Darian Sanayei has arguably been the breakthrough star through the first three rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The MXGP of La Comunitat Valenciana was a huge event for the Bike It DRT Kawasaki rider, but he had already impressed at the first event in Argentina. MX Vice editor, Lewis Phillips, caught up with him on Sunday to discuss his recent run of good form.
MX Vice: Obviously, brilliant weekend for you. Best of your career. I do not really know how you are going to feel about it though. It was great on one hand, but then you missed a podium. I am sure you wanted that today.
Darian Sanayei: Yeah, for sure. I want to win. I do not just want the podium. A podium would be nice too; to stand up there, get the trophy and spray some champagne. But, yeah, we came one point short of that. Every race I was feeling good. Good lap times. Fastest every time on the track, so that was positive. Just unfortunate with the first start of the first moto. I was a little bit too far back and so I just had to push really hard to come up. Then by the time I got into second and I pushed hard to catch up to Jonass, I was just a little bit done. I just kind of spent everything I had and then I made some mistakes, so I just decided to come home a safe second in that moto.
The starts obviously screwed you up a little bit, especially for the overall podium. Was there any reason why you struggled out of the gate in the first one? It looked like the front end came up a little bit. Can you point to a reason for that?
Yeah, I went to the very inside gate and I thought it was going to be good. I think it still could have been. I just did not get a good release on the clutch and I kind of wheelied, then set it down and wheelied again. By that time they all pinched me, so I just had to follow everybody going into the corner. I snuck on the very inside and kind of got past some people, went around the outside and got into maybe about seventeenth or something. If you want to fight for a podium, you can't start in seventeenth.
Going out by the box for the second moto is obviously a bit more of a risk, because it could have gone really bad. Did you kind of know that you were taking a gamble with that and just wanted to see what would happen?
Yeah, the whole time I was just deciding if should I go inside or go outside. Even when I was pushing my bike I almost pushed it to the inside one, but I was like, "you know what? I am going to go outside because if I can pull, I'll just go deep into the outside." I just held it pinned around the outside and came out like sixth.
Are you surprised by how much progress you made in the first moto? So many riders said it was tough to pass around here. It was kind of one-lined and everyone was going the same speed. You were literally the only rider who made it happen. So, were you surprised?
No, not so much. It was a little bit hard for me to pass too, but I just did not mess around with those guys. Maybe two guys in the first moto held me up a little too long. Honestly this weekend I felt like I just had really good speed, a little bit better than most of the other guys. I think that helped. Then we had the race bike out there today and had a little extra power. It was good.
You obviously had that little issue with the bike yesterday and jumped on the second bike. How much of a difference is that? I am guessing it has the same settings, components and all of that but, at the end of the day, it was not the bike you were comfortable on all day.
It was not actually the same settings or components in it. It is a lot different than the race bike, but they have been working hard on the race bike and putting in the hours. It lasted both motos this time, so hopefully we can just keep building from there and we get that a little bit better. I think we will be good.
Did today just come down to the track? Did you just feel it with the track or is this what we should expect every weekend? Obviously, you are going to be able to do this again because you do not just make up speed like that.
Yeah, I even surprised myself a little bit how fast I was this weekend. I knew I was going to be good. The track is good. I am confident in myself. I am confident in everything I have got going on. It was really good. To be the fastest and have the fastest time every single time on the track was really cool. Hopefully we get more of that.
Finally, does this change things for you? Are you going to go into Trentino now expecting the same and wanting a podium, a win, and to set the fastest times?
No, it does not change anything. I have been wanting podiums and wins since the beginning of the season.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer