American Darian Sanayei will make his GP debut this weekend during the Monster Energy MXGP of Americas in Charlotte – the penultimate round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship.

For the 18-year-old his pro career really started in Europe after a successful amateur career in the USA – Darian moved to France this season to race the European 250cc Championship, recording some great results with six moto wins, two overall event wins and a second overall in the 10 round series. “Last year Monster Energy invited me to race one round of the EMX250 in the UK, and I got some good results there including a moto win. Several teams contacted me after this event, but my main goal was to get a factory ride here in the USA,” revealed Sanayei who finally entered a major series with this move to Europe.

“Finally, I got a better opportunity in Europe than in the USA, and with my family, we thought that it would be good to race there. Unfortunately, I broke my back in the winter and wasn’t able to race the US Supercross on the west coast to prepare for the season. I flew to Europe and joined Team Monster Bud Racing Kawasaki at their workshop in Hossegor just a few days before the opening round of the series and the first races were pretty tough for me as I couldn’t train normally due to this injury.”


Discovering new countries, new tracks and a new race format, Darian had to wait for a few races to reveal his true potential. “In Europe, the ground is not the same as in the US – it is harder with stones and it was not easy to get used to it even if I was still racing Kawasakis. In Europe, we race with different suspension, different tyres, and I didn’t know any of the tracks. The programme of the European races is really tight with one short session on Saturday morning to set up the bike, discover the track and qualify among a lot of good riders, and then a race late in the afternoon in different conditions,” he said.

Improving at each race, Darian finally got his first win during the sixth round in France and ended his European season with a double win in Switzerland to finish runner-up in the series.

Reaching his goal of a podium result this season, Darian will line up next year with Monster Energy Kawasaki in the MX2 World Championship. And as a reward for his good season Bud Racing, Monster Energy and Kawasaki offered him a ride in the last two rounds of the season in Charlotte this weekend and Glen Helen next week. “I was dreaming of racing these two home GPs, and here it is! Of course, my next goal is to be world champion, and I have a few seasons to reach it with the age limit in this series – later I will have the opportunity to go back racing in the US and for sure I will be stronger and faster with all these experiences. Racing and living in Europe is different than in the US, but I love discovering new countries, new rivals and new cultures,” explained Darian who has the full support of this family. “I got my first bike for Christmas when I was five years old, and I was only seven when I entered my first championship. My parents are as passionate as I, and they always supported me, event when I had some injuries. I spent many years in the US as a member of Team Green Kawasaki, got a couple of titles in the amateur series, and when I had this opportunity to race in Europe they supported me as we all thought that it was a good option. But now it’s time to enter a new chapter of my career, and I’m so happy to have this opportunity to show to my fans that I’m a stronger and faster rider since I left America to go to Europe.”

Darian Sanayei Bio

  • Birth Date: June 14th, 1997
  • Riding for Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki
  • 2016: EMX250 runner-up
  • 2015: Winner of the Daytona Supercross “Carmichael road to SX” for amateurs
  • 2015: Champion 250Pro & 450A Mini Olympics Florida
  • 2014: Second in the Monster Cup 250 (class Amateur All-Stars), behind Aaron Plessinger
  • 20 Amateur titles in the USA