As a two-time former world No.2 and a multi-time New Zealand and Australian motocross champion, with a career spanning four decades, you could say that Waikato’s Darryll King is a mine of information.
BikesportNZ.com jumped at the chance to quiz the now 47-year-old Kiwi legend, to pry out some of his thoughts on where the sport is currently heading.
King believes a fixation on social media, taking ‘selfies’, making GoPro videos for YouTube and spending up on graphics kits and designer gear, or trying too hard to do whips and scrubs could be ruining it for some young riders.
King is quick to point out that none of that wins races.
“I know that having a profile is part of keeping sponsors happy and moving forward, but really we all tend to spend too much time on our phones looking at who’s saying or doing what on Facebook.
“Winning races is all about actually getting out there on the race track and doing the hard yards.
“To get results you have to ride the bike fast, maintain that speed throughout the long race, stay on the rear wheel of the top few guys in the country and just believe that you can beat them.
“Pump out back-to-back motos on the training track, monitor your body, check on your resting heart rate. Don’t over-train. Make sure you’re doing quality training. If you’re not strong enough in the arms then, yes, you’ve got to lift some weights. Do some cycling, some swimming, some mountain-biking. Whatever is needed.
“Don’t be afraid to go and ask some advice from a senior guy in the pits. They’re generally only too happy to help. I encourage anyone to come over and talk to me.
“It’s important to try to race every weekend. Training is one thing, but there’s no substitute for actually racing. Monday is recovery day when you’ll go for a swim or a light cycle and some stretching. Then begin working towards your next event.
“There’s a lot more to racing than just getting on your bike and riding it. There’s preparation to be done to your machine and to yourself. You need to have your partner on board as well, helping you to work towards your goal. Fitness-wise we are all different. I enjoy rowing on the rowing machine, working on the cycle and doing an hour’s spin. And you’ve got to monitor your heart rate. I’m 47 years old now and so I can’t train with the same intensity as a young guy.
“I’ve got a good base fitness that I’ve built up over the years. If you want to be as fit as Ryan Dungey it won’t happen quickly. It’ll take four or five years.
“The key is avoiding injury too. You just can’t afford to hurt yourself. Kayne Lamont has a few little niggles now and again, or a few little fractures, and I don’t know how that happens to the same guy all the time. Maybe a bit of brain fade somewhere or just plain, old bad luck. Maybe too much training the week before? Less training can sometimes be better. Quality beats quantity always.”
So, does Darryll King think New Zealand will again be one of the premier motocross nations?
“There’s a huge cost involved to get over to Europe to race and that stops it for a lot of people but I can see the Chase brothers (Cohen and Wyatt), James Scott and Josiah Natzke, the guys we have in Europe now, and Courtney Duncan too, as being the next wave to reach the top like my brother Shayne, Josh Coppins and Ben Townley did a few years back.”
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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