Adam Cianciarulo has ticked all of the boxes that he wanted to through two rounds of 2023 Monster Energy Supercross. Not only as he put his 'green' machine in the top ten twice, via two consistent rides, but he has also led laps and established what he needs to do to sit at the front of the pack for a prolonged period. The wise racer broke down all that happened at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on Saturday night and, much like every other interview that he has done, there is a lot to take away. Dive into the Vital MX exclusive.
Vital MX: I think that you should be stoked about your night. You had a great heat and main event – I am certain that you learnt a lot. I feel like this was a massive step in your mission to get back to the highest level.
Adam Cianciarulo: I think that, as somebody who has big goals and a lot of potential with speed, it is always going to be difficult when you are not quite running the pace of the leaders. You get a start like that and then once you start getting passed, the momentum is going backwards and it is easier to go backwards. What I feel really great about right now is what we talked about before A1. My whole process and how I am feeling out there… Obviously, I am lacking in some areas and in speed. I know exactly where I am in terms of that. What I am doing right now is leading to a level that has a higher ceiling than where I have been before, I will say that. It is going to be tough and I may have a few more nights like this, but man it feels good to race again. I really cannot say how much I love racing enough. I am going the wrong way, obviously, but these are the best guys in the world on a supercross track and I have been sat on my ass a lot. There is no place that I would rather be.
Getting out front and leading laps in the main, did it feel comfortable? Was it like slipping on an old pair of slippers?
I mean, it always feels normal for me when I am leading laps. It has always felt normal. I did not freak out or anything like that. I knew that there were a few spots where I was not as fast as the guys all day, like sector three with the flat turn and the triple. I was really bad there and just could not figure it out. I knew that if I did not find something then I was going to get passed. I just tried to focus on myself and do the best that I could, then when somebody passed me then I tried to latch on the best that I could. All in all, super stoked to rip the start. It would be super easy for me to tank it on the start and ride around in tenth before getting ninth. Okay, not super easy. You get exposed out front, but I learn a lot more doing that. I would rather get exposed and continue the arc.
It does say a lot that you did get the start. In your position, where you know that you are not at one hundred percent yet, it would be easier to fluff the start and then progress. The fact that you got the start shows that you still have the belief and the racer mentality.
I will always give it my best. Even if I never get back to… In my heart, I really believe that I can get back and be better than I have ever been. I do not care if people expect me to set the world on fire and then I am getting sixth or twelfth every time. I do not care what expectations the people have – I am going to give it everything that I have got until I am no longer doing this. I am grateful to be here. There is a lot of work to do.
You did not get sketchy at any point either. It is not like you were on the ragged edge to stay up front. You led laps whilst riding within your means! I just feel like there are so many positives to take from this.
Yeah, all day! I did that all day. I was really smooth. There were times where I could have pushed, but I have been a little bit too cautious both a few weeks ago and then this weekend. I was skimming the whoops for a while, then they got a little sketchy and I started jumping them. I went back to skimming too. Like I said, I feel good about what I am doing. Eighth is not where we want to be – that is for damn sure – but I think that the team and I are stoked about where we are at.
Running at the front of the pack can sometimes unearth problems with bike set-up that you would not find out until you are out there, so do you now have more to work on?
It is just like when you do not do anything for a long time and you come back to something that you were really good at. You come back and you are like, "Hmm, why am I not really good at this anymore?" You have to do that. You have to! I had nothing for the top two or three guys. I was happy about my fitness and effort throughout the whole race. I wanted to keep that pack from fourth to sixth right in front of me, like I kept Dylan [Ferrandis] right in front of me. I kept them right there. I am not really that far off. It is just twenty-five laps, so a lot of little things add up to a big thing at the end of the day. We are good.