Tom Knight Superenduro dream;
I first found my love for Super Enduros when my uncle made a comeback last year. He asked me to join him on a trip to Bilbao for the final round of the 2018 championship, and I jumped at the opportunity, with no idea what to expect. This was completely differentto anything I had ever done before, but I was determined to face the challenge and try my best. At this time I was only 16, competing in the European class against people between the ages of 20 and 27. I rode my 250cc GasGas, finishing 7th overall in my class.
From this point on, I knew that Super Enduros were something that I would like to do, so I entered myself into the first round of the 2019 championship in Krakow, Poland.
I trained hard on my standard 2018 ec250 GasGas right until the start of the season, when I flew out to Poland with a few of my mates, having my bike shipped out by another competitors dad.
I had my whole support crew there, including my family and closest friends cheering me on. I knew I had my work cut out to even qualify, as there were 45 people in my class fighting for one of the 14 places in the final races. I successfully qualified and managed to finish a respectable 4th overall in my class, which I was made up with. This is when I became even more determined to finish the championship.
Round two took place in Riesa, Germany. I traveled out there with some family and friends, including my cousin Will, who is one of my biggest supporters. We drove just short of 2000 miles to get there in our old 2002 sprinter, including two boat journeys on the way. This was a good event for me. Once again, I qualified, and won the first of my final three races. After a tough night of riding against some very talented riders, I finished 2nd overall, which I was extremely happy with. We then headed straight back home, in time to get some training in for round three in Madrid, Spain.
For round three, I traveled out a week early with good friend Will Hoare, to Girona, the home of GasGas, to get in some final practice before the event. We stayed at the Puigdemont brothers and used their practice track, which had lots of useful features similar to those of a
SuperEnduro. I was also lucky enough to go riding with Pol Tarres, which was an amazing experience.
Whilst there, I was also gifted with the opportunity to visit the GasGas factory, where I was given a tour by Miki Arpa. After a week of valuable riding, we headed to Madrid for round three, where my family waited to meet me. I went into the round with high hopes, and after successfully qualifying again, I went on to achieve 2nd in the European class.
After round three, competing in round four wasn’t even a question, I knew I had to go, even though money was tight. I traveled 1500 miles to this round with a good friend of mine, Daniel Oates, however, unfortunately, no family were able to make it support me this time round. The
Super Enduro team put on another great event, this time in Budapest, Hungary. I went there feeling confident that I would pull an overall win out of the bag, and that’s just what I did. Again, I was competing against some very talented people, but believed in myself and pushed for the win. This then placed me 2nd overall in the European championship, only 10 points behind the leader, Rob Scharl.
Finally round five, in Bilbao, Spain. I had a great amount of support at this event, with almost the whole of the Isle Of Man traveling out to watch me – No Pressure! This time I drove out with two of my mates, who love to come and support me. This was the most challenging track yet, and I knew the title of European Champion was is reach. After some difficult qualifying sessions, I managed to qualify, although it was tough. I went into the final races with my head held high, but unfortunately, after the first of the two finals, pressure got the better of me. I managed to finish 3rd in each of the races, although just one 2nd would have lead me to winning the championship.
With the results from all the rounds combined, I was happy enough to have finished 3rd overall in the European Super Enduro Championship in my first year competing in the series.
Ive met a lot of amazing people, and some of the best riders along the way, making
new friends for life. I will be back and fighting even harder next year in the junior class, and I will not be giving up until I win that World Championship.
I can’t thank everyone who has supported me this year enough, no matter how big or small, especially John Shirt at GasGas UK for supplying me with a
great deal on the best bikes and gear for the job.
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my Mum and Dad, along with my amazing family and friends for all they have done to support me in my riding.
Now my concentration turns to bring home some good results in my first year competing in the British Enduro Championship, the first timecard events I have competed in, and also training for my first SSDT which I will ride alongside my dad, who is doing it for the 19th time.
For now, it’s time to get back to work, to save up for the year ahead, as travel, especially off the Island, isn’t cheap!
Team Manager John Shirt;
I have been friends with the Knight family for many years. Toms uncle David and his dad Juan need no introduction. They are decent hard-working people and have been massively successful over the years. Juan and David lost their father Paul and Tom lost his grandad some years ago and this just made the family and the lads even stronger. David rattled off world titles and Juan has also had domestic Trials and Enduro success and currently runs his own business. Paul would be very proud 😊
Tom Knight has indeed big shoulders to fill and he is now making a name for himself as ‘TOM KNIGHT’ and not just the son of Juan and nephew of David and I wish him continued success.
I’ve been his buddy all his life and will not forget the ordeal that Tom and family went through when Tom had Leukaemia which he duly fought and won! So for me, Tom has already won something far greater than a World Title with his victory for life!
I am both proud and happy to support such a likable and talented lad.
Many thanks for the photos
Tristan Young from Vision Media
Jon Pearson from enduro21