#57 made quite an impression in 2016. Six race wins and the No.2 plate in the EMX250 European Championship – the last vaulting board into Grand Prix – marked the Washington state native as one of the next big things on the international motocross stage. Sanayei could have stayed in the States and worked his way through the traditional route of Supercross and Motocross career gains but instead opted for FIM World Championship recognition and education and on tracks submerged in cultures from Asia to Europe to South America.
Groomed by Kawasaki and placed in the confines and care of the British Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki MX2 team for his first season in MXGP (a nineteen round calendar no-less and his longest competitive campaign to-date) Sanayei has shown flashes of real promise while also feeling the sharp end of the sport on occasions; the low point coming in the almost-impossible heat of Ottobiano in Italy where he collapsed and crashed with heat stroke and missed the next fixture in Portugal.
Darian has also been quick, aggressive and fearless and a brace of top ten results have hinted at plenty more to come.
2017 has been a pivotal year in the young American’s life as he not only learns on the track but away from it. Distant from family, friends and confidants his journey in Grand Prix is unlike most others. Wanting to know more about this slightly shy but also friendly and very accessible athlete we sat down to talk over breakfast in the green confines of the DRT awning.