U.S. GNCC series points leader David Knight continued to keep himself busy during his summer break by travelling to Valle De Bravo, Mexico, to compete in the seventh running of the FunEnduro International - an enduro-style race with an International Six Days Enduro format, which includes both time checks and timed special tests.
Not knowing quite what to expect from the event having never competed in Mexico before, Knight soon found that he was participating in one of the best-supported event's he's ever raced in. With countless thousands of spectators turning out to encourage the 400 competing riders, Knight quickly established a healthy lead during the first day's competition before going on to claim a comfortable victory.
Ending the first day's competition, close to 25 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Knight found competing in Valle De Bravo to be an unforgettable experience. Racing at extremely high altitude, like all riders, Knight's bike was noticeably down on power. But it was the ever-changing grip levels of the Mexican terrain that proved hardest to master, especially during the morning of the second day's competition following heavy overnight rain.
With the event ending with an ISDE-style final motocross, Knight delivered a race-winning performance, despite making a poor start. Quickly working his way up to third, the defending U.S. GNCC champion needed just half a lap to move into the lead before going on to win by around 20 seconds. Knight's eventual winning margin was close to 45 seconds, with home rider Homero Diaz second and Spaniard Ivan Cervantes third.
"I've had a great time in Mexico,” Knight said. “I've never been involved in an event where there are so many spectators. It was unbelievable how many people came to watch the race - more that I've ever seen. Of course it's great to have won, but it was also important for me to compete this year as there will be a World Championship event here next year.
"Because the event was held as such altitude the bikes were really down on power, which took some getting used to. The first day went well. I opened up a pretty good lead during the first two laps, and then won a couple of tests on the third lap along with Ivan. I think I was about 25 seconds ahead at the end of the first day.
"Day two was really slippery because of the heavy ran we had at the end of day one,” Knight said. “Where there was grass on the tests, it was fine, but everywhere was like riding on ice - it was really hard to get used to. In the final motocross, I got a really bad start but managed to work my way up to third in the first few corners. About half way around the first lap, I was leading and I then managed to open up about a 20 second lead.
"I'm not sure exactly how much I won by, but I think it was about 45 seconds. Racing in Mexico was a great experience, and the FunEnduro is a great event. I've never signed so many autographs and had so many photos taken, it was an amazing trip."
Fourth place went to Husqvarna’s Bartosz Oblucki, while fifth place went to American, Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Kanney.
Results - '08 FunEnduro, Mexico
1. David Knight (KTM)
2. Homero Diaz (Husqvarna)
3. Ivan Cervantes (KTM)
4. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna)
5. Nathan Kanney (KTM)