This writer was present at many of Adam Cianciarulo’s races during his rookie year in 2013. One of the best 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.
Q: I was able to talk with Eli Tomac this week and he mentioned that to get this sport right, and to get this sport right at your level, takes a very big window and that window is often times quite small. That make sense?
ADAM CIANCIARULO: 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 just learning what works for you. You definitely can’t take any shortcuts if you want to be a consistent winner.
Q: This championship means the world to you, doesn’t it?
AC: 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.
“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.
Q: So the house is certainly in order, isn’t it?
AC: 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.
Q: 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?
AC: 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.