KTM Enduro Factory Team rider David Knight has made a hugely successful return to enduro competition following his double hip surgery and a near four-month lay-off from competition.
Dominating the fifth round of the Metzeler ACU British Enduro Championship – the two-day Dyfi Enduro – Knight showed that despite having only just started the final stages of his rehabilitation and still being far from 100 per cent bike fit he has lost none of his speed or will to win.
Only failing to top one of the opening day’s special tests when he caught a slower rider, as well as losing his seat after breaking his seat bracket, Knight dominated the proceedings to claim a sizeable winning margin. Recording a time some 20 seconds faster than his nearest competitor on the second day’s first test, Knight went on to win all four tests and, more importantly, ended the day having had no problems with either of his hips.
“I wasn’t really planning on racing the Dyfi Enduro, I just wanted to have a weekend away from home and possibly do a little bit of riding. I walked the tests and felt pretty good – my hips weren’t too sore which they have been recently after exercise. I decided to give the event a go and take it lap by lap and see how I got on. I pushed pretty hard on the first test but just rode smooth. I had a really good time although I wasn’t really putting my feet down unless I really had to.
“In the second test I broke my seat bracket which meant my seat came off. I was sore after that test because I was sitting lower down and bending my hips further than normal. I rode more than half the test with no seat and got stuck behind some riders and only dropped three seconds. The last two tests went well enough and although I was sore at the end of the day I was really pleased that after all the legging in the deep ruts I didn’t feel too bad.
“At that point I wasn’t going to ride the second day. My back and shoulders were sore when I woke for day two but my hips weren’t bad at all. I decided to ride but again didn’t push too hard on the first test and managed to win comfortably. The whole day went well and although I had a small problem with my clutch slipping a bit I managed to win all of the tests quite easily. I’m happy enough with everything – my speed’s good but I know there’s more to come and my hips were better than I expected them to be.
“The course wasn’t that hard here, I know I need to be stronger before returning to world championship competition. I didn’t expect to be able to do two days after nearly four months off a bike. I’ve got about a month to get myself ready for the last round of the British championship which leads into the final round of the world championship. But for now I’m just pleased to be back racing and getting nearer to full fitness.”