New Zealand‘s Darryll King (Yamaha) is champion of Australia once again.
A staggering five years after he last stood atop the podium in Australia, the 40-year-old Waikato man returned at the weekend to win the inaugural Veterans’ Cup at Coolum, in Queensland.
Unbeaten in his four races at the two-day meeting, King (Yamaha YZF450) easily finished ahead of former open class championship rivals Glen Bell and Peter Melton.
“I had two great races and felt pretty good on the bike — Glen Bell was strong competition for me but I pulled away in the final laps,” said King afterwards.
King last won the premier open class crown in 2004. In total, King won the main title across the Tasman three times, also claiming the trophy in 2001 and 2003, before scaling back his international roster to concentrate on running the successful Subway Yamaha team in New Zealand and also to operate his popular motocross training schools.
“I had a fantastic weekend. It was a blast to be back riding a CDR Rockstar Yamaha YZ450F. I had some great battles over the weekend with Glen Bell and Peter Melton. It was just like the old days.”
With more than 25 riders lining up for the Veterans’ Cup, series promoter Kevin Williams was impressed with the racing and is keen to have them stick around a while longer.
“I think bringing the vets class to the round has certainly brought another dimension,” Williams said.
“They bring another crowd with them and a lot of people from yesteryear have commented how good it is to see them out there.”
King now switches his focus back to the domestic scene in New Zealand.
“The next big race for the Subway Yamaha team is the New Zealand Motocross Championships, which kick off on October 11. So we will be busy over the next few weeks riding and testing with (my brother) Damien and Cambridge’s Keiran Leigh.”
Damien King intends to defend both the national 125cc and open class crowns he won last year, while Leigh will tackle the 250cc class.
Darryll King had been a contender to win the World Veterans’ Championships in Europe this season but injuries prevented him completing that series.
“I’m still not certain about racing the 2010 World Veterans’ Championships. We will have to stay healthy and look towards being ready to head back to Europe earlier than I did for this year’s opening rounds if I am going to have a serious shot at the world title.”
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com