5 Minutes with ... Darryn Durham

July 4, 2008 6:26am

Last week the Annual Ford Mammoth Motocross wrapped up in Mammoth Mountain, California. This event is dubbed as “the oldest continuous running motocross in the USA,” and the big winner of the event was Rockstar Suzuki’s Darryn Durham, who took the overall win in all three Pro classes; something that has only been done four times in the entire history of the event! We rang up the 19-year-old Pennsylvania native today for this 4th of July interview.

Racer X: Darryn, what’s up?
Darryn Durham: Ah, just got back from riding at Glen Helen.

Well, the reason I’m calling is I heard you had a pretty good showing up at Mammoth.
Yeah, I won all three Pro classes, so it was pretty good.

Going in, did you expect to do that well?
I expected to win. I went up there last year and I was fast, and the motos are long, which kind of suits my style. I was expecting to win most of the races, so I went up there confident and came out with three championships.

I saw a few of the press releases that came out, and it says that you’re only the fourth rider in the history of the race to win all three classes, joining the company of guys like Warren Reid, Rick Johnson and David Vuillemin. But I got to ask, have you ever even heard of Warren Reid?
[Laughs] I never really heard of him, but I heard of RJ and Vuillemin. Someone also told me that McGrath has been trying to do it for years and hasn’t been able to do it, so it’s kind of cool that I did it.

Speaking of McGrath, was he up there this year?
He raced the Vet day but didn’t come out for the Pro class.

Who was some of your competition up there?
Like Ben Lamay, Steven Clarke and Timmy Weigand—he’s really fast up there and was riding well. There was a bunch of guys going fast. Up there, all of the California guys go really good.

What’s the race format like there?
The first day there were only like 35 riders, so it was a two-moto format and they were 10 laps long. I think it ended up being like 25-minute motos. The second two days there were like 60 riders, so we had qualifiers. It was supercross-style. We had a 10-lap qualifier and then a 10-lap main event, and the qualifier was just for gate pick. In the qualifier I actually crashed, but I pulled it together for the main and won.

How’d you come off the gate in your mains?
On the 250F I pulled the holeshot, and in both the 450 classes I started like sixth or seventh and got in the lead like the fourth or fifth lap and then rode my own race.

I never actually been to Mammoth, but I heard it’s very physically demanding due to the high altitude.
Yeah, it’s really high, but I kind of like it because it separates everyone; people were getting tired and a lot of the top amateur guys like Michael Hall were pulling off and getting dizzy, so it kind of separates everyone.

Your Rockstar Suzukis held up pretty good...
Yeah, everything was perfect. All the guys had the bikes jetted good.

Did your dad make it out to the race?
Yeah, he was actually my mechanic for the weekend; it was cool!

Looking ahead, what’s next for you?
I’ll be doing Ponca and Loretta Lynn’s, it’s only like two or three weeks away. After that I’ll hopefully jump into the Nationals at some point, but we’ll see.

I spoke to you about your plans after Loretta Lynn’s last summer, and you said you just wanted to stay amateur one more year and gain some more experience. It looks like that is paying off.
Yeah, definitely. Going into Loretta’s last year, I had yet to win a title, and this year going in I have nine. So I have a little more confidence and have a bigger name coming in.

Do you feel added pressure?
No, it just seems like once I started winning, it’s a lot easier to do it. Hopefully I can take that into the pro ranks.

I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but last year’s graduating class of Canard, Izzi, and Stroupe were one of the fastest, ever. Those are some big shoes to fill.
Yeah, those guys definitely haul and set the bar really high. But I think I can make that same transition. I’ve been riding with all of them out here and I’m right on pace, so hopefully I think I can do the same thing that they did.

The standard route for a rider in your position is to race Loretta Lynn’s and then turn pro at Millville. Is that your plan?
No, I don’t think I’m going to do Millville. I haven’t signed anything yet, and I’m not going to go and race all four of the remaining nationals on my bike. I’m either going to just ride my bike at Steel City, or if I sign something before I’ll ride the last four, but we’ll see.

Who do you want to thank for helping you get this far, Darryn?
Yeah, I’d like to thank Rockstar Suzuki, Cernic’s, PR2, Answer, Pro Taper, 661, Oakley, Dunlop, DVS, Maxima, Ogio, and my Dad. That’s it!

It’s the 4th of July—any big plans?
I’m going riding at Perris!