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Interview: Aldon Baker on Adam Cianciarulo's Injury

by Racer X Virtual Trainer


Virtual Trainer: Hey Aldon. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. I was so bummed when I heard the news that Adam [Cianciarulo] injured his shoulder in Switzerland. Bummed for him as a rider but also bummed for you as the trainer. You’ve been with AC for a long time. It has to be tough to see him on the sidelines once again.
Aldon: Yea for sure. It’s definitely tough not having him here in Florida training and getting ready to race.

So he’s not in Florida?
No, he is in California seeing the doctor and getting everything sorted out for surgery.

So it was bad enough to require surgery?
Yes, unfortunately he will have to have surgery probably sometime next week.

So what exactly was the injury. Did he separate his again or is it a different injury?
Well, from what I understand and I’m getting stuff relayed to me through Adam. I haven’t spoken directly with the doctor, is that he has some bone and ligament damage in his shoulder. From what I understand it’s nothing major that cannot be fixed and with surgery so he should once again be able to return to 100%. Nothing career ending for sure. Again, I am getting my information second hand through Adam but from what I understand the doctor will have to go in there and fix a little bit of the bone and some of the ligaments.

I’ve been reading a lot of the articles on Racer X Online and have seen some comments that people think he injured his shoulder because of the previous injury. Any truth to that?
No, none at all. This injury is totally separate and the doctor said that had he landed on the other shoulder the result would have been the same. This had nothing to do with the previous shoulder separation. It was all from the impact that would have created damage for anyone.

So two different injuries that just happen to occur to the same shoulder.
Yes for sure. And it’s really unfortunate too because the first surgery and rehab went so well. His shoulder was 100% and we were really happy with that.

Do you have a timeline on rehab or do you have to wait until after surgery?
No, we will have to wait until after surgery. The doctor can only see so much from the MRI and once he gets in there he will be able to see what the total damage is. But from what I understand the rehab process for this injury should be a bit easier and shorter than what we had before. But either way we will take the full amount of time needed to get the shoulder back to 100%. Adam is too young to be rushing back to racing and not being fully prepared. So there is really no reason to try and come back early for a few races. We are here to win championships and to do that you have to be healthy and race the entire series.

Sometimes I think it is actually a blessing in disguise when the rider knows immediately that he will be out versus having the stress and pressure of being expected to return too soon. Now he can get into outdoor mode and put supercross out of his mind.
Yea exactly and the big picture is to win championships.

Some of the internet experts were also commenting that perhaps he should have had on shoulder pads or some other safety equipment to protect his shoulder.
(laughs) No, nothing like that was going to help. He was no different from any other rider out there as far as his shoulder was concerned. His shoulder was 100% so there was no reason to add extra protection.

Others on the internet and really I’ve heard this comment for a long time concerning AC is that he needs to put on some muscle. That he is too frail and needs to get stronger. Could that have prevented the injury?
Well, all I would ask is, how do they know what he is lifting? Those people don’t know what kind of strength training we are doing so how can they make that comment and know? I mean we definitely do strength exercises and actually he is pretty strong. I think a lot of people would be surprised if they saw him in the gym. I mean the guy is still growing and heck his growth plates aren’t even closed yet. He will fill out the next couple of years and for an 18 year old his strength is pretty good to be honest. I think people get caught up in comparing him beyond what his age really is. That’s why I don’t even read that stuff. People who make comments like that don’t know.

I certainly agree. What is the general consensus with the team as to whether he should have been racing in the first place?
You know I don't really know on that. Remember, I’m the trainer and I just do what is being put on my plate. That is a decision that is made between Adam, his dad and the team. But it’s a double edged sword for sure. The guys can go over there and earn some good money and there is no substitute for racing. If everything goes well over there then no one says a thing. But if something bad happens like it did to Adam, then every one starts pointing fingers. But getting some racing in considering he had not raced in a while is good. But then again I’ve never been a fan of doing things that are outside of your contract. I like to focus on that. Championships and the series in the US. But like I said, that decision is out of my hands and I am here to prepare Adam for what ever the team decides. My concern when a rider does these type of races is always about the wear and tear on the body. Travel, time changes, getting your body adjusted, exposing yourself to illness, food, all that is always my concern. Not necessarily the racing.

