5 Minutes with...Darryn Durham

January 29, 2009 4:00am
Darryn Durham had a great 2008. The then-Suzuki-supported rider racked up plenty of amateur championships on his way to sharing the AMA Horizon Award at Loretta Lynn’s with fellow competitor PJ Larsen. But while most of his competition, including Larsen, trekked north to Minnesota to make their professional debuts at the Spring Creek National in Millville, Durham stayed behind, opting to instead wait till the 2009 season to take the plunge. Finally, after months of training and practicing, Durham made his much-anticipated pro debut at the Houston Supercross this past weekend as a member of the Division 7/Star Racing Yamaha team, wearing #159. A good start put the 19-year-old Pennsylvania native in second place in his first-ever main event, but a slight mishap sent him off the track and back to 19th place. Durham then charged to an impressive eight-place finish, so we decided to give him a call to get his thoughts on his first pro supercross.

  • Darryn Durham made his pro debut in Houston last Saturday night.
Racer X: Darryn, was this past Saturday night the most nervous you’ve ever been?
Darryn Durham: Uh, yeah, it was pretty nerve-wracking. I was more nervous for the Heat race than the main, just because it was my first time lining up on the gate. I don’t know, it was pretty fun.

For those who may not know, this was actually your first-ever AMA professional race. You've got to be happy with an eighth-place finish.
Yeah, it was pretty good; I just had a little mishap on the first lap, but I caught back up pretty good.

I understand a few days prior to the race you suffered a minor injury. What happened?
Yeah, the Thursday before the race, I hurt my shoulder—I got an AC separation. It sucked bad to ride with, but the Asterisk guys tapes me all up. I just went out there and tried to ride the best that I could.

Where did you get hurt?
Just out in the hills! At first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to ride at all, because that whole first day I just couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t even wipe my butt. I just wasn’t sure, but I just told myself that I have to go out there and try to ride so I could get some points.

Did you tell your team manager that you got hurt?
I told him, but I didn’t want to tell a lot of people because I didn’t want a lot of people to know, especially since I got hurt out in the hills.

Well, you started out in second, got knocked off the track and then crossed the stripe on the first lap in 19th. You then proceeded to work your way up and were able to get Daniel Blair for eighth on the last lap. You have to be happy with that comeback.
Yeah, I thought it was pretty good. I didn’t even know what place I was in; I was just trying to catch up and pass people, and it worked out all right.

What happened when you went off the track?
It happened so fast that I didn’t even know what happened. I thought Austin [Stroupe] was out of control when I was out there, but when I watched it on TV it was just me going to the inside and him going to the outside. It was just racing. But it was crazy, everyone went past me and I had to find an opening to get back on the track and get going. When I got up I just told myself I was going to push as hard as I could till the checkered flag.

Were you surprised you came out of the hole in second?
Yeah, a little bit. I was able to get a good start and tuck around that inside.

From the way your teammate Matt Lemoine rode in his Heat race to your main-event ride, it looks like the Division 7/Star Yamahas are really dialed in.
Yes, they’re awesome. The team did a lot of work getting them ready and I’m really happy with them.

  • After a mishap on lap one, Durham charged his way back to eighth.
Was it cool seeing yourself on TV?
Yeah, it was pretty neat. I don’t know; I kind of looked like a squirrel a couple times! [Laughs]

Now that the first one is out of the way, what do you feel you have to work on the most before Atlanta?
I just want to carry more momentum everywhere. I don’t know, I just have to heal up and maybe I could finish in the top five, or maybe even the podium. I’m pretty confident I could get up there and mix it up. I’d definitely like to get on the podium, and I’d like to win one. I think if I could get all the bugs worked out, I think I could do it.

What’s the deal with all the Volcom helmets this year? They look pretty sweet.
Yeah, I signed a deal with Volcom. I think there’s only three of us—me, Nico [Izzi] and [Ryan] Villopoto. They’re mostly into skate and snow right now, but they want to expand a little more into moto. I think they’re awesome.

Did you get the shoulder checked out already?
Yeah, I’m not riding for two weeks so it heals up a little bit, then I’ll hit the last two weeks hard before Atlanta.

Who do you want to thank, Darryn?
All the Star Yamaha guys and all of the team sponsors, thanks!

Darryn Durham’s sponsors include: Division 7, Yamaha Motor Corp, No Fear, No Fear Energy, NCY , Bell, Easton, Fox Shocks, FMF, Smith, N-Style, Dunlop, Enzo, Vortex sprockets, DID, Yamalube, Ogio, Ride Engineering, Mechanix Wear, Twin Air, Lightspeed, ARC, Braking, MSD Ignitions, Cycra, CP pistons, Web Cams, ICW, JD Built, VP Gas, Orbea bicycles, Crank Works, Eibach, DVS Shoes, Volcom