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Monday Conversation I: Chad Reed

For the last race ever inside of the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, San Manuel Yamaha’s Chad Reed showed that turnabout is fair play. Two weeks previous to the Indy round, Kevin Windham stopped Reed’s winning streak on a track that Windham designed inside Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. In Indy, it was Reed’s turn, as he designed the track, and then went out and dominated the main event, ending his losing “streak” at two. He also extended his points lead back out to 34 points with only eight rounds left to run.

Racer X: That was better than the last couple of weeks, huh?
Chad Reed: (Laughs) It was better than the last few weeks, that’s for sure. I mean, when you look at a second and a sixth being bad, it’s not that bad, but it really sucked ass. It didn’t feel so good. You need to do that every once in a while, I guess, to get the motivation back up and refocus. I think this week was a good week. We got to deal with a lot of the issues that I’ve been having since Anaheim, and I came out and had fun on my track and got it done.

Was winning starting to become routine?
It was. I just felt like I was winning races and I wasn’t all that excited about it. There’s something to be said about that. I was just trying to soul-search a little bit and say, hey, at the end of the day, it’s racing, and you’ve got to be in it to win it. I think it was a blessing in disguise to lose twice and end Atlanta the way I did, because tonight felt sweet. I was really dominant tonight, and I pretty much had it covered. I felt like I had some things up my sleeve, and I think if Kevin [Windham] had gotten a good start and if he’d have been doing that section, I was ready to step it up at any time and do it. I just felt like I didn’t need to put myself at risk like I did last week and crash or whatever.
It was fun, though. I had a good time.

In that rhythm section you’re talking about after the finish line, Windham was gaining on you in the Heat race quite a bit there.

It was awesome. I wanted to do that in practice. When I built the track, that was kind of what I wanted, and I’m a little disappointed to be walking away and I didn’t do it. It kind of feels like I left something on the table there, and coming into the season, I said I wouldn’t. But then, last weekend, it bit me on the ass, so you’ve got to take the good with the bad. He stepped it up, and he rode a great Heat race. I felt that that Heat race was what really set the tone for the night. I felt that there was no one else in the race other than myself and K-Dub. I think he rode really good and was riding solid, but I think intensitywise, me and Kevin rode a really strong race. When we came off the track, we looked at each other, and we felt it was a good race. I was going into the main looking for that holeshot and looking forward to battling with K-Dub. I felt that’s where the battle was going to come from. But I knew it was 20 laps, and the battles didn’t really come.

There were rumors during the week that the crash last week possibly left you a little more injured than you made out in Atlanta. Is there any truth to that?
Yeah, you’ve got to hide those things good. It’s one of those things. The cat’s out of the bag. I got hurt at Anaheim I, you know? I broke a bone in my hand and broke my finger. I went out there with the goal of just laying it down, then I cartwheeled in practice and broke my hand, then laid it down in my Heat race and broke my other hand. I was so bummed, but I went out there and won. Some people are throwing around numbers like 70%, but maybe I was 69% – or maybe I was 72. Maybe 72% was enough to get it done. Then I showed up in Phoenix, and maybe I was 68%, and that wasn’t enough. It’s all good.

In that soul-searching, do you think you found what it was you needed to find in order to keep the desire to win?

To keep wanting to win, that’s never a thing you’ve got to go soul-search for, but the distractions that come along with it. When it’s happening, it seems like it comes pretty easy, and that’s no disrespect to my competitors or anything like that. I just felt like I’ve been on top of my game this year. I frequently watch the Phoenix race, and when you look at the second and the third and the fourth lap, there’s two people in the race, and that kind of reminds me of the good old times, and it’s going to come around. These guys have stepped it up. They’re riding really strong. I think Kevin’s riding better than he ever has, and Davi’s riding great, Josh Hill, and Andrew Short’s getting podiums. It’s a shame Red Dog got hurt. He was really stepping it up. It’s just different. There’s things you’ve got to deal with that I really don’t want to deal with, but hey, they’re there, and you’ve got to deal with it the best you can.
 

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