"I really felt every one of my 43 years on this planet."
World veterans champion and national MX2 No 1 Darryll King conceded he was feeling his age after the Auckland Motocross Championships near Tuakau on Sunday.
"I need to do quite a bit of work.
"My training for the upcoming nationals needs to get serious right now," King said.
These comments were despite the Fox DC Fuzion Yamaha rider winning two of the main classes at the two-day event, again proving himself to be the man to beat on the New Zealand motocross scene.
King took a Yamaha YZ450F four-stroke to score a hat-trick of wins in the veterans class, his only challenge coming from 2007 world veterans champion and fellow Yamaha star Tony Cooksley. The Aucklander managed to apply pressure on King in the day's second rain-lashed race as the suddenly-slick track worked against King's aggressive style.
King then rolled his YZ250 two-stroke to the line to tackle the MX2 (250cc) class, finishing 1-1-4 in his three races to take that title by just one point from rising teen star Kayne Lamont (KTM), of Mangakino.
"I grabbed a reasonable start in that last race but then nearly lost it a couple of corners later," King said.
"I think that switching back and forth from a 450cc four-stroke to a 250cc two-stroke caught me out a little bit on the treacherous surface. I got terribly out-of-shape.
"But then, I'm a very strategic rider and I think I knew, at the back of my mind, that fourth in that race would be enough for me to win the day overall, so I didn't push too hard.
"It was fantastic for Kayne to win that last race. We need to see more young guys coming on strong.
"He might be our next world champion, who knows? "
King said his goal this summer was to retain top spot in the MX2 class.
"But I need to get training a little harder, I think."
King has already hinted that 2013 may be his last season of competitive racing and has indicated that he'd like to "go out with a bang and make it a three-peat of national MX2 titles" after winning the crown in the past two years.
- © Fairfax NZ News