Kawasaki rider identifies increased importance of each race.
Weighing in on the new dynamic of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX), Adam Cianciarulo has identified how the added chances of an SMX title challenge increase the importance of each Monster Energy Supercross and Pro Motocross event from 2023.
For the first time in history, both series will join forces with Supercross continuing at its 17-round duration and Pro Motocross being reduced to 11 rounds to make way for the SMX playoffs.
Each will keep its own identity with SX and MX champions to be crowned, but playoffs and an SMX title-deciding round post-season will feature on unique, hybrid track layouts, where the top 20 riders combined from Supercross and Pro Motocross standings will be seeded automatically.
Critically, any rider who has won a main event/overall in either series will also be eligible, alongside riders in positions 21-30, for a last-chance at the final two spaces in the 22-rider field.
The importance of that format is that it allows riders who have been injured or forced to the sidelines to have an opportunity to return and compete in the playoffs for a chance at the SMX world title, whereas typically missing rounds due to injury would mean a rider is out of championship contention.
Cianciarulo is an ideal example after unfortunately being sidelined throughout multiple seasons in his professional career, yet successful in winning main events and overalls on numerous occasions.
“It’s a dangerous sport… if you go through the years there are not a lot of guys that consistently make it to the end of the series, unless your name is Eli Tomac or Ricky Carmichael,” Cianciarulo stated.
“If you get hurt halfway through Supercross, you have got to try and get healthy for the start of outdoors, because your season is kind of over.
“Now that we are with the SuperMotocross championship, a lot of money on the line, you kind of have a chance to put yourself in a better spot and it motivates you to come back and do your best. I think that is really exciting for everybody, and it is going to keep a lot of eyeballs on all of the races, even towards the end of the seasons.
“Sometimes we get to the end of Supercross or the end of outdoors and the championship is really stretched out, but now there’s always something to race for. I’m excited for that, and excited to race.”
Monster Energy Supercross 2023 gets underway at Angel Stadium, Anaheim, on 7 January, with Pro Motocross beginning in Pala on 27 May. Following both series, the SuperMotocross World Championship playoffs will commence on 9 September.