Monday Conversation: Chad Reed

Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed is slowly seeing his once-strong points lead dwindle away to nearly nothing. After round one, he had 18 points in hand over James Stewart. Four races (and four wins by Stewart) later, the lead sits at six with still 12 rounds left to run. We talked to Reed after the San Francisco main event, where he scored his fourth second-place finish in a row.

Racer X: The last few weeks, sometimes it’s second from behind, and sometimes it’s just second. What’s going on?
Chad Reed: Second’s second, and it doesn’t get any better. I think Anaheim II was a nice, sweet second, but these last two weeks have been a bit of a drag for me. It’s just disappointing that I really haven’t ridden that great, and James is riding amazing, so we’ve just got to work on some little things with me. My start was better this week, in the main event, so that was good, but it’s just little things. There’s really nothing to freak out about. He’s riding really well, as he always does, so we’ve just got to keep working on more things and try to get there.

You got a lot of “1s” when you were “two-two” and now that you’re “1” you’re getting a lot of “2s”. That’s kind of weird, isn’t it?
(Laughs) Yeah, it seems kind of weird, but I’m just trying to keep it on the podium and be there for when it counts. These seconds are definitely not going to cut it, so we need to get a win. I feel like we’re good enough, we just haven’t put a full, good race together yet.

Do you feel like the last couple of weeks you’ve lacked your normal aggression?
I mean, the last two weekends, I’ve had a few issues. It is what it is. And then, at the end of the day, we’re still able to salvage second, and that’s the important thing. When you can’t win, you need the next-best thing, and that’s getting up on the podium in second.

What about that crash in practice on the triple over here on the first lap? What was that about?
I don’t know what that was about. It was kind of stupid on my part. It was the first lap, and the triples are something that we do day-in and day-out – it’s almost like you can do it with your eyes closed – and then I just jumped a little to the right. The jump kind of led you to the right, and then the bale was hanging out a bit, and I jumped a little bit to the right and landed right on the bales, so I crashed pretty hard.  Then, Josh Grant landed right on my bike, so it was pretty tough. It’s not the best way to start the weekend, with a pretty gnarly crash, but I’m coming out of here with a second, and a few bumps and bruises. It’s all good! (Laughs)

Is it too early to count points for you?
I just want to go race-by-race and stay on the podium, and honestly just get a win. I feel like I know what’s going on, and there are a few things there that I’m struggling with, and at the end of the day, we know what the problem is. We’re just working on it.

With the upcoming rounds, are there any in particular that you’re looking forward to?
Yeah, I’m excited to have these past two weekends out of the way, that’s for sure. I think Jeremy McGrath’s track is going to be a lot of fun [at Anaheim III]. It’s going to be real different and challenging, so I’ll just take it one step at a time. My biggest weakness right now is just adapting to the tracks, and I just need to be a little better on the tracks that I don’t necessarily like.

{LINKS}In the beginning of the race, when you were chasing your teammate Mike Alessi around, was that getting frustrating after a couple of laps?
Yeah, I mean, after a while, I was just... I really wanted to get by him, and I knew Ryan [Villopoto] was right on me, and from what I learned in my heat race, you had to get around guys fast and then try and get out. I was real lucky to get by Ryan on the first lap, and to honest with you, I thought it was going to be a lot easier to get around Mike, but Mike was putting together some solid laps, so he made it tough on me.