KTM hero and factory rider David Knight showed his true fighting spirit on a very fast Indoor Enduro circuit in Genoa late on Saturday to win the title of the 2007-08 Indoor Enduro World Cup champion.
The event in Genoa followed two previous races in Barcelona and Munich.
But the Genoa race was a cliff hanger for Knight. He had some difficulties in the semi-finals and was forced to contest the last chance final in which only the first two riders advance to the final. KTM team-mates Taddy Blazusiask who finished second in the World Cup, and Cyril Despres then closed ranks to support Knighter in his bid for a podium place and the title. Cyril won the holeshot and both he and Taddy worked to make sure David had the best opportunity of finishing among the front runners. Arch rival Mike Aloha of Finland failed to make it to the final resolving a close contest between him and Blazusiask to see who would be second in the 3-event World Cup standings. Taddy finished second for the season just one point ahead of Ahola.
David rode hard in the final late Saturday night to finish second behind French rider Antoine Meo. The result bumped his points in the World Cup standings to 42, well ahead of second placed Blazusiask with 23. Aloha finished third with 22.
David Knight: “Winning the Indoor Enduro World Cup, as well as the GNCC, Aussie four-day and the Endurocross championships, well, it’s great. It was tough tonight though. There was one rock on the last lap that I thought was going to take the chain off, so I was a bit lucky. It’s hard when there is a lot of pressure on you and I made things hard by messing up my heat race. I knew I could win the LCQ easily but my heat proved that things can easily go wrong. I made a few mistakes and just couldn’t get into a rhythm. It was a relief to finally get into the final.”
Cervantes third in Genoa
Ivan Cervantes was out for his first competition after the winter break and took third place on the night, indicating he will be a force in the E1 world championship this season. Other top KTM riders on the grid were Tom Sagar, Britain and Cyril Despres, France, and although neither finished, both were impressive. KTM’s Marcus Kehr of Germany did not finish and KTM-supported rider American Mike Metzger was denied a chance to start in the event due to license complications. He was nevertheless an enthusiastic spectator.
“I was really pumped watching this event and happy to be here. It is great to watch and for sure there is a big future for Indoor Enduro,” Metzger said. Whereas the World Cup events in Barcelona and Munich offered technical challenges, the Genoa event was very fast, making it a good one for riders with MX skills as well as Enduro.
Possible 5-6 event- indoor calendar under discussion for 2008-2009
The event drew a crowd of more than 8000 fans to conclude the three-event World Cup. Due to the popularity of the indoor events, where spectators get to see the real Enduro riding skills at close range, a World cup series of 5-6 events for 2008-2009 is under discussion.
Results – Genoa Indoor Enduro ’08
- 1. Antoine Meo, France Husqvarna, 6 laps
- 2. David Knight, Britain, KTM, 6 laps
- 3. Ivan Cervantes, Spain, KTM , 6 laps
- 4. Bartosz Oblucki, Poland, Husqvarna 6 laps
- 5. Fabio Mossini, Italy, Honda, 6 laps
- 6. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland KTM
Indoor Enduro World Cup Final Championship Standings
- 1. David Knight KTM 42 points
- 2. Taddy Blazusiak KTM 23 points
- 3. Mike Ahola, Honda 22 points
- 4. Xavier Galindo, KTM
- 5. Bartosz Oblucki, Husqvarna
- 7. Ivan Cervantes, KTM
- 8. Marcus Kehr KTM