SR75 Suzuki’s debut at the 2018 HydroGarden Weston Beach Race was a resounding success as 4-time Enduro World Champion, David Knight MBE, put in a performance of a lifetime to claim 6th place on his 2018 SR75 Suzuki RM-Z450, just 2-months after breaking his back! The team’s youth riders Luke Oldfield and Howard Wainwright also delivered hugely impressive rides on their RM-Z450s to finish 30th and 31st at the end of the gruelling 3-hour beach race.
A record-breaking crowd of 83,742 gathered to see 1,000 riders line-up for the 36th Weston Beach Race. After a tricky start to the race, getting stuck on the first dune, Knighter powered his RM-Z450 down the long beach straight and broke away with the top-10 before battling his way up to an unbelievable 2nd position as the team and crowds watched in awe.
Knighter smashed his way through the first hour and a half at an incredible pace, posting the fastest lap of the 7km course. It was clear how hard Knighter had to work to maintain the extreme level of pace required to run at the front, especially after only having been able to build-up his fitness levels a couple of weeks earlier. Knighter settled into a strong rhythm with his RM-Z450 performing faultlessly and despite barely being able to hold his head up to see in front of him, he crossed the finish line in an astonishing 6th place and won the over 40s class.
SR75 Suzuki’s Luke Oldfield was a revelation as he had prepared quietly all year, following his incredible performance last year just missing out on the top 30. Luke has worked tirelessly to elevate himself into a full team position for this year and he rewarded the team with a fantastic 30th place at the finish on his RM-Z450.
Howard Wainwright, part of the SR75 Suzuki youth development team, came into the beach race with a smile on his face and zero pressure. Howard’s first race on the powerful RM-Z450 saw him fight hard all the way as he ran in the top 20 at times. A couple of tough lines meant that Howard dropped a few positions towards the end, yet he managed to achieve an impressive 31st position.
SR75 Suzuki Team Owner, Geoff Walker, commented: “This weekend was incredible, to come to Weston for the first time as a team and achieve these results is mind-blowing. The whole team worked so hard to make this happen and to see our Suzuki bikes and riders lapping consistently at the sharp end without missing a beat was somewhat emotional for me. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our sponsors and team partners, without which we couldn’t have made it happen.
David Knight said after the race: “What an amazing race! I got away from the start well but got stuck on the very first dune before the straight. There was a lot of carnage on the second lap so I just let things settle down. I felt like I was riding well until the first fuel stop and then my neck seized up, I couldn’t lift my head up properly and look ahead. For the last hour and 20 minutes I was just circulating, I had nothing left so dropped a couple of places but I’m pleased with 6th overall. My Suzuki RM-Z450 was spot-on around the beach course, easy to ride and didn’t miss a beat, I couldn’t ask for any more from the bike.”
Luke Oldfield commented: “I had a really good race at Weston this year, after a tough first lap with the track being so technical, I got my head down trying to limit the mistakes and finish with a personal best result of 30th overall. My Suzuki RM-Z450 was perfect throughout the race. A massive thanks to the whole team helping with the pits and keeping everything running smoothly. I’m looking forward to next year already!”
Howard Wainwright said: “I really enjoyed my first experience on the RM-Z450 at Weston Beach Race, although the bike was more powerful than what I’m used to, it was also really usable, so I was able to push hard and run around the top 20. I had a couple of small mistakes but I’m chuffed with the end result and can’t wait to do it again in the future! Thanks to the team for preparing an awesome bike for me”
6th – David Knight #101
30th – Luke Oldfield #32
31st – Howard Wainwright #99