Knighter switches for Kawasaki

By Gary Pinchin -

Off road

 08 July 2009 13:16

The world’s top enduro rider, David Knight has moved to Kawasaki machinery for the remainder of the 2009 season.

The Manxman quit BMW recently after a disappointing first half of the season and has already been campaigning his own Kawasaki KX450F in the most gruelling GNCC race of the season so far in America, 'Knighter' was understandably happy to win first time out on the lime green machine, which was standard except for some exhaust and suspension parts he personally fitted just before the race.

Knight said: "I've been in the lucky position to choose whatever bike I wanted to race on for the rest of 2009. I'd heard such good things about the KX450F that I had to have a ride on one.

"It's so good straight from the crate that it needs very little in the way of changes, even at world championship level, to be a race-winning package. I'm really enjoying my racing again and the results so far back up my decision to choose Kawasaki.

"I even won the GNCC race by five minutes despite starting on the back row so what a result!"

Moving things up a gear from the lone KX450F that he recently purchased, Knight's new race partners have just collected two further machines for the multiple champion to compete on in 2009.

Handing over the machines, Ross Burridge of Kawasaki Motors UK declared himself delighted that Knight had already achieved domestic competition success on the formidable KX450F, winning the 5th July round of the Great Britain Cross Country Championship (GBXC) at Glanusk Park in South Wales.

"As Team Green Racing Co-ordinator for the UK, I am really looking forward to his contribution via entry in the GBXC series and British Enduro Championship as well as his interaction with our network of supported Kawasaki riders. Purely by achieving the level of success for which he is revered he's an inspiration to all Kawasaki riders."

Recognised as much for his promotion of the sport as for his international successes, the 31-year-old has now added the support of the Paul Bird Motorsport-run Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team to his growing list of sponsors.

Competing for the remainder of 2009 with the support of the Cumbrian-based racing specialists, Knight will be supported by members of the same team that currently run the Kawasaki Official Factory World Superbike effort.

With team owner Paul Bird's strong links to the off-road and rallying world, combined with those of PBM Team Co-ordinator Stuart Bland, there could be no better home for the 2007 and 2008 GNCC Champion, 2007 AMA Enduro Cross and FIM World Indoor title holder, as adjacent as their Penrith headquarters are to his Isle of Man home.

Next on the agenda for David is the British Enduro Championship this forthcoming weekend at Knighton in Powys. Having already won the first round, Knight is in with a great chance to win this prestigious title for Kawasaki, despite having had only a few hours to familiarise himself with his new mount.

Knight will also compete in other selected GBXC three-hour races and World Championship events on his modified KX450F before moving onto the ISDE and other high-profile events as opportunities arise.

Team Owner Paul Bird was equally enthusiastic about developments and said: "Knighter is a legend and a great friend of the our team. We are more than happy to help him continue the 2009 season on a Kawasaki. The presence of such a successful, respected and well-liked ambassador for off-road sport is a genuine privilege for us. We will do our utmost to support his racing effort."

Enduro Team Co-ordinator Stuart Bland said: "KSRT are known primarily for representing the Kawasaki factory in World Superbikes but we also have a strong off-road skill base. We will bring all that knowledge to bear in support of Knighter, along with a generous measure of good old honest enthusiasm.

"With our in-house dyno and fabrication expertise, there are a whole raft of things we want to experiment with to make the power delivery and overall feel perfect for each race. The small off-road team we are creating will focus 100% on David's success on Kawasaki machinery."