David Knight (KTM 500EXC) leads the charge after two dominating rides in Wales in February have set him well on the way to his goal of a 10th outright British Enduro Championship. Knight will not long be back from a long-haul journey to South America for the opening rounds of the Enduro World Championship – hot longs days of competition, at some altitude – so it’ll remain to be seen if Knighter and his fellow EWC Manxmen (Danny McCanney and Alex Rockwell) are rested enough to fight the BEC regulars.
Tom Sagar on the Fast Eddy Racing Honda CRF450R was Knighter’s closest challenger at the first round (the Abbey Enduro) and is reported to have since further developed his bike with the assistance of the HM Honda (EWC) team in Italy, so expect a tighter battle at the top.
The battle for the class wins is likely to remain as intense. While Knight might have E3 pinned, in E2 Sagar must watch Rockwell's progress, and in E1 with leader Jamie McCanney injured there’ll be a scrabble to take over that championship. And from those who didn’t quite fire at the Abbey – Daryl Bolter, Si Wakley, Jamie Lewis (to name a few) – we’re likely to see a renewed pace.
Round two, the TM Rock Oil Helmsley Enduro will take place at Helmsley, North Yorkshire (High Baxton's Farm – post code YO62 5HT, then follow arrows). The course will be a 42-kilometre loop through flowing woodland, unusually (for Yorkshire) having a limestone gravel base – so should remain rideable no matter the conditions. A 7-8-minute cross-country test will start and finish close to the hard standing for crew and spectators and will have live timing, catering and WCs, so every need is met! Camping is available on site.
John Kerwin, clerk of the course: “We took on board the feedback from last year’s Harwood Enduro and for this year have looked to give as close to an all-weather course as can be provided. We’ve put a lot of effort into creating an exciting test, which has been fully machined and manicured – and made that easily accessible to the public for viewing. The course we think is the nearest thing to enduro utopia as we can find in the North, it’s 80 per cent new.”