Racer X: The championship was wrapped up a week ago, but Zach it seems like you had some unfinished business out there. Take us through your day a little bit.
Zach Osborne: Yeah. It was a really good day. I finally figured out some things with my starts this week. Just tried to make it easy on myself. I’ve been fighting all summer and I didn’t want to come here and be fighting again, already having wrapped up the championship. I wanted to make it as easy as possible on myself. So, we worked on that a little bit this week to improve the starts and it worked out for us today. Can’t really say a whole lot. It was amazing.
Adam, you had a strong last part of the season here. You went with an overall win last week and today certainly in competition for it. Is this where Adam Cianciarulo belongs, in press conferences every Saturday evening?
Adam Cianciarulo: Yeah, that’s definitely what I wanted at the start of the season, of course. Had some ups and downs for sure, a couple down races. It seems like if you’re off two percent it seems like you’re kind of a guy like seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th. Those guys still are going really fast back there. I think it’s just been mental for me. Having the speed I think at Washougal and Unadilla and kind of blowing those races, then getting my first win last weekend, a lot of confidence for me of course. It’s just all about coming in here and knowing you’re going to be on the podium, knowing you’re going to get good starts and battle with the guys. I didn’t battle with Zach as much as I’d like to today. He kind of took me to school. But we’re up here. I think it’s good momentum going into 2018.
Colt Nichols, one of the powerful actually full teams here. Some of them are down, depleted by injuries. You have a full group of guys and you were able to not only show 38 other guys the way around, but your whole entire team, that had to feel pretty good heading back over there with Bobby [Regan, team owner] and the guys after the race.
Colt Nichols: Yeah, that part was actually nice. Usually I’m at the bottom of the totem pole over there, so to actually be the highest finisher on the team was actually nice and get up here where I feel like I belong. It’s been a long time coming. Everyone kind of puts me a little more of a supercross guy rather than outdoors, but we figured a lot of things out with the bike. I always felt like I could be up here, so to actually finally do it at the last round I feel like it’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad I’m at least in this position.
Colt, do you feel that indoors comes easier to you than outdoors, or is it just the way it’s worked out? Or do you feel you’re just as good here like you proved today?
Nichols: Yes and no. I think more just experience indoors. I’ve had three seasons. Two got cut a little short, but this is only my second season outdoors. Last year I didn’t even make it a full season. Supercross does come a little easier to me I think naturally, but I love outdoors. I feel like I can be really good in this. Once we finally got the bike figured out, we’ve been fighting it all season. The last two races we made huge changes, and I think it showed. It’s the best I’ve rode since the beginning of the season. I finally started to put it together a little bit, which was nice.
Zach, you’ve had the points lead for some time now. Has it been difficult to kind of manage the points lead, to know when to maybe turn it down a notch? Or do you just think of it like any other race?
Osborne: I’m not really a turn it down a notch kind of guy. I like to send it, so I just kind of go into every weekend with the same attitude. I’ve just had to battle from a lot of bad starts this year, so I didn’t really ever have a time where I could say, I’m just going to cruise it in for a second or whatever. I was always fighting tooth and nail for everything I could get.
Adam, can you just take us through that first moto? I think you explained a little bit on the podium, but we just saw [Jeremy] Martin down. So, what happened there?
Cianciarulo: First of all, I don't know who runs the TV cameras, but I need to talk to him. I get it. I haven’t been a big storyline all year, so that’s kind of on me. But I have NBC Sports Gold. I paid my dues. Fifty dollars. I paid it. I never watch myself ride, even when I’m leading. I get it. They had the camera on this guy [Zach Osborne] the first moto coming through the pack. I understand that. The first moto was good. I snuck around the inside, kind of stayed tight in that off-camber corner and followed J-Mart and Zach. I just tried to push a lot in the beginning. I tend to be good in the beginning of the motos, able to kind of sort out some lines. Zach missed a triple up the hill and I was able to sneak around him. I knew if I didn’t pass J-Mart within like a lap he [Osborne] was going to get back around me. So, I went around one of the outsides and before the finish line, J-Mart went inside and I went outside. My whole kind of line, everything I had been doing was going back to the left. I was just in wide-open mode. I didn’t really think about it. He didn’t check up. I didn’t check up. I never want to hit somebody in the air. That’s not a goal of mine to have. It easily could have gone his way and I could have been on the ground. I felt bad. I talked to him between motos. He was a little bit bummed at me. I understand. I would be, too. So, after that, he was right behind me and I just made a little mistake in the same spot actually, right before the finish line. He was right there and passed me. He put in a couple of really good laps right after that and just kind of got a little gap. I actually ended up tipping over at the top of the hill. I felt really good that moto. I felt like maybe had I been able to get through lap traffic pretty good I might have been able to hang on, but that’s racing.
We didn’t catch the tip over. We didn’t have the cameras on you.
Cianciarulo: It doesn’t matter. In the text you [Jason Weigandt] sent me, you were like, “Thanks for going outside.” I was in the banners. It’s all good, though.
