Adam Cianciarulo on emotional Denver podium: ‘It’s all about what you notice in life’


The Denver Monster Energy Supercross podium was filled with emotional stories and one of the most important of them was the return to the podium for Adam Cianciarulo for the first time since a Motocross race at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania in June, 2021.

Adam Cianciarulo earned his first podium since 2021 in an emotional Denver race. – Feld Motor Sports

Cianciarulo’s last Supercross podium came earlier that year in Race 3 of the Houston residency during the COVID-19 pandemic. But he would make only five more starts in the SX season before an injury sidelined him. He returned to race in the outdoor season, but was forced to the sideline again after six rounds to repair an ulnar nerve.

In Denver, Cianciarulo took the lead from Eli Tomac when that rider landed hard in a rhythm second and ruptured his Achilles tendon. He lost the top spot to Chase Sexton three laps later and held onto it until the final trip around the track when Ken Roczen pushed him back one more position. At the end of the race, Roczen joked that he was surprised Cianciarulo didn’t saw his front tire off to keep him at bay. Cianciarulo replied, “me too”.

“I know it’s the end of the season and there are a lot of guys hurt; I do not care.” Cianciarulo said during last week’s post-race news conference. “I want everybody to be healthy, but for me to be back here [on the podium] is a big testament to everyone around me. I’m stubborn.”

Standing on the podium following the race, Cianciarulo unsuccessfully tried to fight back tears. He was slightly more composed in the news conference, but still visibly emotional, partly because of the Tomac injury, but mostly because it finally validated the work he’s put in since climbing onto a 450 bike at the start of 2020.

“It’s been a wild, wild couple of years for me,” Cianciarulo said. “Battling a lot of health stuff and really, I just had to dig so deep. There were so many times I wanted to quit or thought I was done and I really, really mean that. I didn’t do a lot of riding in the offseason. It wasn’t looking good for me even in December, I was stressing.

“Obviously I haven’t been exactly where I wanted to be this year. I’m used to having at least pace and being up toward the front and I haven’t had pace. It’s been tough to swallow.”

During the offseason, Cianciarulo had an epiphany – one he thought would take pressure off his shoulders and allow him to once again begin his climb up the ladder.

“One day I looked around and it’s like, ‘my life’s still fine’,” Cianciarulo told NBC Sports at the time. “I’m still okay. I’ve still got people. When you just get older and you realize there’s a little bit more [in life], you just get a little perspective really.”

The 2023 season tested that resolve immediately.

Adam Cianciarulo and Ken Roczen train together, but Roczen was still surprised Cianciarulo didn’t wreck him to protect second. – Feld Motor Sports

Cianciarulo finished ninth in the season opener at Anaheim and that was okay because the primary goal that night was to stay out of trouble and find his rhythm once more. But then he finished eighth in San Diego, ninth in Anaheim 2, 10th in Houston, 12th in Tampa and 15th Oakland. He was heading in the wrong direction and the negative self-talk returned.

It didn’t matter that he was battling an ongoing wrist injury for most of those early races; the decision to sit out a couple of weeks to allow it to recover was difficult.

“Right around Indianapolis, I had a ‘come to Jesus’ with myself and said this is no way to live,” Cianciarulo said. “I was being so hard on myself. I wasn’t talking very nice to myself or having very much fun.”

The peptalk worked. Cianciarulo almost cracked the top five at Indianapolis. He finished sixth. In six races between then and Denver, he finished between sixth and eighth.

“It’s all about what you notice in life,” Cianciarulo said. “I started noticing the positive things and being grateful for what I had. It made my work during the week better and I was able to get some momentum going.”

Despite his modest start to the season and after missing three rounds to injury, Cianciarulo sits eighth in the points. Five of the riders above him in the standings will not compete this week because of their own injuries and it is uncertain when they will return during the Pro Motocross season. As Cianciarulo said, it does not matter. There are no asterisks in the official record books and podiums feel great no matter the circumstances.

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.