Cianciarulo optimistic about supercross injury return

Adam Cianciarulo competed in his first AMA Pro Racing event in 2013 at Budds Creek Motocross Park. He placed 16th. Nine years, the 2019 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship, two career victories in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 450 Championship and an astonishing number of dramatic ups and downs later, the kid from Port Orange, Florida is still fast. A member of the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, Cianciarulo was behind the starting gate inside Anaheim’s overflowing Angel Stadium on Saturday night and despite the harsh reality that he’s still trying to bounce back from a gnarly Grade 3 split from his AC joint, he took a hard-fought 11th place on his No. 9 Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450SR Special Racer.

“The start of January is definitely always crazy, but we love it and that’s what we live for,” Cianciarulo said. “In a way, I still feel like that kid. It’s interesting to look back and see all the opportunities and everything I’ve been able to do in the sport so far. I just turning 25 this year so it’s all going fast and I’m just trying to enjoy the ride.

“I feel good in this new 2022 season. I had a great off-season. I was able to do a lot of laps and I was able to do a lot of good testing with the team and my mechanic Justin Shantie and my team manager Oscar Wirdeman and my trainer Nick Wey. We all had great days on the track working on a lot of specific things to achieve our goals. That’s kind of my mantra, no matter how things go, try to do my best and do my best and ride with purpose and intention. Yes, I feel good about supercross.

“I had a fall a few weeks ago and I’m dealing with that injury at the moment, which isn’t ideal, but it happens. Still, I think I’m definitely in a better position than I was last year just because I’ve spent a lot more time on the bike this off-season and I kind of have that base now under me.

New to the Monster Energy Kawasaki crease for the 2022 season, veteran rider Jason Anderson replaced Eli Tomac as Cianciarulo’s longtime teammate in the green crease and Adam is all for it.

“It’s great to have Jason here,” Cianciarulo said. “Jason and I used to train with Aldon Baker earlier in our careers. That was when Jason first moved up to 450s and I was basically a rookie in the 250 class. We were close back then and it was cool to be with him again. We definitely ride a lot of bikes together and we push each other. He’s going really fast and he’s a great rider. is a former champ and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he does this year. The vibes have been good.

“Jason and I have both been in California all off season so we pretty much spent every single day on the track together and riding together and that’s what it’s all about, you know? Jason is someone one like me. We like to keep things in perspective. We know how lucky we are to do so. But that’s not to be confused with a lack of work ethic on either side of us. I think we’re two of the hardest workers in the game It’s crazy how much goes into all of this at this level – especially since I upgraded to the 450 class. a sense of level and hard work and mental discipline and all it takes to be at the top of the sport It’s a dog-eating dog world here for sure but that’s why that we live.

Part of the appeal of supercross for Cianciarulo is that every Saturday night at these baseball and football stadiums, only one guy can win.

“Yeah, only one guy can win and I think whoever is on that supercross main event gate on Saturday night is a great driver and racer,” he noted. “As fans of the sport, we tend to watch the guys on the podium and maybe the top five. Guys who are kind of in the back half of the pack don’t get that much respect and I think we should start to see it all a little differently. I think the level it takes to be out there in a main event on a Saturday night in the 450 class has to be met. I think it takes a lot of skill and a lot of effort and I certainly have a lot of respect for everyone who puts what I put into this sport.

After an injury-sabotaged 2021 season in which almost nothing went right – including a badly timed accident at Spring Creek that sent him on the sidelines for the rest of the year – Cianciarulo is looking forward to turn the page.

“There are still a lot of question marks, but we’ve been saying this for a few years,” Adam said with a sigh. “It seems like we say every year and then it’s always Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen are the ones who have won something like 85% of the races in the last few years, so obviously there’s a lot of parity in the field. and these guys have made it to the top I think everyone is trying to close the gap there and I really think we’re going to see a lot of new winners this year I hope to be one of It’s a really exciting time for supercross right now.

“Everything I’ve been through in 2021 has made me stronger for this year. Every time you have to overcome obstacles, it makes you grow mentally and physically. All of this puts me in a good position for this year. J ‘m really hungry to give my best and go after my goals. Had some decent results in the last year. I’ve had a few flashes of showing what I can do. I haven’t certainly not lost confidence in myself. I am very confident and I believe in my abilities.

So what does Adam Cianciarulo hope to accomplish during the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross series and beyond?

“I find the topic of expectation is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently for the past two years,” he reflected. “I find the best and most selfish mindset for me is to just put one foot in front of the other. I’ve been there. I’ve been caught up in that, ‘I’ve had to win this championship!’ or I have had to win this race!’ It’s just not the state of mind that I like the most. My whole life is based on a few key principles. You control what you can control and do your best. I think I do the best when I have that mindset and I think I have the most fun when I have that mindset. I would say my expectations for 2022 are to stick around and do my best.

After the klieg lights went out at Angels Anaheim Stadium early Sunday morning, Cianciarulo was thrilled with that unglamorous 11th-place finish on opening night.

“From my point of view, this result is fantastic. I really feel like I won the lottery. It sounds dramatic, but I don’t think I’ve ever exceeded my expectations so much. It’s always tough – you fight this mental battle, because I love this atmosphere here in Anaheim. It’s electricity. You want to put your best foot forward. So that was the hardest thing, to get past that and do what I could do. It wasn’t good enough to win. It was hard… but I’m glad it’s over.

“You know, I’ve been working, especially this off-season, every day trying to get better since Millville. This is where I changed my mind. I had a hard time getting used to the idea of ​​getting 16th place. I was about to fall asleep here before the night show because I was like, “I don’t work like this.” It’s not the state of mind. He’s not someone who’s going to win multiple championships. He’s not someone who’s going to be constantly at the top of the sport. You have to make the most of it and you have to understand it at all times. My trainer Nick Way and I talked about it. If you get 17th, you get 17th but you learn something. As for when I might feel better? I’m not really sure. A week and a half ago I couldn’t do supercross. No chance in hell. Tonight I ran. I probably won’t be ahead for a few weeks.

About Frances R. Smith

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