Submitted by Andy McGechan
Tuesday, 19th July 2016
Viewed 878 times

CAPTION: Veteran racer Darryll King (Yamaha YZ450F), with plenty still to offer the sport. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

JULY 18, 2016: When former motocross champion Darryll King speaks, it probably pays to listen.
The multi-time former Australian and New Zealand motocross champion from Hamilton is now aged in his late 40s, but there was a time when he ruled the roost, before retiring from the World Championship Grand Prix phase of his career in 2000.
King enjoyed a sparkling 10-year run in the 500cc world championships in Europe throughout the 90s he finished 49th in 1991, 34th in '92, 6th in '93, 11th in '94, was 3rd in '95, 5th in '96 (when his younger brother Shayne won the title), was twice runner-up, in '97 and '98, and finished a disappointing 15th after crashing in 1999.
Then, although he had by then been retired from top international racing for a couple of years and aged in his early 40s, King stunned again when he was able to add yet two more national titles to his CV, winning the New Zealand MX2 (250cc) title for Yamaha in 2011 and again in 2012.
King has seen a lot happen in his beloved sport over the years and he has always been keen to put something back, often busy running training schools for young riders, and he was keen to sit down and chat about where the sport is heading.
King says it's not a lack of skill, strength, stamina or equipment that holds young riders back these days he believes that young riders today are not doing enough thinking.
"They simply need to harness the power of the brain," the Yamaha stalwart explains.
"I think the most important thing, early on in the senior ranks, is for them to have confidence in themselves to get good starts. The results will come quickly from that," he said.
"We saw it happen with a young Hamish Dobbyn when he holeshot one of the senior races a few years ago on a YZ450F at the Whakatane Summercross and he led for a couple of laps. From that day on, in his mind, he knew he could run with these guys. We've seen the same thing happen with riders like Kayne Lamont and Josiah Natzke.
"When they are on the start line, these young guys have just got to visualise in their minds getting the holeshot. They're usually lighter on the bike that the older guys too, so that's an advantage straight away. It means they can get a better jump out of the gate.
"Once they can get a start and then run with the likes of Cody Cooper and Brad Groombridge and Scott Columb, even if just for half a lap, it is a mental boost. If they can do that a few times, the confidence grows.
"If they're starting in 20th place, well that's simply not good enough."
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 riders.
King points 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.
"Getting a good sleep at night, getting good nutrition, taking on board enough fluids ... forget about the flash stuff, just get on with the work."
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

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