Darian Sanayei has been a breakthrough star in the FIM Motocross World Championship this year, but was dealt a crushing blow when he tore his ACL at the opening round of the Maxxis British Championship. MX Vice editor Lewis Phillips sat down with Sanayei at the Grand Prix of Trentino for an exclusive chat about his plans.
MX Vice: It is not good news that we are doing this midday on a Sunday, because it means things have not gone well. Catch us up about the injury. What has happened over the last week and how everything is going?
Darian Sanayei: Exactly. It does suck. I came here and tried to just ride warm up. It is just too fresh, the injury on my knee. I could not get my foot all the way on the foot peg when I was sitting down, just because there is a bunch of fluid and stuff in there. It is not really too much of a secret anymore. It’s a little bit worse than I thought. I tore my ACL.
From this point right now we’re just going to try to get the swelling and the bruising gone and just see how it is. The doctor felt it. He said it was quite stable, actually, so that gives me hope that once I get it a little bit stronger, I think I can race. If I race I’m still going to be going for the same goal. I want to win. At this point, we are just going to do that. See how it goes. See if I can do it. That is the goal.
So are you going to take a bit of time off or are you just going to go again in Portugal, then if the bruising and the fluid and all of that has gone try again. If it does not work try again, just keep going?
Yeah, that is just the thing right now. We are just going to plan it out with the team. Obviously, I do not want to miss any races so I would like to be out there. We have just got to do the smartest thing possible. It is looking maybe like we might miss a couple. Just try to get it feeling good and everything. If I get an operation right now, if I were to go and get the op right now, I would be out for the season. So whether I wait a few weeks and I try, then have to do surgery then, it is still going to be the same outcome. I’ll still be able to be ready for next season.
Obviously you are good mates with Thomas [Covington] and he did his in September last year. Have you compared notes with him? Was his worse? How does that all work?
He came with me to the doctor. He just came with me. He actually did his right one two times in a row. He got it operated on and he done it again. On his right one, his whole time over in Europe he has had no ACL and that gives me hope too. He does not even have one in his. I think it is possible. We have just got to go from here. Right now I am walking around. It does not hurt at all. It just feels awkward because I got so much fluid in the joint and everything, but I think once that goes and I get the muscles around it strong, I think I’ll be okay.
Obviously this would suck if you did it at a GP, but doing it at a British Championship race, which is great and everything, where you don’t really care about what happens, I guess that really sucks?
Yeah, definitely. But it’s motocross. It’s the sport that we choose and everything. All I can do is just try to be as good as possible and every time I am out on the track be going for the win. Just trying to keep my head up. If I would have done my femur or something, I would definitely be out for the season. But now I have got a little bit of hope. When your mind is set on something, it’s pretty powerful, so I think I’ll be able to do it.
You are going to keep racing, but I guess you’re not going to go back to any British races? It’s time to let that go?
Yeah. I’ll have to talk with Steve about that, but we’ll see.
You are going to keep racing and all of that. Say we are in June at the French GP and you have done four GPs in a row and you have gone twelfth, eleventh or thirteenth. At that point are you just going to say, this is not working and we need to get an operation or are you going to keep plugging?
Honestly I think if I can go and get twelfth, I might as well go and get a podium. Twelfth is not that much slower than third. There is maybe a second or two in the lap time. If I can feel good enough to do that, I think I can race.
This is a bit of an odd question at this point in the year, but I have been wondering. Is your contract up this year? There are going to be a few factory seats open and I am guessing if everything goes well, your phone might start ringing quite a bit.
Yeah, it is up after next year with my team as a third-year option. It’s just an important part of the season right now, so it is unfortunate for this injury and everything. I want to win. I have got another year left in the MX2 and next year I am going for the world title. As of right now, I think it will look good.
Obviously you have been over Europe for a few years now. You are in Belgium which I guess is a little harder than recent years. Having an injury like this, does that kind of make you more home sick? Do you want nothing more than to kind of get home to family and chill out in a comfortable place?
Actually I wanted to go home quite bad. I stayed the winter in Belgium, which was my first time staying the winter, so I was pretty homesick right when the season started. Right now I’m not too bad, but obviously if I am going to take off a few weeks I might as well go home for one week or something. We will just plan it out. My mom actually planned a trip. I think she is coming next week over here, so if she does that then I’ll probably have to stay and hang out with her here. We’ll see.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer