Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight leads the '07 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup following three highly impressive performances at the opening round of the three-event series held in Barcelona, Spain. Reverting to two-stroke machinery -- having clinched the '07 AMA Endurocross championship just a few weeks earlier aboard a 450cc four-stroke -- Knight claimed two wins and a runner-up finish to take an early championship lead in the first ever FIM sanctioned indoor enduro series. Finishing behind David in the overall results was Finland's Mika Ahola, who currently holds the runner-up spot in the championship, with Spain's Xavi Galindo third.
This year's course proved difficult for all riders, with even Knight getting stuck on a few occasions. With a series of qualifying heats and LCQ races determining which riders would participate in the main events, this year's Barcelona Indoor Enduro featured three finals, with points from each shaping the event's overall results.
Knight took an early lead in the first final, and along with KTM teammate Taddy Blazusiak, pulled away at the front of the race. Not wanting to take any risks When Taddy hit a rock and broke his chain guard, the AMA Endurocross champion cruised to a comfortable win.
"I really liked the three final format because it gives you the chance to have a bad race and still do well," Knight said of the new FIM race format. And that's exactly what happened to Knight in the second final where he clipped clipped Xavi Galindo's rear wheel in the first turn and hit the ground, forcing him to start the race dead last. Galindo went on to take the win, but Knight worked his way through the pack for an impressive second-place finish.
"I enjoyed the second race of the night the most despite crashing in the first turn," Knight confessed. "I tried to be safe and it backfired on me and I went down. I was able to get past most riders in the rocks but then fell when some other riders crashed in front of me. I managed to get past Taddy and into second and just ran out of laps to get into the lead. Considering I was last, to finish second was pretty good."
In the third race, (much like the first) Knight nailed the start and never looked back, keeping himself out of trouble during the opening laps. He claimed his second win of the night, which gave him the overall win and sees him lead the '07 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup standings with two rounds remaining.
"It took me a while to get used to racing a two-stroke again," Knight said. "I wasn't revving the bike hard enough half the night, but things worked out great and it's fantastic to have won the event and taken an early lead in the championship."
Ahola finished second overall with a 2-5-2 score, and Galindo rounded out the overall podium with a 4-1-8 finish. Bartosz Oblucki finished fourth overall followed by Taddy Blazusiak who rounded out the top five.
David now heads to Texas where he will defend his Last Man Standing title before returning to Europe to compete in the second round of the Indoor Enduro World Cup in Munich, Germany.
2007 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup Results
Round 1 of 3
1. David Knight (KTM) 4 points (1+2+1)
2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 9 points (2+5+2)
3. Xavi Galindo (KTM) 13 points (4+1+8)
4. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 15 points (3+7+5)
5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 17 points (11+3+3)
6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 19 points (5+10+4)
7. Tom Sagar (KTM) 23 points (8+4+11)
8. Gregory Eyries (Yamaha) 23 points (8+4+11)
9. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 24 points (9+9+6)
10. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 27 points (7+11+9)
11. Alessandro Botturi (Honda) 28 points (10+8+10)