Insight Part II:  Adam Cianciarulo

Insight Part II: Adam Cianciarulo

October 20, 2011 4:00pm
If you didn’t know who Adam Cianciarulo was before the Monster Energy Cup, you probably do now. When the nation’s best Supermini racers lined up to do battle on Saturday night in Las Vegas, fans were able to catch a unique glimpse at one of the future generations of the sport, and leading that generation is Cianciarulo, who walked away with a convincing victory. We got in touch with the Team Green mini-cycle prodigy to talk about his experience in what was one of the biggest races of his life.

Racer X: Congrats on your win at the Monster Energy Cup!
Cianciarulo: Thank you, it was a cool experience and definitely different from anything I’ve ever done before. To be able to win was amazing.

Give us a quick summary of how the weekend went for you.
It went great! I got to do press day, which was really cool. I think the press conference, to me, was cooler than the actual riding, just to be part of that whole atmosphere. I really liked timed qualifying, it’s way different from amateur stuff. We usually draw spoons for gate pick, so be able to throw down a lap time and get first gate pick was awesome for sure. The racing obviously went good. I got two good starts, by the skin of my teeth, but I got the two good starts and protected the inside for the first two laps. After that, in both motos I was able to get a big enough lead where I was able to start hitting my lines, and I ended up coming out with the win. It was good, and I capped it all off with a suicide no-hander over the finish line. It all went good!

AC went 1-1 en route to the overall in the Supermini class at the Monster Energy Cup.
Photo: Simon Cudby

I saw that. Are you planning on going all freestyle on us or what?
No, I mean, I can’t do a heel-clicker, I’ve always wanted to do that, but I can’t do anything freestyle-wise. I saw the ramp at the Monster Cup, the big one, and to do a back flip off that… I wouldn’t even hit it, let alone a double back flip!

You won pretty convincingly. Was it as easy for you as you made it look out there?
It was actually pretty hard. The start was pretty short, and the jump was key. I had never practiced starts with the plastic on the gate. We don’t have anything on our gates in the amateur races, so that was pretty new for all of us and we just had to wing it. My first start was actually a little better than my second one. The second moto was hard. Cooper [Webb] got a good start, and he was right behind me and it was tough because I couldn’t leave the inside open or he would take that opportunity. I just had to stay tight and pull a little lead. It was cool racing in front of the fans, under the lights and on live TV, and that’s really all I can say. The track was awesome, I had a blast.

Did you do anything special to get ready for this race?
Nothing really special to get ready for this race, because it was so unique. The outdoor section was really rocky, and I don’t think anyone really knew that was going to happen. I rode some supercross in California to get ready, but really, it was unlike anything. The practice track wasn’t as steep, and the faces were different. I’m not used to that, and I don’t think anyone else really was either. I think that’s what made it cool, too. There was no way that anyone could get exactly prepared for it; you just had to wing it and hope for the best.

The track looked pretty tough.
It definitely was. I mean, the obstacles weren’t that gnarly, but the steepness of the faces and the little stuff like that was different. And knowing that there’s a camera on you, and that there’s 30,000 people in the stands watching, pretty much waiting for you to screw up, that aspect is different and is something I’m definitely going to have to get used to. It was a cool experience for sure.

AC is planning on making the jump to the 125 at some point next season.
Photo: Simon Cudby

A couple times it looked like you were thinking about launching that 120-foot double inside the stadium, but your lead was big enough in both races that you didn’t need to. Would you have hit it if you needed to make up time?
I told Ralph Sheheen on the track walk that if I was in the back, and I knew that if I didn’t jump it I was going to lose, more than likely I was going to jump it. But I’m still not sure if I could make it. They were all calling me an idiot for even thinking about it. I mean, what do you think? Do you think I could have made it?

I probably couldn’t even do that jump on a 450. When are you making the jump to big bikes?
We’re not really set in stone right now, but I can tell you that I’m pretty close. I’m starting to fit my 125 better and better. We’ll see where it goes, maybe sometime next year 125s, then 250s after that. We’ll just have to wait and see where it goes.

Thanks for your time, and congrats on winning the MEC.
Thank you very much.