Racer X: Chad, let’s start with second practice today. You and James got into it a bit out on the track. What was that about? Chad Reed: Yeah, I mean, he was riding a great practice, and I just felt that I needed to tell him.
So, you told him? You’re such a supportive competitor...
I’m all about my fellow competitors, so I was just trying to give him a head’s up because I didn’t think he was hitting one of the lines just right, so I said, “Hey, you need to work on this here, and I think you could maybe beat me tonight.” No, I don’t know, I guess he thought I tried to jack with him on his fast lap, and I guess no one else is allowed on the track other than him. I didn’t get that memo, so I was just out there kind of taking a look at the track and I didn’t feel I was in the way. I didn’t feel like I was trying to hinder his lap, but I guess he did.
After the race, you sprayed champagne... That was the first-ever sarcastic champagne spray I’ve ever seen [Reed looked at the stands, then just stood at the base of the podium, popped the cork on his champagne, and sprayed it out on no one as he slowly twirled in a circle, then dropped the bottle on the ground in apparent disgust].
It was pretty exciting... I mean, the crowd’s so far away from us that I couldn’t even go over there and spray them. I would’ve looked like a fool. There’s not a lot to celebrate about, though. I think maybe I should’ve just busted the bubbly at the start, since I holeshotted, and that was pretty cool.
Talk about the race, then. You got out front, and for a long time, James was having a hard time doing anything with you. Then, all of a sudden, you guys got together, and that’s when all that stuff started. Talk about that.
Yeah, I mean, he passed me, and I just kind of put it back up the inside, and it seems like he wanted to play cat-and-mouse after that... I learned a lot tonight. It was what I needed. I needed that little kick in the butt. We just played cat-and-mouse – I went by him, he went back by – and then what really kind of pissed me off was that he cut me off on the triple, and I don’t roll like that. That’s dangerous, and if I had ever done that in my life, my dad would kick my ass. But two can play that way, and any chance I’ve got, I’ll run it in and put him in row F.
After that happened, you guys got together in that turn after the triple, and that’s where I think you got your fork guard ripped off...
Yeah, on the triple, I had the inside line, and he just tried to come flying from right to left, and it was kind of uncalled for. It’s one thing to race in the turns – rubbin’s racin’ – but I just think it’s taking it to a whole new, extreme level when you’re doing it in the air, and I guess that’s why people like [Ivan] Tedesco and Byrner [Michael Byrne] have gotten injuries from his stupidity.
From here on out, what do you expect from the series?
You just expect the guy to not necessarily make a decision that you would, and you’ve got to be aware of that. I guess it wasn’t really anything that I didn’t know, but you always hope that people don’t roll like that. But I’m looking forward to this break. I need this break, and I’ve got some things to work on, so we’ll be ready for Seattle and the last three. I think I’ve got at least one more in me, and that’s all I need for me to continue to finish second after that. But I want to win. I want to show him that he’s not the only guy out on this track.
At the end of the race, it seemed like you lost a lot of ground. Was it a mechanical thing from running into each other, or something else?
When we collided, he kind of twisted up my front end pretty good and broke my fork guard, and it was kind of hitting my front wheel, but nothing drastic. I actually jumped off the track – did exactly what I did in my Heat race – so that was kind of a bonehead move that I did, not only once, but twice, and I’m glad we don’t have another race to do it a third time [laughs].
Did you expect that things would start to get tense like this at this point?
Yeah, it’s a championship that’s coming down to the wire, and I think there’s a lot of reasons why the two of us want to win badly, and it’s natural. Everybody wants to win – that’s why we go home and bust our asses – and I expect it to get rough and get aggressive. It’s just the collisions in the air that I’m not too stoked on.