Fans of GNCC racing may have heard that dominant KTM factory rider Juha Salminen will be returning to Europe for next season, with his spot on KTM’s US team to go to some guy named David Knight. In light of Salminen’s complete annihilation of his GNCC competition this season (he has now won six races in a row), we thought it would be a good time to give our readers some more information about his replacement.
American fans who don’t follow the European racing scene may not know much about David Knight, but the man is certainly not an unknown on the European off-road and enduro scene. The 28-year-old Knight hails from the Isle of Man, and has been racing off-road motorcycles since the age of 4.
In 2005, Knight was all-conquering on the European enduro scene, winning the E3 class of the World Enduro Championship, and taking the E3 and overall wins at the ISDE in Slovakia. In addition, he topped the podium at many of Europe’s top one-off enduro and off-road events, like Italy’s Hellsgate Extreme Enduro and the Tough One Extreme event in Wales, UK.
Knight also made several appearances on American soil in 2005. He won the Red Bull Last Man Standing Enduro in Texas, and holds an AMA Endurocross #1 plate after his victory at the 2005 Las Vegas Indoor Endurocross.
He is currently competing in the 2006 Enduro World Championship, where he has won all four races so far, and currently leads the championship by 12 points. He has also won both rounds of the British Enduro Championship, beating the second-place rider by more than two minutes at Round Two in Scotland.
So, if GNCC competitors thought they were going to get a breather when Juha Salminen returns to Europe at the end of this year, it looks like they better think again. If anything, Knight may be even faster than Salminen, and it will certainly be interesting to see if he can replicate the Finnish rider’s dominance over his American competitors.