On the Mend with Darryn and Jimmy
Let's face it, guys who get injured before the outdoor season often get forgotten by this point in the season. Some are lucky enough to have a deal all lined up so there's no need to worry about what the next year holds. Others aren't quite as fortunate. Either way, riders find a way to make it through the long periods of time on the couch or in therapy, waiting to hop back on the bike.
This week, I was lucky enough to talk with two guys who have proven they're hard hitters in the 250s in the past, but have been sidelined due to some unfortunate wrecks.
Jimmy Decotis, the unexpected face of New England on the Geico Honda squad, had moments of brilliance with the team during his shotened run with them, including a career-best finish of fifth in San Diego in 2011. He suffered a dislocated elbow at the end of the 2011 supercross season, putting him out for most of the outdoors that year. In the last four races of the series, Decotis was able to get enough points to finish 28th in the series.
Jimmy D's favorite for the 2012 250 title is old teammate and friend, Eli Tomac.
2012 preseason was looking good for him. He was getting comfortable on the bike and was ready to show everyone what he had to offer. But a preseason ankle injury took Decotis out of the first few rounds of supercross and then, as he was getting ready to come back to racing, he crashed in practice, which tore his ACL. Being a major injury, this took him out of not only the entire supercross season, but also out of the entire 2012 outdoor series as well.
I checked in with him to see how recovery was going and what we'll be seeing in 2013.
Pro Moto Talk: Give us an update on how recovery's been going for you.
Jimmy Decotis: My recovery's been going as fast as I can have it. I mean, no matter what, from the day of my surgery, it's six months from the day I can ride. I can do a lot of physical therapy or not, but I've been on top of it and doing what I can. Road biking, mountain biking, getting back in shape. Just trying to have a little fun while I'm off the bike and when I get back into business this year at the supercross, get my batteries recharged, hopefully I'll get up front and stay injury free for next year.
When do you get back on the bike?
It will be early October. Somewhere around there.
So not too far away. What does it look like you'll be doing for 2013?
For next year, I'm really on the bubble. I don't know what I'm doing as of right now. I'm kind of looking and seeking and seeing what I can get. No matter what, if I have to do it on my own bike, I'm going to do it and I'm gonna give it a try and see what I can do. But, as of right now, I don't have anything finalized for next year.
Are there people that are talking to you about deals, though?
Yeah, I've got a few offers. I'm trying to do a few things to get them together at the last second here, but nothing's for sure. It's hard to get a ride when you've been missing all year and been hurt. I'm hoping that people don't forget that I've got a lot of ability and that's what's kind of holding me here and keeping some pull for me. I do have some speed, I just need to put my endurance and my program together and that's kind of all I've been missing. I still feel like I can do good whether I'm on my own bike or a factory bike.
There's a pretty good three-way battle going on in the 250's for the championship right now. What're your thoughts on that?
Uhm, I think it's pretty good. I would like to see [Eli] Tomac get it because I've stayed with him and he's my buddy and stuff and he's definitely a good kid. But it's been good. I think [Blake] Baggett's just been strong. He's always been strong outdoors and he's going to be hard to beat. I think that they just need to put it down and win motos. If Geico wants to win that championship, they need to win motos and start doing it now and see where it goes. But, at the end of the day, those top three kids are doing their best and they're giving it their all. They're only kids, so you can't ask for too much. They're just going to go out there and do their best and hopefully make it exciting for me as a fan to watch this year and then get back out there next year.
Exactly. Are you going to still be on the 250 next year?
Yeah. Unless I was to get a good 450 ride, I wouldn't do it. I'm still little and I'm not matured yet for where I want to be on a 450. So I wouldn't do anything crazy and jump on a 450 for a good deal or something. Next year, I'm going to do 250 class, I'm pretty sure. That's pretty much the goal until I can build some more confidence and build up more stamina and a little more strength, plus I'll mature a little bit. Then I'll jump on the 450 in a couple of years.
Darryn Durham's year hasn't been quite as dramatic as Decotis', but I can't really say it's been an awesome year for him either. After an impressive 2011 season outdoors where we nearly saw him on the podium for an overall at Thunder Valley as a privateer, it was no surprise that Durham got a factory contract for 2012. Now, it may not seem like such a big deal that he almost got a podium if you don't remember the sheer dominance the Pro Circuit Kawasaki crew held over the 250 class that year. To see a podium spot almost get taken by one of the Eleven Ten Mods crew was awesome, to say the least.
Darryn Durham brings a special something to the Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki group: silliness.
Oh, and some serious speed, too.
This year, his supercross season went by in spectacular fashion, if you discount the small fact that he missed Las Vegas. He saw the podium for four out of the eight races on the East Coast Lites circuit, including his first-ever win in New Orleans. That high point was the end of Durham's 2012 season, though. In preparation for Las Vegas, he dislocated his shoulder, setting him on the sidelines for the entire outdoor season.
I called him up to see how he was coping with his long recovery time.
Pro Moto Talk: First off, how has the recovery process been going for you?
Darryn Durham: I've just been recovering. Dr. G has been helping me with all my rehab and stuff. I've been doing all that and my shoulder's starting to come around. It's starting to get strong now. I'm hoping to get back on the bike in October.
Are you still with Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki next year?
Yeah, I resigned with Pro Circuit, so I'll be there again next year.
So how excited are you for 2013 and, hopefully, making it through the whole season healthy?
That's definitely my goal for next year, just to make it the whole way through. But I'm excited for it. I'm excited to pick up where I left off in supercross and, hopefully, have a good season and take that into outdoors. Really, I'm just looking to ride again. I haven't waited this long since I've ever ridden, so I'm itchin' right now. I've got all kinds of new gear and stuff. I'll just walk around the house, putting it on, wishing I could ride.
Oh no! Well then what do you do? I mean, you can't ride your bike, so what do you do just to pass the time?
While I was hurt, I was pretty laid up after surgery for a while, so I wasn't doing much. Now, I've been out riding my bicycle and doing therapy. That's pretty much it. I hang out. I went to some concerts and stuff. I went to and Iron Maiden show last week and just try to find some fun stuff to do to keep me busy.
I know some guys don't like to watch the outdoor series if they're injured. Do you still watch it?
Yeah, I've been watching the whole series. There's been some good racing in the lites class this year.
Yeah, what are your thoughts on all of that?
Uhm, I don't know. Blake [Baggett]'s been really strong all year, so that's very nice for me because he's on my team and I'll get to ride with him a lot next year and stuff. But [Justin] Barcia and [Eli] Tomac have been riding really well and same with the KTM guys. I'd say those five guys have been battling pretty much every week, so it's pretty cool to watch.
And you know what it's like to race against most of those guys either from outdoors last year or from supercross, so where do you think you might have stood outdoors?
I don't know. I think I would have been up in there. I raced in that class last year with all of those guys, so I'll have to get up there again, you know?
Obviously because you've been out for a while, you haven't gotten as much attention from the media. Is there anything else you wanted to say that maybe you haven't had the opportunity to?
I don't know, it's been tough. The last race I got to do, I won. So it's been tough not getting to race after finally reaching your goals.
Though it's tough to see both of these guys off their bikes, especially with their results improving each time they raced, it's good to hear that they're both fired up for 2013 and looking strong. With Durham on the factory Kawisaki and Decotis wherever he ends up, both guys will definitely be looking to make a showing. I'd say no one should rule these two out of anything for supercross. With the amount of dedication between the two of them, there's a whole lot of passion that could lead to big things. Keep an eye out, that's all I'm saying.