5 Minutes with... Chad Reed

January 7, 2009 4:07pm | by:
Despite being the defending AMA Supercross Champion, many considered Chad Reed to be the underdog coming into Anaheim I. However, just like last year, he showed that he had something for the favored James Stewart, even though Stewart is on Reed’s bike from last year, and Reed is on a Rockstar/Makita Suzuki in 2009. After a battle for the first quarter of the race, Stewart and Reed crashed together exiting a turn into some whoops when Stewart made a small mistake. However, Reed was able to get back up and salvage a podium finish despite having no front brake from that point on. We talked to Reed right after the podium ceremony to get his side of the crash and the rest of the race.

  • Chad was left without a front brake for most of the race.
  • Chad Reed is very comfortable with his 2009 set-up.
  • Reed wants to keep his #1 plate.
Racer X: It looked like you got a hot head of steam on James Stewart’s left going into those whoops and then something happened. What happened?
Chad Reed: I just had flashbacks of Toronto ’06 and just felt like I’d try to clean him out from behind [he said sarcastically]... No, I just squared it up, and I was going to go down the right, and he kind of turned down the left, and I think he caught neutral or something, because I grabbed a handful, and it was almost like NASCAR where I was aiming one way and he wasn’t gone when I came through. Man, I mean, I hit him hard. I tumbled, and I got up, and my visor was all down, and he was on the ground, too, and I thought, “Gosh, it’s a yardsale, and the two guys that were going to battle are upside-down right now!” I just tried to get to the bike quickly, and I’d bent up my front rotor. I had no front brake, and I tried pumping it, and then I went off a couple of jumps, and it put the pads in, and it would stop the wheel in the air. It took me a few laps to catch on to what was really happening. I was just like, “Dude, don’t even touch the front brakes.” So, then it took me a good five or six laps to really learn the bike. I had to start downshifting to first and using the engine-braking of the motorcycle to get me pulled up for the turns. I started making up some ground on Shorty there at the end, and I was real excited about that. I wouldn’t have been able to pass him. I wouldn’t have been able to race up the inside or anything because I couldn’t stop, but I’m pumped for these guys [motions to the Joe Gibbs Racing team]. That’s their first podium, and first win, and I think that’s Shorty’s best-ever Supercross-class finish, and he rode solid. I respect these guys, and it’s going to be a good battle, I think. James and I were setting the pace out front, and we got kind of cleaned out, but when you’re going out and you’re pushing the limits, shit happens, and this time the two big dogs ended up upside-down.

Try not to take this the wrong way, but with you talking in the off-season about possibly just racing cars and things like that, I wasn’t completely convinced that you’d be a genuine threat at this race, but obviously you weren’t lacking anything. Do you feel like you proved something to people who maybe thought you might not have it in you, like me?
No. I’m here for me. I love this sport. It’s all I know. I’ve been doing it since I was three and a half years old, and I feel like I was born with the skills to do it. If I’m out here racing, don’t ever question that I’m going to give it 100 percent. I don’t go racing motocross because my heart’s not in it, and if I ever do go back, it’ll be because I want to win a championship. I’m here to win, and I’m on a team that’s amazing, and the bike is awesome, and I want to show why that ‘1’ is on my bike. I’ve been working hard. The last two months in Australia were tough months, and I wanted to come out tonight and get a win for the team and for me. You don’t go work so hard for nothing. It’s going to be a battle. It’s not over yet, and James is going to come back strong, and Ryan... I don’t know what happened to him, but he’s going to be fast. A bunch of guys are.
James Stewart is probably going to be pretty upset, too.
Upset at himself, I’d hope. I didn’t do anything wrong.

{LINKS}Regardless of fault, he was definitely mad when he left the track.
I’m sure. I was mad that we crashed. I felt like I had a win in me tonight, and it was fun. I love the battle. I love the rivalry that we have going on, and there’s a lot of fuel in the fire. Let’s go to Phoenix. I’ve never won Phoenix, and I’m definitely going to put a lot of effort into trying to get a win there.

See you in a week, then.
See you there.