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5 Minutes With... Chad Reed

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Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed may not have won a race yet, but it seems inevitable at this point. He’s been giving James Stewart fits at the first two rounds, and he says he still has things to work on. We talked to Reed after the Phoenix main to get his side of the chase inside the stadium of the same name.

Racer X: That race looked a bit like an accordion, where you would catch up, then James Stewart would pull away, until the checkered flag.
Chad Reed: It was pretty much like that. He put a gap at the beginning, and I got right in behind him, and in the middle part of the race, he pulled it back out, and the last five laps, I started pulling it back in again. It was a good race. The track was real fast and real flowy, and the whoops were really fast, but for a Phoenix track, I think it was pretty solid. I think when they brought the dirt in, it was a lot wetter than past years, and they kept the roof closed all day long and only opened it for the night program, so I think the Dirt Wurx guys did an amazing job with the preparation of the track, and gave us a good racetrack. I gave it everything I had, and we were close there at the end.

Was it a conscious effort to keep closing back up? Or was it just happenstance?
I was going for it lap after lap, you know? I saw him making mistakes, and I was making mistakes, and we were coming through the lappers real good. It was a good, clean race. I just wanted to win, and I was catching him and catching him, but it was just too little too late.

What about the pass on Grant? It looked a little risky from the outside of the whoops like that...
I think JG is riding amazing, and I think he felt that we had a little higher pace, and he was real generous, to be honest. He had the inside line, and I was coming in hot, and I was hoping that I could just kind of sneak around the outside, and he let it happen, so he raced clean and hard, and I put my head down and tried to go after James. At the end of the race, it’s good to see JG still up there on the podium – he’s still leading the championship! (Laughs) Little sucker!

What about the sand section? What kind of wrench did that throw in your lap?
I think on a straightaway it’s a little easier and better because it’s not one-lined, and in an S-bend like that, it’s really one-lined, but I was just coming in, and James is obviously good at that kind of stuff from his outdoor skills that he has, and he’d just come in and grab a handful, and I’d just close my eyes and try to follow the sound, basically. It was pretty gnarly to duck my head and go for it. It was tough. I made one mistake in there that was a costly one, but other than that, I mean, I love the sand. It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed, and it was tough because of the one line, but other than that, it was fun.

This is the second race in a row that you’re right with James. What does that do for your confidence from here on out?
Yeah, confidencewise, I feel very confident. I feel that the bike is really suiting my style, and I’m able to do things that I haven’t been able to do in the past, and there are some things I need to work on, so at the end of the day, I think we’re real happy. I’m ahead of everywhere I’ve ever been. I feel like my pace and my program’s really strong right now, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season – just taking it race-by-race and trying to be on the box. But I want to get a win here, and hopefully it’ll be at Anaheim [this weekend].

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