And yes, we’re excited and relieved that this means we’re hosting the 2020 TKO as originally scheduled for the weekend of August 14-16.
Numerous changes to race events are recommended in the Safe To Race Toolkit recently issued by the AMA’s task force in “this COVID-19 changed environment.”
The introduction says:
This Toolkit represents the collective input from a diverse group of motorsports professionals, with the common goal to reopen motorcycle/motorsports race venues and recreational riding areas and competition centers. All aspects of this collective task force effort are based on a full understanding of necessary safe practices, including safe distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements, local, state and federal guidelines and the generally accepted attention to public health that will be expected of every commercial entity planning to conduct business activities in this COVID-19 changed environment.
The racing format will be like past years with a Friday amateur Prologue to set starting positions, followed by two rounds of amateur racing on Saturday and a four-round Sunday Pro competition. The event will also continue to serve as the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Enduro.
“We started the TKO in 2011 and it was a huge success and has grown in popularity each year along with the worldwide growth in Extreme Enduro events,” said Eric Peronnard (@ericperonnard), co-producer of the Tennessee Knockout. “We are proud to be chosen to be part of the WESS Enduro World Championship for 2020.”
Red Bull has been a partner with the TKO for several years and that will continue for 2020. The WESS Enduro World Championship (@iridewess) has a partnership with Red Bull Media House, which provides extensive coverage of all of the championship rounds via Red Bull TV and social media platforms.
The Tennessee Knockout is one of the premier off-road motorcycle races in the US, attracting the top American and International riders. Tennessee Native Mike Brown won the first two events with Cody Webb close behind both times. Webb then went on a six-year run of winning the TKO, topping many of the best riders in the world in the process. Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Wade Young, Mario Roman, and Manuel Lettenbichler gave Webb a good challenge but the American was unbeatable. A knee injury forced Webb to miss the 2019 TKO and Germany’s Lettenbichler became the first international rider to win the event. It will be amazing to see many of these riders joined by other top international and American riders facing off at the 2020 TKO.
The TKO will again pre-qualify the top riders to the four-round Sunday competition. This will include top riders from the major US and international off-road racing series and events. Any rider that finished in the top 26 on Sunday at the 2019 TKO, as well as riders that have qualified for a previous TKO Sunday main event, will be qualified directly into the 2020 TKO Sunday program. The expert riders will be competing for a $10,000 purse.
The Saturday program will include two rounds of racing and will serve as the Extreme Enduro AMA Grand Championship for Amateur riders. Amateur riders can earn spots directly into round two via several AMA regional championship events. Riders that do not qualify via one of the AMA regional events can sign up for one of 400 open spots that will compete in a morning qualifying race that can earn a spot in the championship final on Saturday. The top 30 finishers from Saturday will earn a spot in Sunday’s expert program.
Amateur registration opens at 6:00 pm CST on Thursday, December 5, 2019. There are just 400 spots available and entries sold out in just a couple of hours in the past so please plan to get your entry in as soon as it opens. The registration link will be available in a blog post on the homepage of the TKO website.
There will also be a Women’s class with a Saturday morning qualifying session and Saturday afternoon main event. This is also an AMA Grand Championship class.
RTR Rentals is bringing their hard-enduro KTM and Husqvarna race bikes to this year’s TKO, making it possible for Amateur competitors to book a cheap flight to the TTC, race, and return home quickly. They’re experienced, having rented bikes for competitors at Revlimiter, Stix and Stones, Last Dog Standing and local sprint enduros.
The Kenda Tennessee Knockout has become one of the premier off-road motorcycle races in the United States and many top international riders have competed in recent years. The ninth annual TKO will take place at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee on August 16-18, 2019.
FMF KTM’s Cody Webb has won the TKO for six straight years despite serious challenges from the top US and International riders. Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler, South Africa’s Wade Young, the UK’s Graham Jarvis and Spain’s Mario Roman have all joined Webb on the podium in recent years but have not been able to knock Webb off the top step. Top North American riders including Kyle Redmond, Taylor Robert, Max Gerston, Jordan Ashburn and Cory Graffunder have also tried to unseat Webb and many of these riders will be back again in 2019.
The TKO will feature both Saturday (Amateur) and Sunday (Expert) racing. The Sunday format will again feature a multi-round Knockout format that is challenging for the riders and very spectator friendly. The expert riders will be competing for a $10,000 purse.
Any rider that finished in the top 26 on Sunday at the 2018 TKO will be qualified directly into the 2019 TKO Sunday program. In addition, past TKO main event qualifiers and top off-road riders from other major US and International racing series and events will be invited directly into the Sunday program.
The Saturday program will include two rounds of racing and will serve as the Extreme Enduro AMA Grand Championship for Amateur riders. Amateur riders can earn spots directly into round two via several AMA regional championship events. Riders that do not qualify via one of the AMA regional events can sign up for one of 350 open spots that will compete in a morning qualifying race that can earn a spot in the championship final on Saturday. The top 30 finishers from Saturday will earn a spot in Sunday’s expert program.
New for 2019, the Amateur riders will be given the opportunity to compete in a Friday afternoon “hot-lap” qualifying session to earn their starting positions. The qualifying session will be for both the pre-qualified riders (to set their starting position for race two) and those that enter the TKO amateur class to determine their starting positions for Saturday race one. Any riders that do not participate in the hot-lap will be lined up after those that participate in the hot-lap based on their sign up order.
Amateur registration opens at 6:00 pm CST on Thursday, December 6, 2018. There are just 350 spots available and entries sold out in just a couple of hours in the past so please plan to get your entry in as soon as it opens. The registration link will be available here on the TKO website.
There will also be a Women’s class with a Saturday morning qualifying session and Saturday afternoon main event.