From a training stand point do you have concerns that this injury will turn into something chronic since it happened to the same shoulder?
No, definitely not. Like I said, two totally separate injuries and both are 100% recoverable.

How is Adam’s emotional state?
Well, initially because he is so competitive it was pretty rough. He was pretty devastated. But he knows this is a tough sport and you just have to pick yourself up and move forward. That is what makes this sport so unique. There are those times when things don’t go right and you just have to keep pushing forward and get back on it. His mood at the moment is very positive and upbeat and he knows he has a good team around him to get him back to where he needs to be. He will be fine.

Well, that sounds great. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that he will be sorely missed this supercross season and that we all look forward to seeing him for the outdoors.
Yea, he will be out there for sure 100% ready to go.

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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  2. Gravatar
    Tim Foster December 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Is it a seperated shoulder or dislocated shoulder?

  3. Gravatar
    jeffe December 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Sounds like aldon is getting defensive on a couple of his comments. He is obviously doing something great with these riders but not sure on some of his answers here

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    George kusch December 16, 2014 at 1:48 am

    AC50 can sure ride hard, but his body holds soft like used tissue.
    Know what I'm sayin'

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    Racer X Virtual Trainer December 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Tim - Neither. His shoulder is actually fractured according to the interview.

    Jeffe - The only part where Aldon is defensive is the part where people talk about AC's training as if they were actually there day to day. Of course he is defending himself. What would you expect, for him to say "hmmm, you all are right. AC needs to get stronger. Wish I would have thought of that." lol

    George - Actually no. I'm not sure what you are saying. If you are implying that Adam is frail because he has had a separated shoulder and then a broken shoulder, well, I would have to disagree. These two injuries have nothing to do with being "frail". They have everything to do with riding a motorcycle really fast.

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    George kusch December 21, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    let me put it in layman's terms so you can comprehend.
    AC50 has the raw speed to outlast the competition. but the guy has not proven he can consistently stand the vigors of a full season of racing. hey, it really ain't for all but a select few.

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    john r January 02, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    the shoulder pads deal was defensive and real stupid ,he should be wearing them and protect himself till he gets in way better shape there still better then none and can save that injury easy and possible not even a issue some pads are way better then others for aldon to say no pads is epic failure ,most riders don't wear them look at canard he does and so does short those guys know they can help they have been there

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    Lute517 January 13, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I think all should be careful and reserved about their comments on here. Unless you know AC and see him every day, no one here has any room to judge. The reality also is that Aldon seems to be doing things correct with him. He peaked early as a child and as he is growing and his growth plates not being closed, he will go through awkward phases of relearning his body. This is a concept called Peak Height Velocity and is a major impact on youth athlete development. Yes youth athlete development because he is in fact still a youth athlete, competing at the professional level. Aldon simply was showing his frustration with the talk of people who dont know what is going on or how to even do his job. I myself work in professional sports and when I go to bars or to hang out with people, I hear them talking about this and things related to my job and they sound stupid as hell because they have no idea what the truth and reality is. Lastly pads will do almost nothing in this sport. Unless you plan to put him him a full fat man body suit, it's effectively pointless. The forces involved with this sport are beyond the level of safety technology. So please think before you speak

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    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 15, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I agree Lute517 but you know as well as I do people have their minds made up well before they even read the interview. Weston Peick would have a broken shoulder as well had he crashed the same way.

    But hey, every one's an expert. I mean come on what does Aldon know any way? He only works with the kid every day :)

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    Mr. George Kusch January 15, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Racer X Virtual trainer- it's down right blasphemous to compare Weston Peick's durability to AC50. Weston's track record is that of a premier class work horse who has sustained injuries whilst racing but continues to grind. Hell, his whole career has been a grind to achieve factory sponsorship until this past year. Meanwhile, AC50 is getting cozy with the nurses in rehab.

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