Adam Cianciarulo was simply perfect in the first 450MX encounter at High Point on Saturday. There was a slight hiccup towards the end, as a backmarker fell right in his path, but he still crossed the line with a comfortable margin. The second moto did not go quite as well, as he faded to fourth towards the end. It was a solid showing, which left him second overall on the day and in front of the media in the post-race press conference. Cianciarulo covered all of the hot topics in that media session.
Cianciarulo has commented about building up his race fitness in recent weeks, and touches on it again below, which has sparked intrigue at points. It is important to remember that he had problems with a nerve in his elbow during the off-season and his amount of time on the bike was limited, because of that. Add in the collarbone injury that sidelined him in February and he has been playing catch up for some time now. It seems as though he is finally getting closer to full fitness though, which is exciting for race fans.
MX Vice: You had great 450MX success last year and were on the podium heaps but did not really get to have the fans. Today, when they were chanting AC at the podium, what was that like to experience that? It is exciting to think what RedBud is going to be like.
Yeah, looking forward to RedBud. You have those moments… I have worked my whole life to be a dirtbike racer and that’s kind of like a moment you just try to soak in, with all the fans and crowd. I grew up watching all The Great Outdoors movies and obviously went to the races to watch, so to now be on the other side of the fence and a part of it is cool. COVID was obviously terrible and horrible for everybody, but it does give you some perspective. I’m probably more grateful for the fans than before – you tend to take stuff for granted when you always have it. I am just enjoying it a little bit more and looking forward to RedBud too.
Could you just take us through the five to ten seconds inside your head when you hit the lapper in the the last turn in the first moto?
Yeah, I mean my mindset was just to immediately get back on the bike as quick as I could. It is funny – I was going up to the face of that jump, that triple into that left hand turn, and I saw the guy in front of me. He looked like he was just kind of chilling. I mean, he did not look like he was doing anything crazy. I figured I was fine and just rolled the turn behind him. It is just a nice little finish jump – you just roll it. My guy just dumped the clutch in the middle of the rut and lost it so bad. I really had… I carried more speed through the turn than him and had nowhere to go. I just made a quick decision to hop out to the right and, yeah, I figured that I was going to clip his bike and probably crash.
Immediately when I made the decision I kind of braced for impact and just tried to prepare myself to get back on the bike as quick as I could. What a little fire drill there. It is funny though now that it happened and is over. I obviously would not want to do it again, but now that it’s over it is like one of those moments where it’s just a cool memory. It is kind of off the wall and does not happen often. I was a little bit bummed at first – I had such a good moto and the whole moto was good. I made barely any mistakes at all and was just hitting my marks solid. In your mind, especially with a basic section like that, you are already kind of like, “I have got this thing in the bag. This is cool.” I kind of started enjoying it just a little bit right there and then there was that little fire drill to get back up. It was kind of funny.
Adam, you were super positive after the race. It seemed like you were feeling good. You mentioned after the second round that you needed a bit more strength late in the race. Did you find that in the week off and how are you feeling physically today versus the last two rounds?
I feel physically better. I just have not really been able to put… Obviously since I have got back on the bike from my collarbone, I have been able to put in a good amount of time. I just don’t have that off-season base. I am feeling stronger every week – I felt stronger today than I did in Colorado. It is just about getting more time and more motos in. The pace’s really high. Like some people do not understand that, right? No disrespect to anybody at all, obviously I got eleventh at the first round, but if I wanted to be a fifth-place guy and I was happy with that then I would not have got tired.
I wouldn’t have got tired at all, but these guys are ripping. I want to win. I am, you know, hanging it out and doing what I can. I think it was like eight minutes to go and I just kind of had my tongue in the spokes a little bit. I tried my best and felt stronger. I super believe in my programme and all that good stuff. The racing was intense. It is really fun battling with those guys. The pace was high. It is coming around for sure – I definitely feel better and stronger on the bike, like technique-wise and everything is starting to come around. The same thing kind of happened to me last year during outdoors a little bit. I feel like we are going to keep the trend moving forward.
Interview: Press Conference | Lead Image: Align Media