While all professional AMA riders out there have to compete in the same series, that does not mean all the riders are the same. Some are well established mainstays, others are privateers simply trying to live the dream, and then there are the guys with plenty of star potential trying every thing they can to finally have that break out ride. Kyle Cunningham probably fits best within the last description. Aboard the Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki team for 2009, Kyle had an up and down year, showing awesome speed, but had some bad luck and crashes along the way. Cunningham was yet another rider caught in the 2010 silly season crunch, so while he was waiting for things to get buttoned up, he figured he might as well keep racing to stay sharp. So he packed up his gear bag and headed Down Under to compete on a 250F in the Australian Super X Championship.
So how did your whole deal to go down to Australia come about?
It was kind of random actually. Matt from 661 and Adam from Cycra made it possible for it to happen, and it’s been an experience because I’ve never been to a race overseas. Being able to come and race something different while getting some gate time has been really good for me. I didn’t have much time on the bike initially and the tracks are pretty short with thirty-two to thirty-four second lap times, and they have a weird format. But, I’m putting in good motos and it has been fun.
Did you head south because you didn’t have a ride lined up here or was it so you could stay sharp on the bike?
Actually I think if had I of stayed home my deal would have been done a little quicker, and I came back home a little while back to get everything sorted out. I just went there to experience something different, because you never get the chance to go to another country with another team and ride a Supercross championship, so I took full advantage and got more gate time.
You’ve been on Yamahas while you’ve been down there, right?
So after being on a Kawasaki last year, how does the Yamaha compare to the KX or the Yamahas you rode as an amateur?
The new bike is great and I can’t believe how good it is. The 2010 runs really well and it’s something different than the bikes I rode at Yamaha of Troy or my amateur bikes. To ride a different bike for a while and then only have four days on my bike in Australia, I think everything is coming around pretty quickly. Everyone is great here and the experience is something I’ll always look back on.
Now that the series there has picked up some recognition and hype, is going to Australia something you will keep as an off-season option in the future?
Yeah, because it will only get bigger as time goes on. It will be something fun to hit when all my things are lined up in the future and I’ll try and make it back down there next year and the years after that. It’s something that is good for me to race while everyone else is just riding laps at the test track, because it keeps me in race mode.
So knowing that we can’t talk about where you are ending up for 2010 just yet, let’s talk about you 2009 season. You were on a great team and had numerous rides that had people paying close attention.
It was an up and down season, and it wasn’t really what I was hoping for because I knew that times were tough and that every race counted towards a future ride. I did what I could and put up some good results, and I was injured a little bit that held me back. I had a compound fracture to my finger and rode the first four or five Nationals until I could stop taping it up. I train with Randy Lawrence now and working with him is already showing benefits, because I came right down here and jumped on the track without much hesitation. I think I’ll learn lots more from him as time goes on because he is a wise person, and we will be ready once the season starts.
Does that mean that you are riding with Jake Weimer more?
We did the training during Outdoors together, but since then I haven’t had much time around him. Once my new deals are all settled and I know where we both will be, we will work with each other much more. Supercross is different because he is at the Kawi track and I’m off somewhere else, but because of Randy we will be riding together more. He is a good guy and rides really well, so to be in the atmosphere will help my career.
Do you know what coast you may end up on just yet?
I have no clue, that’s something that I’ll find out when the ink dries.
Tracking back to your injury, you had a compound fracture to your finger?
Yeah, I taped it up and raced the first four or five outdoors. I had a splint in my glove and had a seven-inch gouge in my glove, and this all happened the week before Glen Helen.
How did you feel on the bike while you were dealing with that?
First round didn’t go so well because I had a few crashes, but that may have been because I wasn’t on the bike at all. Then at Mount Morris I had some decent results, and then a top ten at Freestone. But I tangled with someone in the second moto at Washougal and hit my head pretty hard and got knocked out cold, which was a huge let down after running second place in the first moto. The results were there, and the mud races were hard to prepare for. I can’t worry about the past, so now I just am getting ready for 2010 and making sure it goes how I want.
Alright, well we are glad the Aussie tour has being going well and we hope to see your hard work pay off here in a few weeks.
Yeah, that’s the plan. Thanks guys.