Last season, we saw that Cianciarulo was nearing that level that would make him the rider to beat every time the gate dropped. Unfortunately, due to actions out of his control with another rider, Cianciarulo suffered a knee injury that required surgery and took him out for an extended period. However, this injury didn’t seem to carry the same weight as those that marred his early career. Cianciarulo took it in stride and strived to come back better than ever.
When 2019 rolled around, many did look to Cianciarulo to carry the torch in supercross, and he responded. He grabbed five wins in eight races, and controlled his own destiny entering the Las Vegas finale. What happened that night in Sin City was well documented, and many worried that all the progression Cianciarulo had made was a wash, and understandably so. However, Cianciarulo was adamant that he’d bounce back, and a betting man would have taken his word for it.
From the moment the Pro Motocross season began it was very clear that the Cianciarulo we saw all season in supercross was still there. Vegas was the exception, not the rule. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider kicked off the summer with a historic start, winning the first four rounds. While he withstood a stiff challenge from fellow Monster rider Justin Cooper early on, there was little doubt that Cianciarulo was more determined than ever to finally get the gorilla off his back.
With the blazing start under his belt, Cianciarulo was able to easily manage a healthy lead through the middle portion of the summer. It proved to be invaluable when another Monster rider, Dylan Ferrandis, picked up steam over the second half of the season. But like a true champion, when things seemed like they might have the chance to slip away, Cianciarulo responded. It resulted in six wins in 12 rounds, and the most consistent summer campaign since 2013. While the wins were big, it was the podium finishes at every round that became the hallmark of his championship run.
We’ve always known what Cianciarulo was capable of, but adversity unfortunately delayed the performance we saw throughout the 2019 season. Now that he’s finally won the championship we expected him to win, albeit six years later than we thought, the time has come to see what Cianciarulo is really capable of.
Fittingly, Cianciarulo’s championship run came during his swan song in the 250 Class. He put everything into going out of the class in a blaze of glory, and he succeeded. Now, he’ll join the sport’s biggest names aboard a 450cc, joining powerhouse Eli Tomac at Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Welcome to the champions club, Adam Cianciarulo. You’ve earned it.