people have been quick to shoot me down because of a few disappointing results at the end of last year. I wanted to win to show them that I'm ready for '08.
"I was pretty relaxed fitting my wheel at the start, although I knew a good start would help I wasn't too worried about getting away first. It took a bit of a gamble using a trials tyre but it worked out ok. I
wouldn't say it was a huge amount better than an enduro tyre but in a few places it was really good, like when I had to change line to get around someone.
"I got held up behind Wayne Braybrook a bit off the start but it didn't take too long to get past him and the few Expert riders that were ahead of me. I pushed on hard to try and make the most of the clear track. When Michael Brown caught me on the trials bike I wasn't going to give up without a fight and ended up colliding with him. I knew there was no way I could keep up with a trials bike out there so I just tried to stay ahead of him for as long as I could. It was good having him in the race. I'm pleased he got the £1000 for leading at the end of the first hour but it was right that he wasn't allowed to finish the race “ it's so much easier on a trials bike and The Tough One is an event for enduro bikes, that's what makes it tough.
"I just tried to build up as big a lead as I could after the hour and then backed it down a bit, just to make sure nothing stupid happened. There were a lot of places where you could make mistakes so I went for safer lines. Early on in the race I went over the bars crossing the tyres. I got mud all over my gloves, which made things tricky for a while.
"I've been training and working hard in since Christmas so to win shows that things are hopefully on track for a good season. I want to get the Indoor Enduro World Cup wrapped up in a couple of weeks and then focus 100 per cent on my preparations for the US GNCC series. It's getting harder and harder for me to do occasional extreme races now that my main goal is the GNCC championship, but it's great to have won."
Results “ WOR Events The Tough One, Pro class
1. David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 14 laps
2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 14 laps
3. Wayne Braybrook (Gas Gas) 13 laps
4. Paul Edmondson (Suzuki) 13 laps
5. Tom Sagar (KTM) 12 laps
6. Paul Bolton (Honda) 12 laps
7. Cyril Despres (KTM) 12 laps
8. Gordon Crockard (Gas Gas) 12 laps
9. Greg Evans (KTM) 11 laps
10. Juan Knight (Gas Gas) 11 laps