When you were behind him, do you learn some things? Obviously, Zach’s going really good right now, so when you were behind him, did you learn some stuff?
Cianciarulo: Yeah, my thing was I felt like I had some sections of the track that were better. His bike got quieter and there were some sections where he was just killing me. So, when he got in front of me, I just followed him everywhere. I feel like there were some spots I should have kept my lines. But it’s kind of hard to decipher that. So, especially when it comes to these conditions in the rutty stuff he seems to be really good, and I’m not too good. Just tried to follow him and just learn some stuff. I got pulled, so it is what it is.
Zach, you had something else on the line for your team actually this weekend?
Osborne: Yeah. The constructor/manufacturer championship. Bobby [Hewitt, team manager] texted me yesterday and said, “We need to win this. It’s been a great season. Even if you don’t do this, it’s going to be a great season, but there’s a manufacturers’ championship on the line. We need four points over Kawasaki.” So, we made a little deal and I pulled it off.
Osborne: Yeah, I guess.
Colt, first three rounds it seemed like you were flirting with the top five pretty much every moto, and then after that, it was just like, barely top tens. What changed there? Was it just the bike, like you mentioned earlier, or was there something else that changed?
Nichols: Yes, I think a lot of it was the bike. We just kept working and we were really just chasing our tail right through the midway of the season. Once you kind of get that beat down mentally it’s kind of hard to just rise back up the next weekend. Like one thing went bad, then the next thing went bad … it just kept kind of snowballing from there. We did do a lot of work with the bike and we finally made some huge breakthrough changes. I actually got to thank Dylan Ferrandis for that. I kind of just rode his bike and was like, wow, this is way better. That was a lot of it, then just kind of getting myself together a little bit too and making sure everything I needed to do during the week was done and showing up on Saturday ready to race instead of showing up a little … I don’t want to say half-assed, but kind of. It was just a combination of everything, but definitely the bike had a big thing to do with it.
At the end there when J-Mart got back around you on that last lap, how did he get back around you and what happened?
Nichols: He got me right before that big uphill triple. I kind of heard him there catching me a little bit every lap. It was the last lap. I didn’t want to change my line. I figured I’d fall or do something stupid. So, I stuck to my line and he just snuck up underneath me. I knew if he passed me I’d still get a podium, but I just did not want him to pass me, so that was kind of a bummer. But overall, it was a good moto to be swapping around positions with a two-time champ like that. That was cool. I feel like that’s where I should have been a long time ago, but that’s all right. I was a little bummed he got around me, but it’s all good. We’re still up here.
Colt, can you just talk about your summer and the guys you rode with? I know you guys kind of had camped together, your teammates, Cooper Webb also. Just talk about that whole summer experience. It seemed like it was pretty cool.
Nichols: Yeah, I’m a little bummed. You’re [Weege] like right down the road. I never seen you or heard from you. No dinner invite. No nothing. It was a really good summer for me. That was a new experience. I’d never even been to North Carolina and stayed like that before. Cooper invited me over there and we brought the whole crew. Swanny [Gareth Swanepoel] came and Dylan Ferrandis, AP [Aaron Plessinger]. There was a big group. Bradley Taft was there too. It was fun. It was kind of the first-year learning experience thing. There were some things that could have been a lot better, some things were pretty dialed. Just growing pains. We’ll figure it out. Next summer if we go back there we’ll be a lot more organized and kind of have it together a little bit better and just be more solid when we’re there during the summer. It was good, though.
Zach, during press day you said you’re not a fan of some of the jumps, but it looked like you were sending it today.
Osborne: Yeah. It’s just race mode. I don't know. I must be getting old.
Adam, I saw the #92 butt patch. Are we looking at a permanent number?
Cianciarulo: Yeah, definitely. Permanent number 92. I get so much crap on social media, man. It’s like, still to this day, “Why did you change your number to 36?” “Why did you change your number to 44?” It’s just every day and to the point to where honestly I was blocking people that were saying that on my Instagram and Twitter. It’s just the truth. So, really happy to go back to #92 for PR purposes and also personal purposes. It’s nice to kind of go back to the number I grew up with.
Colt, with grabbing a podium at the last outdoor of the year, would you rather keep going outdoors or you looking forward to supercross?
Nichols: Kind of both. I was just starting to find my stride, like I said, with the bike and everything the past two weekends. I kind of do wish we could keep going. Kind of scratch the middle part and then just keep going. I am looking forward to supercross, though. It’s going to be fun when the time comes.
End of the season, what’s the plan for the next handful of weeks? I know you’re going Motocross of Nations, but what about you other guys? You guys doing the grand prix? What’s up?
Osborne: For me, one week off and then two weeks in Florida then two weeks in England before the Motocross of Nations.
Cianciarulo: I think I’m going to do the USGP. That’s the plan anyway, to do that at WW next weekend. That’ll be fun in Florida. Family and friends will come out to that. Then after that, probably going to take a couple weeks off then go out to California and get started on supercross. We already have a supercross track built at our facility in Florida. The work never stops. Time to get back at it.
Nichols: I will be going to Oklahoma and hanging out.