King Takes a Knife to a Gun Fight 9 Jul 2012
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Waikato's Darryll King is one man who is more than happy to 'take a knife to a gun fight'.
The 43-year-old national MX2 (250cc) motocross champion knows his weapon of choice, the Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke, is easily sharp enough to inflict grievous wounds on his rivals.
The Hamilton man took his YZ250 into battle against the big-bore 450cc four-strokes of his chief rivals at the 35th annual Tarawera 100 cross-country endurance race near Kawerau on Saturday.
The horsepower handicap did not seem to slow him at all.
He firstly earned a stunning holeshot, hitting turn one ahead of more than 160 other riders, before settling for a superb runner-up overall and first in class result at the end of the gruelling three-hour race in the shadow of Mount Edgecumbe.
The race winner was local rider Cody Cooper, the Mount Maunganui man 15 years King’s junior, riding a 450cc bike to victory, and finishing less than two minutes ahead of the hard-charging King.
"I stayed safe and had no crashes. That was important," said King afterwards.
"To be honest, I think it's a fantastic result for me. I finished second and won my bike class. To catch and pass Cody around here, I would have needed to take risks and that's not how I ride any more.
"I got a great start but it doesn't really suit me to lead at the start of a race like this. I needed to see riders ahead of me among the trees.
I entered a trail ride here about two weeks ago and rode a Yamaha YZ450 four-stroke bike, but still I chose the YZ250 today and that gave me the over-200cc two-stroke class win.
"It's my favourite bike. It allows me to ride at my best."
King's next big event is the Veteran's Motocross World Championships at Matterley Basin, near Winchester, in south-west England, from August 16-19.
Meanwhile, Auckland's Callan May (Yamaha YZ125) finished a remarkable ninth overall on Saturday and also won the battle-within-a-battle for under-200cc two-stroke class glory.
Also, Whakatane's Darren Capill (Yamaha WR450F) finished 14th overall and won the veterans' 40-49 years' class outright.
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