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Images from the 2019 Supercross Race in Oakland, California


Apr 282019

This writer was present at many of Adam Cianciarulo’s races during his rookie year of 2013. One of the biggest amateur motocross stars this nation has ever produced, Cianciarulo showed up at those early Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship races with an unbelievable amount of hype and expectation following him wherever he went. And the native of Port Orange, Florida has run quite well during his past six professional seasons, but the one thing that has eluded the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki is a championship. A young racer who has put everything into his chosen sport, Cianciarulo is now on the edge of fulfilling his lifelong dream of being an AMA Pro Racing champion. Leading the AMA 250SX West Series championship by a scant eight points over title contender Dylan Ferrandis, the two riders – about as opposite of one another as possible – will be in the grassy pit area surrounding Sam Boyd Stadium next Saturday to see who will leave town a champion. Over the weekend, I caught up with Cianciarulo and was able to speak with him about the big fight he’s set to climb in the ring for over in Las Vegas in a week’s time. 


Adam, what are you doing? Where are you at and what’s happening?

Well, right now I am in my apartment in California and just playing some PlayStation actually and living the good life.

Where is your apartment at? I didn’t even know you had a place out here in California.

Down in Murrieta.

Once supercross gets up and going and rolling across the nation, I get confused if you guys are in Florida or California. How long have you been out here?

Yeah, I’ve been in California since the beginning of December. I spent a lot more time out here this year. I actually won’t go back to Florida until after the Colorado National first week in June.

As far as a somewhat extended stay, what do you make of living in Southern California?

I like it. I like California. I mean the reason I’m out here more is that I kind of wanted to work on my technique a little bit and to work closer with the team in terms of bike setup and testing a little bit more. I also live close to my friend and trainer Nick Wey and we’ve been working even closer together. I’ve been enjoying it.

Yes, you and Nicky Wey, as well as your cooperative efforts together, appear to be working out quite well. The two of you have created a nice synergy. Thoughts?

Yeah, we have. Nick started working with me a little bit in 2016 during the outdoors and he just kept helping me out. I think we are really on the same wavelength as far as how we think and how we go about things. I think we’re pretty similar. Nick can see things in me without me even saying anything, so it just makes our communication that much better. He’s a great dude with a great family and I’ve just been enjoying working with him. And obviously when it produces wins and results it makes it a lot better. At the same time we have fun, but the work is definitely being put in. It’s been fun to see the results come when we’ve been organized land strict workload like this.

I was able to talk with Eli Tomac yesterday and he mentioned that to get this sport right, and to get this sport right at your level you guys are all at, takes a very big window and that window is often times quite small. That make sense?

Yeah, it’s really hard. I think the difference between first and last is getting closer and closer. I think there are a lot of guys who can do this at a high level. Just look at the 450 gate and you can probably say five, six or sometimes even seven guys can win on any given night. It’s one thing to grab a win here and there when you’re really feeling the track or feeling the dirt, but what Eli is referring to there is that to be able to win consistently and to be dominant and to be a championship contender, you have to be on your game every single weekend. That comes with eliminating all the distractions in your life and making the appropriate sacrifices and jut learning what works for you. You definitely can’t take any shortcuts if you want to be a consistent winner.

I’ve known you since you were a little kid and I have a dumb ass question, but I’m going to ask it anyway: This championship means the world to you, doesn’t it?

Of course. Yes. A championship, ultimately, that’s what we are all chasing in every class. To do this sport at the level that I’m doing it and to be putting in as much work as I am, that has to be the goal. Of course at the same time, I need to remain mentally disciplined. I can’t let myself get too wound up in thinking about this championship. As much as I’d love to talk about it and talk about it, I just need to show up and do it and take care of business. We’ll see how it goes from there.

You worked your entire life to get yourself in this position, huh?

Yeah, of course the championship means a lot to me. I don’t have much to say other than that. We have a race to go and I’m in a good position now, but at the same time, really, in my mind, I’m going to Vegas to try and win the race. I’m not thinking about anything else. We’re going there to try and win my third Vegas supercross and not anything else. I’m sticking to that plan. I’ve always felt really comfortable in Vegas. Even when I raced the little bikes and racing the Monster Energy Cup, I’ve always felt comfortable in Vegas. I just like the aura and the dirt and the environment of the place. We’re looking to capitalize on the good vibes in Vegas.

So the Adam Cianciarulo house is certainly in order, isn’t it?

For me, this year, one of the biggest changes I made was just keeping my focus on the day-in and day-out. I know that sounds cliché, but in listening to past champions and how they take things day-by-day, I’m like, “Alright. We get it, man. It sounds cliché and it’s boring.” Having said that, that day-to-day approach is what makes a champion.

Mitch Payton and the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team are very keen to affix another AMA Pro Racing number one plate to the side of the team’s 18-wheel race transporter. You and the team are right there to make that happen. All systems go heading into Sin City, eh?

Yeah, the vibe has been good all year. I think we have one of, if not the best, motorcycle on the track and that’s just a testament to the team and all the hard work they’ve put forth. You know Mitch. He runs a tight ship and it’s now our job to finish their work and to make it all together. The team has been great this year. I think that’s what has brought the success on this year and I think we just need to keep it going. Bring on Vegas.