David Knight to team up with Juha Salminen and Marko Tarkkala in BMW enduro assault
The BMW Motorrad Motorsport team is pleased to announce a competitive rider line-up for the 2009 World Enduro Championship (WEC). Next season three of the world’s top enduro riders will join the team, to make it one of the most competitive in the demanding WEC series.
Manxman David Knight and Finns Juha Salminen and Marko Tarkkala will spearhead the team’s assault on the eight-round world championship and together form the most exciting rider line-up of 2009. Bringing with them huge amounts of experience, each of the three riders will be aiming for continued success as well as establishing BMW as a major player in the WEC.
Completing a first full season of World Enduro Championship competition in 2008 with the G 450 X – and achieving the pre-season goal of reaching the podium – the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team is looking forward to 2009 with excitement and ambition.
David Knight and Juha Salminen are two riders that need little introduction. Both are World Enduro Champions and double winners of the US Grand National Cross Country Series. Each has also risen to the very top of the international enduro scene thanks to their unquestionable levels of skill, commitment and determination.
With their unique characters, both are respected and feared by their rivals, and known to be among the friendliest of riders away from the track. Two of the very best riders to have ever thrown a leg over an enduro bike, both have enjoyed numerous successes in recent years and will start 2009 with high expectations.
Joining them, Marko Tarkkala is unquestionably one of the fastest and most promising young riders in the WEC. A three-times Enduro 3 runner-up, the hard-charging Finn has spent his entire WEC career on four-stroke machinery and is determined to add his name to the long list of Finnish enduro world champions.
The final decision regarding which of BMW’s current trio of riders – Anders Eriksson, Simo Kirssi and Jeff Goblet – will join Knight, Salminen and Tarkkala in the official BMW Motorrad Motorsport team for 2009 will be announced in the coming weeks.
The team’s primary focus for 2009 is the World Enduro Championship, as well as the European Cross Country Championship. Andreas Lettenbichler and Gerhard Forster will once again form an important pairing within the team and will compete in a number of important Extreme Enduro races. Additionally it is planned to enter selected rounds of the US GNCC series.
The BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory enduro team will undoubtedly be one of the strongest in the 2009 World Enduro Championship – a true force to be reckoned with.
Berti Hauser (Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport): “It really is a great honour to announce David, Juha and Marko as our new team riders. I think it is clear to see how serious BMW is about competing at the very highest level with our G 450 X. With such proven riders joining us we are looking forward to a successful and enjoyable 2009 World Enduro Championship campaign. I have personally been fortunate enough to see all three of our new riders in action during both this season and last. I have witnessed David winning in the US GNCC series and all three riders competing in the World Enduro Championship, as well as at Erzberg. Each will bring something unique to the team, but all share the same common goal – that of wanting to win.
“Competition has never been higher in the WEC, which makes it increasingly challenging for both riders and teams to be successful. Throughout 2008 the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team gained valuable experience in many different areas. In 2009 the WEC will present many challenges, but I am confident that BMW will be one of the strongest teams. These are exciting times for BMW.”
David Knight: “Like any rider you have to truly believe in both your machinery and team to perform at your best, and I have absolute faith in BMW. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved. Working with new people and developing and racing what will start out as a new bike for me is no small challenge, but I know that my commitment is matched by that of BMW. The fact that I will be racing for BMW on my return to the WEC is what really makes everything so exciting for me. My motivation to win is as strong as ever, and I know BMW is every bit as serious about winning as I am.”
Juha Salminen: “I think everyone can see just how committed and serious BMW is to the new G 450 X and the WEC. Personally, I am really looking forward to this new time in my career. The progress that the team and engineers have made in two years is amazing. What’s great for me is the fact that although BMW is a huge and experienced company the enduro team is still young. I know they will listen to my ideas – and the ideas of all the team riders – which will help us all perform at our best. It is also a genuine factory team, which means we will be able to develop our bikes exactly as we want them. It’s going to be an exciting year.”
Marko Tarkkala: “I am really looking forward to this new challenge. With a new bike, new team, and new people it’s a very exciting time for me, and with hard work over the winter I’m looking forward to a great year in 2009. The BMW bike has shown that it is extremely competitive so I can’t wait to start racing it. It will also be good to be back working with Kari Tiainen. He’s a good friend and has always helped me, so I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
Peter Müller (Executive Vice President – Development and Model Series): “We learned a lot in the 2008 season and have continuously enhanced and improved the G 450 X. Our ambition was to reach the podium and we achieved this goal. Now, after the first complete season in the World Enduro Championship, the bike has reached a point where everything is possible. We are confident that we will cause a stir as we will have one of the strongest teams in the 2009 WEC series.”
2009 World Enduro Championship dates
Round 1 – Portugal, Penafiel, March 21-22
Round 2 – Spain, Igualada, March 28-29
Round 3 – Italy, Iglesias, April 18-19
Round 4 – Finland, Riihimaki, June 13-14
Round 5 – Slovakia, Puchov, June 20-21
Round 6 – Mexico, Valle del Bravo, July 18-19
Round 7 – Greece, Serres, August 29-30
Round 8 – France, St Flour, September 12-13