It’s official: Off-road hero David Knight and the BMW race team have parted ways. According to press releases from BWM and on David’s websites, the two-time World Enduro and GNCC Champion and BMW have parted ways by “mutual consent” with “immediate effect”. This means that as of this weekend’s GP of Slovakia, Knighter will no longer be contesting the ’09 WEC series.
Having joined the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team at the beginning of this year with the goal of bagging another WEC title, Knighter was plagued by bad results, allegedly caused by his failure to gel with the BMW motorcycle. A quote from the Manxman says it all: “I simply felt that I couldn’t move forward with the bike. My performances weren’t what I, or the team, hoped they’d be, which I think everyone could see. The bike simply didn’t suit my way of riding, it’s as simple as that. Like I said the team worked hard to give me what I wanted but in the end I felt it was best that I walked away. I’d like to wish BMW all the very best for the rest of this season.
“Returning to the WEC was something that I was really excited about during last winter. After two successful years in the US I was 100 per cent focused on winning a third world title in ‘09. Despite disappointing results and performances during the first half of the championship I’ve enjoyed my time with the team, as well as competing in the WEC again, and I’m grateful that we were able to end our working relationship in a good way.”
Of course, the break-up leaves behind the obvious question: Where will David Knight go now? His best option is, without a doubt, a run at the 2009 AMA/ Geico EnduroCross Series presented by E3 Spark Plugs. As the only major 2010 off-road series that is yet to begin, Knighter could begin the series on July 25th in Las Vegas with a clean slate. If you remember your EX history, you’ll recall that the last time Knight raced EnduroCross resulted in an angry ghost-ride over the tires when then-teammate Taddy Blazusiak yanked the win—and the $50,000 Geico Triple Crown award—out from under David’s nose. This could be the season that Knight finally gets even.
But the question still remains, what bike will he race? Allegedly, Knighter’s departure from the KTM Factory Team didn’t occur on the best of terms. If big orange didn’t take David back, what would he do then? Husqvarna has been making a big push off-road, but seeing as the company is owned by BMW that’s a long shot at best. The Monster Energy Kawasaki Team is known for being prominent in EnduroCross, but with Ricky Dietrich, Destry Abbott and Damon Huffman already pledged to contest the series, there doesn’t seem to be any room on green. That limits the existing options to teams like Zip-Ty Racing Team, the Geico squad, Randy Hawkin’s Am/ Pro Yamaha team or maybe someone else like JCR Honda or one of the GNCC teams. However, all of these teams have plenty of hungry riders who are looking at dominating indoors. Clearly, Knight’s options may be limited, but if there is one thing we know it’s that this racer is one who doesn’t know the meaning of quit. Whichever series he ends up on and no matter what the bike, you can bet your hat that David Knight will come out swinging.
Stay tuned for more updates from Dirt Rider on Knight’s plans for 2009.