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5 Minutes with...Daniel Reardon

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9,545 miles. That’s the amount of distance Daniel Reardon has traveled to race in the past week. Last Saturday in Perth, Australia, one of the most isolated metropolitan areas on earth—the closest city to it with over one million people being Adelaide, South Australia, a mere 1,307 miles away—Reardon placed second to countryman Chad Reed in the opening round of premier Australian-based Super X series. Six days later and in less than 24 hours, Reardon will be in Las Vegas, Nevada to compete in the 2008 Rockstar Energy U.S. Open of Supercross. A hell of a slog, but one the friendly 22 year-old Australian ex-pat has no problem with. Now based in California and a consistent top 10 finisher in both the 2008 AMA West Region Supercross and AMA Toyota Motocross Championships, Reardon is a racer at heart, and has no designs on taking any sort of major break now that the off-season has begun. In fact, shortly after the U.S. Open, Reardon will get back on another 747 and fly right back to his homeland to line up for the second round of the Super X series next Saturday in The City of Churches: Adelaide, Australia. Today, before he prepared to get on the 15 North towards Sin City, we caught up with the man-in-a-suitcase globetrotter.

Racer X: Dan, so you’ve been jet-setting it, huh? If I have it right, you’re just back from
Australia.
Dan Reardon: Yeah, I’ve been doing a bit of flying. That place definitely isn’t just around the corner. As far as flying all over, yeah, I have plenty more to do, too.

When did you get back to California?
I got home on Monday.

Just how was the opening round of the Australian Supercross Championship?
It was actually good. Australia has definitely stepped it up. Everything was really good. The track was really awesome. Just everything was really good, actually. The weather wasn’t the best—it was raining and cold and all the rest of it—but the preparation was good. It was fun going to Perth and that and I head back to Australia after the U.S. Open.

Perth is way out in the far west of Australia, isn’t it?
Yes! Nobody even goes to Perth. When we went to the airport and all the rental cars were gone, I asked the lady, “Who even comes here? Why do you even have any rental cars here?” It is definitely way out of the way.

Was the track pretty comparable to a U.S. supercross track?
It actually was. Normally, there is a pretty big difference between the tracks there and the tracks here, but it was pretty close because [Mark] Barnett built the track. He had all the machines and everything he needed to do and the track was awesome.

How as the atmosphere in the pits and during the period of time leading up to the race? I understand the series is new and may not yet rival what goes on here in America, but was it good? Was there a good vibe at the event?
It was good. It actually was better than what it has normally been. I think we got maybe 13,000 people at the race. It was good. The crowd was into it for sure. I think it’s only getting better. I think the other rounds that will come later—like Sydney and Brisbane—I think will pull bigger crowds, for sure. I think it was all really good. I think by the end of the series quite a bit of exposure will come from it.

Were a number of people you ran into asking you to compare what was going on there to the racing America?
Yeah, for a lot of people, that was one of their number one questions. How was America? A lot of people are interested in finding out what it is actually like over here, so that conversation was definitely flying around the it’s a lot.

  • Reardon at Millville this season
You finished second in the 20-lap main event to
Chad Reed. How did you ride? Did you feel good?
[Laughs] No! To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel good at all. I didn’t feel comfortable even with practice and stuff. I don’t know… My comfort level definitely was not there. For sure I finished second, but I was actually disappointed with the end result. Second or whatever is a result, but it was more of a big gap between my and Reedy and that was not what I expected. I’m going to try and turn things around a little bit at the next one. I just put it down to my comfort level. I just didn’t feel good pretty much all weekend. That’s fine. The weekend is over and I’m just looking forward to this U.S. Open.

Have you been able to put much time in on your new bike here in California?
I haven’t had a whole lot of time on it, no. You know I feel like I adapted to it pretty quick. I rode it for about a week before I went to Australia and I rode once this week and that’s about it. So, I haven’t had a heap of time on it, but I feel like I’ve had enough time on it to where I feel comfortable and where we have a pretty good set-up ready to go this weekend.

You competed in the U.S. Open last year and placed seventh overall. What did
you think of the event, race, the track, and the hotel?
It was good. That was actually the first time I went to Vegas, too, so the whole thing was kind of exciting. The first night I crashed and on the second night I finished fourth and it was a cool experience. The track, was obviously a little different to what we’re used to over here, but it was kind of similar to what the races were like back in Australia a couple of years ago. It was an awesome event. It’s that one-off race that I think everyone enjoys doing and going for it. I’m really looking forward to it.

Now, you’ll be the only member of the GEICO Powersports Honda team competing
at the
U.S. Open, correct?
Yeah, I’ll be in the semi all by myself.

Are you surprised other members of the team are not riding it?
Well, I don’t know. The off-season over here is so big you might as well do something. What a perfect time to go to Vegas and have a race there. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I think it really will be. They put a great show on last year.

  • Dan Reardon at the Las Vegas supercross in 2008
As far as the competition goes this weekend, how did
Chad Reed look on the
Suzuki in
Australia?
Chad looked good. Yeah, he definitely did. He looks like he is comfortable with that bike for sure. You have Chad on the Suzuki and you have James on the Yamaha, the depth of talent that will be there is actually pretty deep so it should be good.

What’s your goal for the weekend?
My goal? Nobody goes to race for second place, obviously. I think that, truthfully, if everything goes well, I can maybe pull a podium out of it. A lot of people might look at me and think, ‘Are you serious?’ But I think that if everything goes well, I think I can do it. Hopefully, things do go my way. I think I¹ve been riding well on the 450. We’ll see what happens. I’ll know if I rode well or not.

You rode the 450 in Australia and you’ll ride the 450 this weekend. Do you know what you’ll be riding in 2009 yet?
No, I don’t.

And after this weekend, it’s right back to Australia?
Yeah, I leave Monday and get to Australia on Monday. I’ll then leave my hometown of Brisbane and fly to Adelaide for the next round. So my whole next week’s schedule is pretty much in a plane.

Wow. Is that going to be a little tough?
I don’t know… I think I should be fine. I might be a little lagged or whatever, but I think I’ll be fine. I’m in cattle class on the plane, but I’ll just try and snooze.

Okay Dan, well best of luck in Las Vegas and we¹ll see you over there
tomorrow.
All right, and thank you. See you in Las Vegas.
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