Motocross

“DO I BELIEVE I AM CAPABLE OF BEING THE BEST GUY OUT HERE ON ANY GIVEN DAY? ABSOLUTELY!”—Adam Cianciarulo

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Sidelined since last summer, everyone who follows motocross and Supercross understands this is a rebuilding season for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Ciancurlo. Adam’s primary goal for the 2023 Supercross has been to compete in every round. While he may have fallen short of that, he has finished as high as sixth place and currently resides ninth in points. Adam feels he may have a win in him before the season ends, and I believe him. With the now 26-year-old, I can see a podium soon.

BY JIM KIMBALL

ADAM, YOU HAD SKIPPED A COUPLE OF WEEKS DUE TO LINGERING INJURIES. BUT THE LAST COUPLE OF RACES SEEMED GOOD FOR YOU. My goal this season was to race every race, so I was bummed to have to miss a couple but like I talked about last week, it was just something that I know I could get under control. I did not know how quickly, but I knew I could get it under control and come back pretty soon. So, the team and I thought that was the safest, and smartest play to get the most out of it. I rode once before returning to Indy, came in and felt about the same as I felt all year, but in Detroit, it just clicked a little bit for me. I felt cozy and had some more pace than I had so far. I was able to stay up near the lead pack for a little longer, and it was a sixth place. Obviously, I want to win, and I am a competitor. But, little milestones like that mean a lot when you are trying to claw yourself back from what I have been through.

Adam Cianciarulo 2023 Seattle Supercross-9273Adam having some fun in Seattle. 

EXPAND ON WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO IN SUPERCROSS. I think I have just fallen in love with trying to do my best, no matter what that is. That has really been kind of the driving force and principle behind everything, and with how I try to live. Because when you do go through some stepbacks, it is easy to look around and start to panic, like, “these guys are starting to get faster”, and you are not out there getting any experience. Stuff like that can drive you a bit mad. I believe it just goes back to simplifying everything and doing what I can. I do what I can during the week, whatever that is, and I do what I can here. Obviously, I don’t always execute to my standard but I sure give it my best shot.

I HAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU HAVE FOUND THINGS OUTSIDE MOTOCROSS THAT INTEREST YOU, AND YOUR LIFE ISN’T JUST HARDCORE “I GOT TO WIN, WIN, WIN.” I mean yes and no. As you get older, you become a more well-rounded person. When I was twelve and thirteen years old, all I was doing was watching every Supercross race. You are just consumed by it and obsessed with it. I found as I have gotten older, that keeping a balance, having an interest in other areas, and tending to other areas in my life is a necessity for me to be the best I can be on a dirt bike. When you have been at it a long time and at it on a high level, you have to have a balanced lifestyle, at least for me to get the best out of myself. I think sometimes my happy-go-lucky demeanor and perspective can come across like maybe I don’t want it as much as I once did, but it is quite the contrary. It is figuring out where my effort and energy are most efficient and having some perspective on things. It is all really to help my performance if I am being honest.

LET’S TOUCH ON THIS NAGGING INJURY THAT YOU HAVE, IS IT SOMETHING THAT IDEALLY YOU SHOULD STOP AND HAVE SURGERY ON? No, it is not anything like that. I would say that I am a bit limited in what I have been able to do so far this season, but I think every racer is dealing with something at some point or another. I am myself and the team is making the best decisions for long-term success.

YOU WERE ONE OF THE FIRST GUYS TO CONGRATULATE KEN ROCZEN WHEN HE WON AT INDY. EVEN THOUGH HE IS A COMPETITOR, HOW COOL WAS THAT FOR YOU TO SEE YOUR FRIEND WIN? I am not built like a prototypical solo sport athlete. I really enjoy watching other people succeed. It brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment, especially my friends. I can respect whoever’s work ethic is high enough to win.
It is a hard deal to win one of these things, obviously, Ken and I have been close. He is probably my best friend in the racing world. It is always great to see your friends win. We have been through a lot together and have been through some peaks and valleys in both of our careers. We have tried to help each other through it in a way, and it’s always cool to watch your friends succeed.

YOU LOOKED GREAT IN DETROIT AND NOW SEATTLE, WHERE IN PRACTICE, YOU WERE ON THE BOARD. SO GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING, RIGHT? Yes, lots of things to be positive about. I’m really feeling like I belong in that front pack now. I’ve had some good heat races and another good one here in Seattle! Eighth was not where I wanted to finish, but I feel as if I’m riding a lot less on the edge now.

DO YOU THINK YOU CAN GET A WIN BEFORE THE SERIES ENDS? I think it is one step at a time. My best finish is a sixth, so I think the goal right now is to try to get into that top five. I am still a way back. I think I finished thirty-eight seconds back last weekend. There is a whole other level I need to go to, and I need to find another gear later in the race, but it is one step at a time. As I said earlier, it is not how you rebuild, by shooting for the stars like that. It is just doing everything I can on a daily basis. Do I believe I am capable of being the best guy out here on any given day? Absolutely!

“DO I BELIEVE I AM CAPABLE OF BEING THE BEST GUY OUT HERE ON ANY GIVEN DAY? ABSOLUTELY!”—Adam Cianciarulo Motocross Action Magazine.

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