For a long while the name ‘Adam Cianciarulo’ almost meant ‘the inevitable’. The Monster Energy Pro Circuit athlete, graduate and ‘product’ had the right results, profile, demeanour, support and names in his corner to follow the Villopoto train line. Three injuries in the last eighteen months have derailed things slightly. We spoke with the engaging eighteen year old during the supercross season for a story that was originally laid out in UK publication DBR and while 2015 has been nothing but frustrating again for AC, his words and thoughts on a career on the cusp reveals some curious insights into what it’s like to try and make it to the top in the frantic AMA scene…

Adam Cianciarulo is a freak: in the nicest possible way. It is alarming how disarming, dedicated and renowned the Pro Circuit rider is just out of his teens and – hopefully – with still a wealth of professional seasons ahead of him.

He is a talker, and doesn’t have any qualms in articulating how he feels and his thoughts on racing and motocross. Rather than a Q+A the interview becomes more of a spiralling conversation as Adam strives to get his point across. In fifteen years I’ve not encountered a more eloquent eighteen year old with a grasp of what he is doing and where he is trying to go.

AC has been long in the game of course. He has been feted for stardom even before his voice broke and has been part of the Aldon Baker training system for almost half a decade. There are not many young riders and athletes that can boast an education that involves the likes of Villopoto, Mitch Payton, Baker and the full attention of Kawasaki. There are also not many who have had to deal with a spotlight and media infatuation quite like ‘50’ who is emerging just at a time when the industry and Kawasaki are thinking ‘where is the next phenomenon?’

The Cianciarulo engine however has stuttered so far when it comes to producing the goods at the right moment. Injury, illness and absenteeism have been mixed with sensational results such as East Coast Supercross victories in Dallas, Indianapolis and Detroit in his rookie term. His shoulders have taken a battering but when fit and revving-free the teenager has looked formidable.

He may have lost a very decent shout of the 2014 East Coast title before wrecking his upper left arm in Canada last year but the Geneva accident to the same shoulder in the winter was a new low, and meant that major honours in supercross has passed him by for the second time.

Cianciarulo has generated pretty of press as Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/Monster’s potential new darling in the professional arena and his record of eleven amateur titles meant a notable standing even before he entered an AMA gate. We wanted to ask Adam about the large ‘balloon’ of expectation that seems to be tied to his wrist wherever he goes. For all his evident charm, good sense of humour and outward confidence he is intensely driven by an ingrained sense that winning = achievement, and anything less is a degree of failure. In normal sporting terms this is a horribly worn and inappropriate cliché but there are not many Pro athletes with Cianciarulo’s background – thanks to more supportive/allegedly-pushy parents – or the backing (trainer, advisor, mentor, role models) in place. It makes him unique and it is almost impossible to find a racer more primed to embark on a ridiculous streak of glory. Sadly the oldest leveller of this sport – a visit to the doctor – has been the only thing keeping AC tempered.

Despite the setbacks and the adversity that he has had to learn to deal with in his young career, Cianciarulo is still waiting to take-off and then another type of circus will engulf him; having the time then to find out a bit more about his approach and philosophy to life will be harder to obtain. So here is how an (almost) motocross megastar views the world; from the comfort of a large brown sofa in Norco, CA and a bungalow house a five minute walk from Payton’s residence.

You’ve likened your young Pro career so far to a rollercoaster ride. How has it been dealing with adulation one minute and then injury misery and frustration the next?

I think with this sport in general you have to keep such a level head all the time. You cannot get too happy or too low or be too hard on yourself because it is such an up-and-down thing. One weekend you can feel like you are on top of the world and the next you can feel like you don’t matter at all.

To read the rest of the interview and see some superb Ray Archer imagery click HERE

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