Every position matters. We see it in hockey where one goal can mean you make or miss the Playoffs. One win can keep your World Series chances alive. One NFL Playoff loss knocks your team out of the Super Bowl hunt.
In the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, it determined the final step of the podium at Thunder Valley Motocross Park.
On Saturday, Adam Cianciarulo was in position to claim a step on the podium until falling on the opening lap of Moto 2 and dropping him as far back as ninth. That opened the door for Justin Barcia to steal the third overall finish who fought his way up to second for most of the race. But with less than two laps to go, Dylan Ferrandis was able to get by. Cianciarulo charged through the field, and when the checkered flag flew, Cianciarulo’s 3-6 just edged Barcia’s 7-3 for the final step of the podium.
“Third on the day in Colorado,” Cianciarulo shared on social media after the race. “Had a good time out there.”
Cianciarulo is returning from a broken collarbone from the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season earlier this year. The biggest early challenge for him is simply getting back into the groove of racing and aggressive riding.
“I think for me, it’s just getting back into the flow of racing,” he shared after the race. “The race intensity… it’s difficult to mimic that in practice. I don’t think I’ve raced since February, and it’s not like I had much of a base before that. I wasn’t doing a whole lot of riding this off-season, so it’s just about getting back into the race condition.”
And with that challenge comes the intense training riders go through just to be competitive on the weekends.
“Clearly at the beginning of the moto, my speed’s good and I’m just not strong at the end. I can go as fast as those guys, but it’s just going to take more time, more laps, more races, and more training during the week. I get two weeks in Florida – I haven’t been to Florida in a while, so that’ll be good – training in the heat, so that’ll be good stuff.”
With his new professional relationship with Broc Tickle who holds five Pro Motocross 450 podiums under his resume, the two have joined forces to help give an old friend the tips and tricks he needs to improve race after race.
“It’s been cool having Broc. I’ve only had a couple days at the track with him, so to be honest, it’s still pretty new. I’ve always liked Broc, got along with him, I don’t think you can not get along with the guy. Super cool dude, has good technique. Obviously he’s a fast rider, like a perfect test rider. I’ve bounced some stuff off of him back and forth, but I think it’s more getting used to the bike still.”
For Cianciarulo though, the other part is simply putting his personality back in place. Earlier in the day, he had fun with an old rival and now friend, Zach Osborne.
“That guy,” he chuckled. “We’ve had an interesting relationship. Started with us getting into it in practice. If you guys remember about five years ago, I ended up with a torn ACL, so I couldn’t stand the guy for a while. But he’s a really cool dude. I respect him as a person. So now, he’s always getting behind me in practice – always. I looked back at him today before I did my fast lap. I’m not going to pull into the mechanics area or waste time out there, so I’m like, ‘Just grab a toe and let’s take her to the front.’ That’s basically what I was signaling with him, but I’m always giving him crap for following me around.”
Though the Monster Energy Kawasaki has an uphill climb to get on the same level as the front runners, according to the 24-year old he is looking forward to it.
“Just getting more time on the bike.”