Adam Cianciarulo finished a solid third in last weekend’s Western Regional 250 Supercross Series opener inside Angels Stadium, and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider feels it was a good start to what he hopes will be a championship season. We caught up with AC at Glen Helen as he practiced on the Pro Circuit SX track…

Anaheim One is in the books. You earned third and got out safe; now that you've had three days to reflect on things how do you feel about it?
I feel pretty good. I don't think I really left on the track as far as effort. Looking back and watching film, especially, on Monday night with the team, I think I noticed something that I knew all day about the track. If you were to try to override it and make a little mistake, it would turn into one mistake after another. There wasn't that one spot where you could gain a half a second or one spot that you could rely on to make up time. It was up to the start and putting in a perfect race, and that's what Shane [McElrath] did.

He got out clean.
Yeah, he got out clean. I actually saw a sneaky little move he did when I watched his GoPro. He actually skipped the rut out of the gate because the ruts were kind of chewed up. He went just to the right of his rut and man he ripped the heat race start too and the main. He was completely dialed. From that point of view, you can't really make any excuses and say that the track was tough to make up time on, your game plan has to change. You have to know that there's going to be more emphasis on the start and the first couple of laps. I didn't execute that to the best of my abilities. I feel like I did good for what I put myself in position for off the start.

So, with a better start, things could be a lot different for you?
Yeah, I think so. I think pretty much all of us there – the top four guys – were riding really good all day and I think that if you put any one of us in the lead it probably would have been to beat us. With that said, Shane executed on the night better than anyone and he deserved that. I think this weekend, we're coming in fresh and we're in a really good spot. It's what, five points down I think? It's so early in the series and we're trying to get everyone sorted out. I think it's going to be kind of mixed up this weekend.

It's the first time racing the West Coast for you, what do you think about it?
I thought it was cool. I was nervous. I was probably more nervous than I was for my first Supercross race ever.

So, it's something about Anaheim One?
Oh yeah, it's something about Anaheim One. The packed stadium and just having gone to Anaheim One so many times previously and being on the other side of it, to then go down on the floor is a lot different. The whole energy of it too and everyone questioning who's going to be good and not, you don't really know where you stand and it makes you nervous too. The atmosphere is fun though. It was cool to get through it and the fact that it wasn't a disaster was nice too.

Mitch Payton is famous for keeping it secret as to who's racing what coast, how much lead time did you have knowledge of which coast you'd be racing?
Well, I was pretty much pushing for the West Coast halfway through outdoors honestly. I started mentioning it super early because that's what I knew I wanted to do early this year and it gives you a little bit more time for outdoors and stuff like that. I wanted to get things going, especially after my boot camp up in Santa Barbara in November. After that ended I was in a really good spot and I knew I was racing West Coast the whole time. In my mind there was no other option, that was it. Luckily, they agreed. I looked pretty good in testing and all of that. As long as all of the cards fall into place it works. Martin Davalos wanted to do East and then Austin Forkner got hurt so it worked out.

Talk about the boot camp a little bit, it was just you and Ken Roczen up in Santa Barbara just crushing it?
It was super cool. I've known Kenny forever now it seems like, since 2010 or so. We've been pretty close and it's neat. I think we both bring the same kind of attitude, we both want to be the best. Neither of us are hoping to just get top three or anything like that. The intensity that we bring into the workouts and everyday riding is good, it's huge. I've been around riders before where it's like they seem content with where they're at and they're riding and going through the motions, but they don't really want to get better. That's never the vibe with Kenny and I, we always want to improve and be the best we can be. Also, we like to have fun so it doesn't get stale. I don't get over it, we don't get bored. Kenny is like a brother in a sense that I can get super pissed off at him one day and we'll be fighting about something, but 24 hours later we're completely fine and laughing. We're not scared to piss each other off. Also, we tell each other the truth and you need somebody like that who will say, 'Listen man, you need to step it up.' We have a good deal going.

It's probably been pretty cool for you to watch the progression of his comeback.
Yeah, of course I didn't see a lot of him at first when he was getting all of his surgeries and not doing a lot. I started seeing him more in the middle of last summer. It seems like every single day he was doing something for the arm. It was a nonstop process and it has to weigh on you mentally even more so than physically. I've gone through the same thing, though not as big of an injury, but with multiple injuries that I've had to come back from and it's tough. People don't realize how difficult it is, but if you're dedicated to it and you want it more than anything, you can pretty much come back from a lot. He's proven that so far.