“It is 10 O’clock on Wednesday night right now here in Belgium,” said a groggy Darian Sanayei. “I just watched a movie and made some dinner and I’m now chilling out now. I can’t really do too much right now as I haven’t been feeling too good.” Now in his second year on the FIM Motocross World Championship circuit as a member of the upstart Bike It Dixon Racing Kawasaki, it’s a 4,962-mile, 10-hour, 18-minute odyssey from his hometown of Monroe, Washington to the far-flung MXGP of the Netherlands set to run this Saturday afternoon in Valkenswaard, Holland (a classic GP track if ever there were) and that’s where 22 year-old Sanayei will try to pick it all up after two off-song Grands Prix he ran recently in Argentina and Great Britain. And while Sanayei has gotten nowhere near the podium in the season’s first two GPs, he’s got a pretty good excuse. A world class racer in possession of remarkable speed and grit, Sanayei will, once he gets back up to speed and health, certainly be in the mix to win motos, if not GPs. On Wednesday evening, we caught up with the lone Yankee now representing the American way of motocross life over in the Old World of Europe.
“I got sick around four months ago,” continued Sanayei. “I’ve got the Epstein-Barr virus and I’m just dealing with the side effects from it. I kind of thought I had in controlled. I was training before the season and I felt good. I think the travel and the stress of the races and the nerves and everything just flares it up and now it has given me a bit of a handful to deal with. Even right now, I’m super-tired. It just depends. On race day and stuff I don’t really feel good and it’s hard to focus and there’s just really no energy. I mean I saw how thigs were in Argentina where I had to pull out of the Saturday qualifying race and then crashed out of Sunday. It’s been pretty tough. All of that kind of came unexpected. From there, I made up a plan where I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to take it real easy from now all the way in England in two weeks’ time. And when I do get to England, I’m going to try and save energy though the weekend. The main problem was that I didn’t have any energy to save. Straight away at the beginning of the year at Argentina, I got the holeshot in the qualifying race, which was sick. I rode the first lap pretty quickly and pulled a little bit of a gap and I just didn’t feel good at all. It was unfortunate there because I did have the speed there. I just didn’t have the physical condition with being sick and everything. At first I thought it just might have been race nerves or something, but it just didn’t go well. From Saturday afternoon on, it was pretty much just surviving in trying to get through Sunday. Now, it seems like everything pretty much flares up this virus. It’s definitely difficult to deal with, but hopefully I’ll get the better side of it here soon.”