Indoor King: David Knight Interview - Dirt Rider Magazine Online

David Knight has been highly successful during the recent boom of indoor enduro competition. Photo: Jonty Edmunds

Congratulations on winning four championships in 12 months, how does it feel to have had such a successful season?
Knight: "It's been a great year and winning four championships, four very different championships, feels great. Obviously the GNCC title was the one I really wanted to win, that was always my main goal for the year. Winning the Australian Four Day Enduro title was an event that I did during my summer break. It was great to travel to Australia and compete against some new riders and in a new event. I had to work hard to win the two indoor championships. They were both very different, I rode different bikes, but I got the same result, which was great."You won the AMA Endurocross title before competing in and winning the Indoor Enduro World Cup, did you feel you had to prove anything at the races in Europe?
Knight: "Yes and no. I wanted to win both championships in the same season because I know I probably won't be able to do that again in a while. And it will be hard for another rider to match that. There are always people with short memories; people who think that just because you're not racing in Europe you're not as fast as you used to be. It happened with Juha (Salimien) - people were saying he wouldn't be as fast as he was before he went to the US when in fact he's probably faster now than ever. After Vegas a few people started talking shit about me so it was nice to dominate the first two rounds of the IEWC."You won in Spain and Munich quite easily, and then finished second in Genoa, were you expecting things to be tougher than it was?
Knight: "It was pretty much how I expected it really. The only event that was really difficult for me was Genoa, and that was because I made it difficult for myself by crashing in my qualifying race. I was really ready for Spain, because it was the first indoor event after Vegas. In Munich I was already thinking about the championship but things went well there as well. In Genoa I didn't need to win to secure the championship but I felt I rode pretty well in the final. Not having to win a race to win a championship isn't a situation I like being in because I always like to give 100 per cent. But in Genoa, like in Vegas, the championship was the biggest prize on offer to me."How do the Endurocross and Indoor Enduro World Cup series compare?
Knight: "They are similar in many ways yet also very different. I rode a four-stroke in the States and a two-stroke in Europe, which makes things different as well. I think I preferred the European events because the tracks are a bit bigger and you have to use enduro tyres. The US events are good, I'm not saying they're not, it's just that I think it's a bit too easy using trials tyres. It takes away the need for good throttle control. Some of the tracks are less technical and like I said the courses are smaller. Both series have been good and come on a long way in the past 12 months. Of the races I did in the States I enjoyed the Endurocross series the most."Did you enjoy one series more than the other?
Knight: "I enjoyed the IEWC more, but I also enjoyed the Endurocross championship. Although they're both indoor enduro series you'd be surprised how different they can be. And I've enjoyed those differences. Because the tracks are more compact in the States the racing is different, it can be a little bit more do or die. Having only one final at each event means riders take more chances."Now that you've ridden a four-stroke in one championship and a two-stroke in the other can you say which is best?
Knight: "I don't think you can say one is better than the other, there's certainly not a lot in it. The tighter tracks are better suited to two strokes and the more open, flowing parts of the indoor tracks are better suited to four strokes. Of the three IEWC rounds I think a four-stroke would have been better in Spain, a two-stroke better in Munich, and a four-stroke best in Genoa. It all depends on the track. Two strokes are easier to move around and change line but four strokes often drive better out of a corner, which helps when there's an obstacle right after a turn. You also have to consider a riders size. I'm big enough to get the best from a four-stroke, the smaller guys are probably better off on a two-stroke. I think the way a bike is set-up is the most important thing. It seems that a lot of riders in the States have their bikes set-up way too much like a motocross bike. They need to have smooth power and supple suspension."

Knighter as the gate drops. Throughout the last year of competition, the experimentation between four-stroke and two-stroke machines has been constant. If you ask David Knight which is best he'll simply say, "It depends on the track." Photo: Jonty Edmunds

What did you think of the three IEWC events?
Knight: "On the whole they were hard to fault really. Barcelona is always a great event, it always has been. Munich was really good as well. The night before the event it was a supercross track but they made it into a real indoor enduro course, which was fun to ride and pretty technical. Genoa was a little faster than the other two and a lot more slippery but it was also good. Each of the three events was good."The FIM are planning to upgrade the series from a world cup to a world championship as well as increasing the number of events to around 5, what needs to be done to ensure the series is a success?
Knight: "If they use the format we had in Barcelona and Munich, where there were three finals for each event, then I think the championship would be great. With just one final it's too much shit or bust. With three finals you can afford to have one bad race and still get a good result, which is better for all riders."The series is definitely heading in the right direction. Five rounds is enough, too many would be a bad thing. The Indoor Trials World Championship is getting smaller so there's no point in having a 10 round IEWC series. That would just be too expensive. I think they need to make sure trials bikes can't enter. And they need to make sure that the series finishes about the same time it did this year, early February, so the teams and riders have time to get ready for the WEC or GNCC or whatever outdoor championship they're racing in. "There are now two major indoor enduro championships, one in the States and one in Europe. Do you think one will lead the other or will they remain separate and grow in their own separate directions?
Knight: "I think they will remain independent, but I hope there will be a certain amount of cross-over. It would be good to have one of the Endurocross rounds in Europe and one of the IEWC events in the States. Imagine on a Friday night a round of the Endurocross, with possibly two or three wild card riders from Europe, and then on the Saturday night a round of the IEWC with two or three US wild card riders. It would be a great weekend. "Being in the States the Endurocross series will receive a lot of attention all around the world and will get stronger and stronger but I think the IEWC will be the strongest in terms of competitiveness. At the moment European riders are the best indoor enduro riders. I just hope there can be a certain amount of cross-over between the two."How much bigger do you think the sport of indoor enduro can become?
Knight: "If the Endurocross and IEWC series can continue to grow steadily then I think that the sport will get stronger. I can't see it getting massively bigger over night and we won't be filling supercross size stadiums any time soon. Making small improvements is the key to making the sport strong. I think that getting the entire IEWC series on TV would be the best thing for it. So many people have told me that they enjoyed watching the Genoa round on TV. Being broadcast live it made it even more exciting. Most people enjoyed the Under 23 race more than the main event because it was just non-stop action from start to finish."Finally, will you be defending both of your championship this season?
Knight: "No. Last year one of the Endurocross rounds clashed with a GNCC. I won the Endurocross race, flew over night to the GNCC, got one hour of sleep and finished eighth or something in the GNCC. It was just too tiring and too much for one weekend. This year three Endurocross events clash with GNCC races. I'd love to do the Endurocross series but I'm contracted to do the GNCC series. My plan is to build a new Endurocross track at my home in the Isle of Man and when I get the chance turn up at an Endurocross event and try and mix things up a bit. I do want to defend my IEWC title."Check out for updated schedules and news about the US Endurocross series.Check out for news and updates on the FIM Indoor Enduro World Championship