Connor Giardina, 17
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Sponsors: Pro Circuit, Troy Lee Designs, Maxima, Thousand Oaks Powersports, RynoPower, Renthal, Cycra Plastics, Blu Cru
Every once in awhile, the TWMX Race Series sees one rider who completely dominates his competition. Connor Giardina took command of each of his races immediately after the gate dropped, and won all six of his motos with large leads at Milestone MX Park. The 17-year-old entered three classes and took all six holeshots, earned six moto wins, and won all three classes. Connor’s dominating performances earned him not only the overall win in 250 Intermediate, 450 Intermediate and Schoolboy Thru 17, but also the “SPY Breakaway Rider” award.
During your first motos, you grabbed the holeshot and checked out from your competition. What was going through your head before the gate drop?
I was mainly focused on getting a good start from the outside, which I was able to do. The track is really great today, so I knew if I got out front early I would be able to hit my lines, and put in some solid laps.
You are originally from Arizona, what brought you out to California?
I’m originally from Tucson Arizona, that is where I grew up, but I moved out to Murrieta California about three years ago for training and riding. Back in Tucson, there are only about three tracks to choose from, and they are all only open on weekends, so there is really no opportunity to ride during the week. I decided to get my motocross career going and move out to Southern California, now I am able to ride five-times a week or more.
What are your plans for racing this year?
The main plan this year is to hit all the major amateur nationals, and consistently place in the top-five or better. I plan on continuing to get good starts and achieve solid results. I’m going to do my best this year, and I’m also hoping to stay healthy.
Word at the track is that you had some bike issues this week….
I like to call myself my personal mechanic… (Laughs) I’ve never done a motor swap, until this week when I had to swap the motor on my practice bike, all by myself. And she’s still in there! (Laughs) This is the third ride this week and I haven’t had any problems, so it should be good. So far, so good…lets just hope it stays in there. Privateer life, so I had to do it by myself.
Has the thought of moving up to the pro class crossed your mind?
It actually did run through my head this year. I moved up to the “B” class last year and I could have moved up a class again this year. I didn’t point out of the “B” class last year, so I wasn’t forced to move up to “A” class just yet. The people around me, along with myself, were contemplating moving up this year, but we decided to remain in the “B” class, in hopes of getting some more support for a strong future in the pro class.
How’d you get into riding and racing motocross?
I got into riding from my dad, he used to ride and race when he was younger. He took racing seriously, but his career was halted when he broke his back. He bought me a bike when I was old enough, and I started racing amateur nationals when I was six.
Is there a meaning behind your number?
Kinda. Well, I started out with the number 100, but then some other kid had it. So we went to the number 101, because that’s what I thought of, and we have just kept it from there.
You have a pretty noticeable yellow van as your moto-rig….
Yeah. Everyone has their own name for it, I’ve heard the Banana-mobile, the school bus, the Twinkie. Everyone seems to have a white van, so why not roll up in a yellow van and make sure everyone knows who you are. I like it, and I think it’s good to stand out.
What brought you out to today’s race?
Transworld always puts on an awesome event, the tracks are always in great shape, and there is good competition. You can always count on having a good time out here, so I hope to come out to more TWMX races this year.
Who do you train with?
In December, I started training with Ross Muinzer and Cole Barberi. We have a solid program, and I’ve noticed a lot of improvement from all the hard work we have put in.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My buddies Cole, Tristen, and myself have this little program going called CB/T2 Speed Shop where we buy, sell, and work on jet skis. We have been known to go rip stand-up jet skis at any source of water we can find. If you need a ski or some service, definitely hit up CB/T2 Speed Shop. (laughs)