February 19 2009.

As part of his pre-season training preparations for the forthcoming Enduro World Championship, BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory rider David Knight will compete in this weekend's first round of the Metzeler ACU British Enduro Championship, which takes place on Sunday 22nd February at Thetford Forest in Suffolk.

Organised by Diss Motorcycle Club and always oversubscribed, entries to this popular event were completely full within four days of opening, with many riders denied the chance to compete in this tough enduro. The entry list has quality as well as quantity of course, with 36 riders capable of taking the honours just in the Championship class alone. And although David Knight is the only BMW rider in the E3 class there are several other riders representing the German brand in this enduro.

James Yearley will ride a G 450 X BMW in the Championship E2 class, while Kip Herring and Daniel Hall will ride the sport enduro in the Expert E2 class, with Mark Kinnard on the same machine in the Clubman E2 class. Soft sandy terrain makes up the 23 miles (37 kilometres) lap of the course, which is rideable in all weather conditions. This is one of the attractions of the event as riders know they will get value for money in terms of time spent in the saddle as opposed to stuck in the mud!

The number of laps completed will depend on the class of rider but normally the Championship riders will complete six laps of the course. To keep everyone on their toes the check times will tighten up as the day goes on so it will only be the fittest riders that will make the final time control and remain clean on time. A further 'sting in the tail' of this event is that after almost 140 miles off-road, the Championship riders then have to ride the special test again just after the final control.

Not that this kind of pressure worries David Knight of course; the big Manxman is relishing the chance to line up alongside various friends and adversaries for this tough enduro, including current British Enduro Champion Tom Sagar and former World Enduro Champion Paul 'Fast Eddy' Edmondson.

"It's been a few years since I raced a British championship event so I'm really looking forward to it," said David. "The first round of the championship is different to all the others, and it's a really good workout. There's no substitute for racing, so it's an important event for me to be there; plus there's some good competition so I'm really looking forward to it. It'll also give me a good chance to try out some of the stuff I liked during the recent tests."

David has recently returned from a BMW Motorrad Motorsport team test in
Malaga, Spain, and he is becoming increasingly confident on the G 450 X and feeling extremely positive about the challenges that wait ahead of him.

"We've just had another test in Spain to try different suspension and tyres, and the bikes have come on a lot during the winter, as the team has been working hard behind the scenes. As for me, I'm busy riding, training, testing and racing. In fact, I'm riding the BMW five days a week now and that will continue right up until the first WEC race. We have had some really good tests in different countries, so it's just a case of keeping things moving forward."

The first round of the Enduro World Championship takes place on 21-22 March in Portugal. We'll also be bringing you an exclusive interview with David Knight next week, where he talks about his important year ahead on the BMW G 450 X.