Adam C
Adam Cianciarulo will retire at the end of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. (Darren Rutmanis photo)

Cianciarulo Talks Retirement: ‘It’s Cool That People Care’

Adam Cianciarulo hasn’t been a frontrunner in Monster Energy AMA Supercross in a long while.

His last stadium victory was during his 250cc class days on April 13, 2019, and his sole 450cc class win at any sort of Supercross-style race was a victory at the 2019 Monster Energy Cup — a non-points exhibition race that has since been removed from the schedule.

Throughout the trying five years that followed, Cianciuarlo has trudged on with a smile, never forgetting the fans who have cheered him on through every trial and every triumph along the way.

It’s that attitude that has made him one of the most beloved riders in the sport, despite the long list of career-impeding injuries he’s suffered since joining the professional ranks in 2013. As such, it wasn’t all that surprising to see the overwhelming fan response that was triggered when Cianciarulo announced his plan to retire at the end of the Supercross season.

Nonetheless, the 27-year-old was a bit stumped at their reaction.

“I really wasn’t expecting as much as of reception as I’ve had, just because my results haven’t been super — even last year was just OK,” Cianciarulo said. “It’s cool that people care.”

The lingering emotion of the fans toward the No. 9 Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was evident during the first heat race of the night April 20 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.

After pulling off a good start and making his way into second position, Cianciarulo capitalized on a mistake by heat race leader Ken Roczen and took the lead late in the eight-minute sprint. The crowd went wild as they watched the green “leader lights” flicker on the front of the No. 9 Kawasaki as Cianciarulo muscled it around the track.

“I just tried to have a kind of offensive mentality,” Cianciarulo explained. “I like when the conditions are a bit drier and looser like that, so I found the flow.”

But he couldn’t hold off class rookie Hunter Lawrence for long, and the No. 96 Honda rider passed Cianciarulo in the sand section on the penultimate lap. Though he finished second, Cianciarulo pumped his fist into the air as he jumped over the finish line, resulting in a loud roar from the crowd.

“Leading for a couple laps, getting the crowd to cheer me on and stuff like that was such a cool moment for me. I’ll remember that forever,” Cianciarulo declared in the moments following the Nashville main event. “I’ve never been so stoked to get second in a heat race before.”

More than anything, the heart-warming moment was a testament to the relationship Cianciarulo has built with his fan base.

While this year may be the end of his professional racing career, it is by no means the end of Cianciarulo’s popularity — the fans have made that clear.

“In sports in general, you go through such highs and lows. (My fans) have always been there to support me. I mean, I really don’t have that many haters, right? Everybody’s been super cool, so I feel a little bit overwhelmed with it all,” Cianciarulo said.