Throughout qualifying, the rookie Cianciarulo did not seem affected by the weight of the red plates on his KX250F. It wasn't until the gate dropped for the heat race that he found himself on the ground twice and was forced to the LCQ. Appearing more like a veteran than a rookie, AC grabbed the hole-shot and won his spot into the main event without falter. Lining up outside like he did in the LCQ, he was able to grab another holeshot and battled for the lead heading into the next turn. He stayed on the heels of Davalos for the full 15 laps, but could not close the gap.