Canyon carver turned amateur racer

Tanner Giao, 25, exits turn 5 at the Streets of Willow in Rosamond, CA.

With great risk comes the potential for great reward. This is most true in the sport of motorcycle racing, where racers push their machines to their limits simply to cross the line first. The risk is immense, and the reward somewhat fleeting, but to those who truly understand it, the taste of victory is a feeling unlike any other.

One such racer is Tanner Giao, a product of the mountains above Los Angeles. Giao began riding dirt bikes at a young age before making the switch to street in 2012. While he didn’t begin his racing career as a toddler like many of his competitors, his skill in the canyons gave him a unique advantage over the rest of the field.

Giao began racing in 2015, where after a year of saving, he bought his first race bike, a used Yamaha R6. He continually improved his results, earning the novice championship in the now defunct MotoWest GP series in its last full year.

The next year began a new chapter in Giao’s career, as he was picked up by the Motorsport Exotica Race Team, based in Hollywood, California. Motorsport Exotica elected to race in the Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association, also known as CVMA. The move proved successful; as the team would go on to win all three CVMA amateur championships, SuperStock Middleweight, Formula Middleweight, and the overall amateur points championship.

With the amount of points earned, the team will move up to expert class in CVMA and compete for a shot to ride in the MotoAmerica series. MotoAmerica is the premier American road racing series, where the team plans to compete in 2019.

Giao’s success may seem quickly achieved, but it is anything but. His prior experience on two wheels gives him the ability to ride at the level he is now, and his fitness allows him to maintain that level of competition throughout the race. For the new season though, the team is stepping up its game. Giao has a new conditioning plan, the team is building a new race bike from the ground up, and as with any form of racing, financial support is always sought after.

With much left to do before the first round of the season in September, Giao can be found working on and off the bike as much as possible, and in between work at the Motorsport Exotica shop, the crew is preparing the 2017 Yamaha R6. Giao and team Motorsport Exotica know what it takes to win, and will surely be contenders in the expert ranks.