Manxman David Knight has won the Scorpion Masters event held at the International Paul Ricard Circuit in France. The event, which attracted over 10,000 spectators, challenges 30 of the worlds best riders from trials, enduro, supermoto and road racing to compete together in every discipline gaining points from each event to find out who is the best all-round rider. With reigning and former world champions everywhere, the races were going to be tough!
The event began with the trial, the sport in which David started as a child. Knighter got off to a great start placing 3rd behind the two trials champions, this was his aim for the event.
It was quickly onto the Enduro, David’s chosen sport, and with five top enduro riders taking part it was important to get a good time. Catching a slower rider in a narrow, twisty part of the track cost David a few seconds but another 3rd place was good enough, finishing just 1 second behind 2nd placed Ivan Cervantes .
Having not raced any supermoto since 2005, it was going to be a difficult event against reigning and former World Champion supermoto riders. Some of the top road racers use the discipline to train throughout the season, so a good result here was vital. With an under-geared bike, David qualified a creditable 8th position. He then borrowed a sprocket from a fellow rider which he fitted just in time for the race.
Getting a average start, he fought his way through to 6th position only to get baulked on the final lap and passed, ending the race 7th which was still a great result. At the halfway point, David was now leading the event overall.
With a one hour break for dinner, the riders headed for some well earned food only for the heavens to open and the rain to start. David quickly got to the garage to fit wet tyres to his Honda 1000 ready for qualifying. Going out on to the super-fast Paul Ricard circuit for the first time in the wet wouldn’t be much fun but he set a very fast time in 9th position against many top riders. With two tough races ahead, David needed solid points to keep his lead in what is undoubtedly his weakest discipline.
Race 1, and David made a great start rounding turn 1 in 4th position. Getting into a good rhythm, David settled down and was setting a good pace, with many riders crashing out, he stayed upright, placing a very satisfying 9th position to extend his overall lead.
With one more race to go and conditions getting worse, the final race was going to be all about staying upright and getting a finish. A DNF now could cost David the win.
Another good start made things a little easier and after settling down to a good fast pace, running seventh, his visor started misting up. With the overall win within reach, Knighter eased the pace on the last couple of laps to finish 10th in road race no2 and win the 2013 Scorpion Masters title.
I’ve had a brilliant day here in France and winning it has made it even better, especially after finishing runner up by 1 point the last time the event was held in 2011.
With so many great riders taking part I really didn’t expect to win this year as I have not ridden any other bike except my enduro bike for months as I’ve been flat out concentrating on enduro and lately preparing for the Superenduro Championship. The trial went great, I even surprised myself. The enduro ironically was probably my most disappointing. I caught a slower rider just when I didn’t need to and got held up. I then hit a rock passing him and messed the next few turns up but anyway I was glad to still get 3rd, only a second behind Cervantes in 2nd.
The supermoto was an unknown as I haven’t done it for so long and I built a bike in a rush which I got finished an hour before the van left for France. It was probably the most fun event for me and I was really happy with my result. The road racing I normally enjoy the most but the rain made it tough, the track was slick and I’ve never ridden one in the wet in my life. I was feeling good and staying with some fast guys but when a couple of them had big moments or crashed in front of me I backed down a little, I don’t know the limit and the only way to find out is to push until you crash, so I took it safe and got 2 good results which gave me the overall win.
It’s great winning, but for me it’s the most fun and friendly race of the year and I can’t wait to go back next year. Thanks to the organisers and sponsors for a brilliant weekend.
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