After nine Monster Energy Supercross seasons and two in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross on a 450 bike, RacerX.com reports Adam Enticknap has retired. Nerve damage from a 2021 crash had the unwelcome side effect of creating anxiety in a rider who had never felt that emotion in his life.
With a best points’ finish of 25th in the 2020 Supercross season, Enticknap was not a fixture at the front of the field most weeks, but he was one of the most colorful riders in the paddock. Enticknap rode for the HEP Motorsports Twisted Tea Suzuki team for the past several years.
“Dude, I’m bummed; it really sucks” Enticknap said on RacerX’s Pulp MX show. “On the contrary to a lot of racers in our sport, I hated working hard. I always hated working out. It was the worst part. But something about riding a dirt bike and racing, I just had so much fun doing. Enjoying hanging out with all the fans and just being there at the races, enjoying the challenge of every weekend getting better.
“Every day I woke up like, damn, this is so cool that I get to do something that is this difficult and I’m actually halfway decent at it. It made me want to get better and better every single day. I loved the racing aspect. You could go there, and it was like, all that work that we put in, we could get better. Then at the end there, I did some testing for the team, and I got to have some input on some of that stuff. So to see it kind of help the team as well was really cool.”
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Enticknap made three Mains last year with a best of 19th in St Louis. The injury that eventually sidelined Enticknap came in 2021 at Orlando, however.
“I hit the side of my body super, super hard,” Enticknap said. “After that, I had some nervous system problems after that crash in Orlando and then all through the summer. Then tried to work it out. Tried to get through it. Was on some different medications and all kinds of stuff. It was getting better slowly, and it still has, but I just haven’t been the same mentally and physically. I kind of told myself if I was getting better at it, I would race until I was 45 years old. It was one of those things where that crash messed me up just enough to where I felt like I couldn’t put my best foot forward.”
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A pinched nerve near his collarbone forced Enticknap’s retirement. For the first time in his life, Enticknap experience anxiety that interfered with his riding.
“I damaged my vagal nerve, which is right by your collarbone,” Enticknap continued. “I started to develop anxiety, but kind of to an extreme. I never even knew what anxiety was in my entire life. Like, I didn’t even know what it was. I literally didn’t have a care in the world. I had no idea.
“After that crash, my right side was so damaged, and that vagal nerve is one of the major nerves that runs your body system. One of the biggest problems that people don’t know is they don’t know very much about your nervous system. They can’t really fix it. They can’t go in there. They can’t do anything. You kind of just have to hope it heals over time and do the best you can to manage it, and that’s what we did. But unfortunately, it’s just taken way, way, way longer than I thought it would.”
For more on why Enticknap retired, click here.