* KTM’s David Knight hammers it down one of the many dusty and rocky trails in the enduro test at the GP of Italy. With the event staged in Castiglion Fiorentino, the birthplace of rally legend Fabrizio Meoni, the organising club made a fitting tribute to the two-time Dakar Rally winner by running the enduro test in and around his old stomping grounds.
* The GP of Italy not only marked the beginning of the second half of the season, it also marked a radical change in machinery for Knight. Unable to consistently match the pace set by his two-stroke Enduro 3 rivals, he adopted the phrase “If you can’t beat them, join ‘em” and arrived in Italy with a KTM 300 EXC. Even though it had been almost ten years since the Manxman last rode a two-stroke in world enduro competition he didn’t waste time in getting up to speed and carded a 1-3 result in Italy.
* In Castiglion Fiorentino Knight didn’t just arm himself with a new bike for the event – he also brought an extra set of eyes and helping hands in the form of Paul Edmondson. With the four-time world enduro champion on call to spot lines and offer advice, Knight quickly put a frustrating season of mixed results behind him. Setting the fastest time in all four of the day’s extreme tests helped David on his way to winning day one.
* One thing the GP of Italy will be most remembered for was the incredibly hot weather. As temperatures soared to almost 40 degrees, the fifth round of the series proved itself to be a real race of attrition. Of the 118 riders to take to the start line on day one, 26 failed to see the end of both days.
* Although David’s teammate Christophe Nambotin still remains out of reach in the Enduro 3 championship with a 53-point lead, Knight is now back in control of the runner up position. After dropping to fourth overall following a difficult GP of Portugal, the KTM rider now sits second – but is only one-point in front of third place Joakim Ljunggren. And with Aigar Leok another nine points behind the duo, the fight for top honours remains as tight as ever. In total 120-points are still up for grabs, so expect this fight to go right down to the final special test in France next October.