My Greatest Race – David Knight
Let’s face it, in the World of Enduro there isn’t much that David Knight MBE hasn’t won, 5 World titles, 4 x AMA GNCC titles, 24 British titles and countless others, but what would the Isle of Man native say would be his Greatest Race?? Well here is your chance to find out…
Feature Image courtesy of Dario Agrati
“The 2005 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) was my greatest race. I have done a lot of different races and a lot of different things, and there have been races that are harder to win, but I think the 05 Six days is it. I am the only British rider ever to win it overall, and it’s a 100 and something years old so that one means a lot to me.
“People say about now that the British riders would win it, but it’s a real hard race to win, especially with the Americans always so fast at it, the Aussies are always fast at it, and you have people in it you don’t usually race against in your own championship.
“It was the year of winning my first World title as well, and my Dad died halfway through that year a couple of months before the Six
Days, so it was nice to win obviously the world championships and then win the ISDE in the same year.
“It was my first year on the Factory KTM. I can’t remember how we did as a team. We didn’t have many good riders back then. We always had two or three, but a team was five or six riders, but I can’t remember if we finished fourth or fifth (they finished fourth). We usually got shafted on rules by the Italians or something.
“It was in Slovakia. All of us went really well. The terrain was really good. We had a muddy day on day five. Back then, I was doing the best that I could for myself. My main aim was to win, so I just pushed on to win really, and whatever else happened with the others, it happened.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the best I have ever rode, but it’s the Six Days and its mentally tough. I think I won every day bar the first day. The first day I remember was won by Stef Merriman, and I was second, but it was close. I was just settling in because I have had it at the Six-day before when I have gone like a nutter the first couple of days, crashing out and hurting myself or doing something daft. I thought I would just settle in on the first day and I had a few little things that I thought I could improve on for tomorrow, and I did and from then on I won every day and had a real good rhythm going.
“After about three days it was mine to throw away, so when we had the real wet day on day five; and I was riding a 500 KTM, which wasn’t ideal in the mud and shit, and even though it was good conditions for me, it was hard on that 500. The concentration was intense, even now I remember certain places where I got to in the test, and we were running quite far back, and they were pretty ripped when we got to them. There was someone stuck in the way on this one bit, and somehow I got passed him as I could have been there for a minute easy if I had got stuck. It’s just little things like that you remember like “phew you were lucky to get passed him”, but it all worked out good in the end. On the last day, which was the final motocross our race was last. Merriman’s race was quite early, and it started raining, and I was like that’s it all of my works done, as the race is going to be 4 or 5 minutes slower than it would be in the dry. But luckily it didn’t come to much, it was just a few drops of rain, and it stopped again.
“So it all went well at the 2005 Six-day. To win, everything has to play into your favour. I could have had a five-minute lead going into the final motocross, and it pissed with rain, and I could have lost six minutes in one race to someone who raced two hours before in the dry. It’s all of those little things that make a difference. It’s probably one of the most stressful events that I ever have won and raced because some things are out of your control. Luckily it all went good. To me the Six days is like winning the Motocross of Nations or winning the Isle of Man TT. It’s the same sort of thing, its such a famous and historical event being over 100 years old and I won it.”
To read David Thorpe, Three-time World Motocross Champion’s “My Greatest Race” head here>> https://www.dirthub.co.uk/my-greatest-race-david-thorpe/