You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or so the saying goes.
And why would you want to? – especially if the old tricks are still working just fine.
When Hamilton’s Darryll King (MXDK Rockstar Yamaha YZ250) was crowned national MX2 champion earlier this year, there were a few admiring nods of the head from appreciative race fans.
A 42-year-old winning the country’s top 250cc class title? You bet.
When the former Grand Prix racer showed up to race at the big annual Labour Weekend Motocross Extravaganza at Taupo on Sunday, there were a few shakes of the head.
King wasn’t entered in the programme. Surely he wasn’t here to race? Surely he couldn’t win again?
The answer to both those questions was an emphatic ‘yes!’.
“I just showed up and thought I’d see how I went in the first race and see what happened. I won that race and thought ‘why not carry on? I’m enjoying this’.
“The track was amazing and the bike, the same one I won the national title on, was great too. This bike’s done a lot of hours now … but then so has this old body,” he laughed.
King finished 1-3-2 in his three MX2 races on Sunday, enough to win the class on a count-back from 22-year-old rival Rhys Carter (Moto City Suzuki RM-Z250) (who finished 2-1-3), and he then rode straight back out onto the track and took his MXDK Rockstar Yamaha YZ250 to a hat-trick of wins in the veterans’ 35-44 years’ class as well, many of his rivals there on 450cc machinery.
To put icing on the cake, King then lined up alongside national MX1 champion Cody Cooper (Moto City Suzuki RM-Z450) in the all-in Nicky Smith Memorial feature race … and he finished runner-up to the 28-year-old Cooper in that.
King has retired from this young man’s sport – and then come back again – too many times to mention and he said he won’t be defending his national MX2 title next season, but there’s nothing to stop him from making the occasional cameo appearance and many race fans are hoping he will keep up his scene-stealing performances for a few more years yet.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Full story and more photos in your next issue of KIWI RIDER magazine.