Knighter podiums at X-Games Brazil
Date: April 22, 2013
With all the best Endurocross riders present from both Europe and the USA, it was going to be a very big battle indeed!
David went into the race pretty confident, that all changed after a few laps of practice however. Having felt comfortable straight away on the fast flowing track, he landed hard jumping some logs bending his wrist back aggravating an injury he received in Argentina a few weeks ago. Deciding to tape his wrist, David went out and rode a few laps in the second practice which helped a little but with the track consisting of lots of logs and jumps, it wouldn’t be ideal. With a hot lap to decide the starting order, David pushed hard, but deciding not to take any risks and hurt his wrist anymore, still qualified a brilliant 3rd behind the USA riders, Cody Webb and Mike Brown.
With a few hours break before the semi final and final event, the time was well spent with the doctor icing the wrist, taping it up and taking pain killers to try and help as much as possible.
In the semi final, David made a great start, rounding turn one in second, but by now the organizers had heavily watered the track making it like an ice ring. With all the riders crashing and making mistakes it was a tough race but needing only to make the top five, Knighter placed second to qualify 3rd for the main event. With the start going to be crucial for the 10 lap main, David took the holeshot on his Honda and led for the first 3 corners until Blazusiak passed him for the lead. With David deciding to ride his own race, he settled in nicely and at the end off lap 1, was 3rd as Cody Webb also passed him. Blazusiak and Webb were having a great scrap with David not far behind then with Webb making a mistake David caught him and passed for second. For a lap they had a good fight then David got stuck in the rock hill and Webb got away again. The race was very intense and at the end David finished a great 3rd getting an X-Games medal at the first go which was a great way to end the competition.
“Well it’s definitely been a great first time here in Brazil, after the long flight out, Nick and myself had to build a new bike that we borrowed from Honda Brazil, putting my suspension, handlebars on it etc. Then literally it was straight into practice to run it in. I felt really good straight away and then just over-jumped a big log and bent my sore wrist back and I honestly thought that was me done! I rode a couple of laps slowly and then came in. After 20 minutes it was second practice and just hitting the logs like you need to was really bad but landing the jumps was almost impossible. I taped it up for the hot lap and was really surprised to get the third fastest time as I didn’t jump into the water hole and also rode the logs pretty slow to save my wrist as best I could. Doubtful if I could race I saw the doctor and he gave me a big dose off pain killers, iced my wrist and then taped it up really heavily so it was a case of hoping for the best.
The organizers had also watered the track really heavily, way too much as it turned to an ice ring for the semi and main event. In the semi I started well but like everyone else couldn’t believe how slick the track was, I made lots of mistakes but so did everyone, and being one off the only riders on a 450 was also tough as 10hp would have been more than enough, not 60hp. I was real happy with second behind Browny. Then the main event I just decided to ride my own race, and that was made easier by taking the holeshot. Taddy passed me on lap 1, as did Cody so I just tried to stay as close as I could. I struggled to use the inside line on the rocks as it was hard to use the clutch with my wrist but this is where I was loosing time. Cody made a mistake and I passed him back but the 2 stroke seemed really good and I struggled to stay near him. I knew by lap 6 I just had to stay out of trouble and third was mine so just rode the race out, but it was really tough, physically and mentally. Taddy turned it around by winning the main as he struggled all day long, Cody rode brilliant all day but just made a couple of silly mistakes and that cost him the win as he was riding faster than anyone and I just rode steady really from when I hurt my wrist, I just tried surviving as best as possible and was really really happy to come away with third place and a medal.
Just a big thanks to Honda Brazil for lending me a bike, also Metzeler tyres as I used stock sixdays enduro tyres against all the other guys who are on special super soft endurocross Dunlops, also the organizers for inviting me and Nick. Again the bike was great and I didn’t really have to change much on a standard 450. Now to get my wrist sorted for the EWC.
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