'Good, Bad and Ugly' recaps some miscellaneous points from the ninth round of 2023 Monster Energy Supercross, Indianapolis. What would you place beneath each subheading? Head to the forum to join the discussion or share your thoughts over on social media (@VitalMX on Twitter and Instagram). For now, however, read on for some thoughts on Adam Cianciarulo, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac.
It would be so easy to place Ken Roczen underneath this subheading, but taking the path less travelled is much more enjoyable. 'Good' does not quite cover what Roczen did, anyway, so an extravagant title would be required to discuss his triumph. Instead, this seems like an apt opportunity to spotlight how Adam Cianciarulo rebounded to post his best finish in more than two years. The last time that '9' took his steed to a top six ranking was at Indianapolis 3, coincidentally, 763 days prior.
The fact that Cianciarulo did it in his return from injury must have made the moment so much sweeter. It is peculiar that we are speaking about a sixth place like it was a win, but it was that much of a swing in momentum and one that was desperately needed for a man who has sunk to rock bottom on more than one occasion. The fact that he has repeatedly picked himself up, worn a smile and thrown himself back into battle is why he is somewhat of a national treasure.
Where will this newfound momentum lead him? It is almost irrelevant to discuss, as Cianciarulo knows how quickly things can change only too well. All that we, as a collective, can hope is that he maintains his health and can establish a base of sorts that will serve him well in the coming seasons. The sport is a better place with him in it. Even his competitors would vouch for that! Between Roczen putting Suzuki on the top step and Cianciarulo returning to the front, Indianapolis had the feel-good factor.
From one side of the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent to another. There were so many of us who pegged Jason Anderson to battle for the title this term, but those claims feel like nothing but a distant memory now. It seemed as though '21' turned a corner at the beginning of February, as he strung a couple of podium finishes together across Anaheim 2 and Houston, but he has not been on the box since then. Truthfully, he has not even been close.
It was not too shocking to think of Anderson as the fourth-best star in the premier division, but there are no signs of improvements and he is dangerously close to becoming the sixth fastest. Justin Barcia has leapfrogged him and Ken Roczen has just won a main, so one would put him above Anderson in the power rankings too. How have we ended up in this situation and where does he go from here? It feels that there are a lot of unanswered questions, all of a sudden.
It is quite cruel to put Eli Tomac beneath such an aggressive subheading, but Indianapolis was terrible. There is no way that he can reflect on what occurred inside of Lucas Oil Stadium and identify a positive point. To put some sort of positive spin on this situation, he rarely struggles on consecutive weekends and therefore it is safe to assume that it will be 'business as usual' when gates fall in Detroit later this week.
Detroit is typically a hard-pack layout and it seems that is the surface that suits him best. I would bet on him striking back with a clear victory this weekend, although Chase Sexton will be searching for a similar redemption story. The rider who arguably stands to gain the most is Cooper Webb, as stopping his foes from regaining confidence will only aid him in his bid for another crown. 2023 Monster Energy Supercross continues to deliver.