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5 Minutes With... Chad Reed

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Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed almost won the 2009 Monster Energy/AMA Supercross Championship. The only rider to truly challenge James Stewart for most of the season, Reed showed the tenacity, commitment and attitude it took to win the title, he just didn’t end up winning it. However, it sounds like he’s got another title in mind for 2009, with this one out of the way...

Racer X: When we had the press conference on Friday, you were very outspoken about James Stewart, and you were pissed off, frankly. Can you explain where the anger came from?
Chad Reed: I feel like I know the truth. I know what really happened [in Salt Lake City]. It was disappointing, just the sheer fact of feeling like I had a shot at it and having it taken away.

You weren’t fastest in practice here in Las Vegas, but you ripped in your heat race, and in the main you didn’t get the greatest start, but your teammate was up front!
I saw Mike up there, and he was going for it the first few laps, as he always does, and I just tried to weave through. Actually, I took a little while to get going out there in the first few laps. I don’t know if I was just mad at myself for not getting the holeshot or what. I think I just got too excited – to aggressive – on the start. I was real mellow and killed it in the heat race, but in the main I just tried to go for it and missed that one. I just had to be smart, pick through the guys, and try to get out front as quick as possible.

When you finally did catch James, heading into the sand turn, he slowed down and looked back and seemed to give you the line to go around him if you wanted to, but you just stuck behind him. What was going on?
I was in a position where I needed seven points, and just riding around the outside of him didn’t seem like a good idea at the time [laughs], so I just sat there and hoped for a mistake, to be honest.

When you finally got inside him out in the sweeper outside the stadium, we all saw it on the television screen, but we didn’t see it live. There were no photographers out there...
Yeah, well, don’t believe what you see on TV. As we saw last week, it’s not true. I just went in, and for sure I was aggressive, and I didn’t do anything he wouldn’t have done to me.

But you didn’t actually succeed in taking him down. Were you upset about that?
No, I wasn’t trying to take him down, I just wanted to get in there and get aggressive. I could’ve taken him out if I wanted to; for example, I could’ve waited for one of the 180 turns, lined him up and T-boned him, but that’s not how you want to do it. You don’t want to go out like that. I don’t want to hurt somebody, and I wouldn’t want someone to do that to me, so for sure I was aggressive, and I felt like I did what he would do if he was in that position.

In that cat-and-mouse game you were playing with James, you may have let Ryan Villopoto get just far enough ahead that you couldn’t catch him. It seems like you lost just about the amount of time that Villopoto won by.
Yeah, I mean, Ryan was in a great position, and he rode a really, really good, strong race. He was fast. Honestly, I think the two of us didn’t care. I needed a mistake [from Stewart], and just riding and chasing Ryan wasn’t going to make that happen. What can you say, though? Ryan rode a great race and was in a great position.

I heard that you actually bought your own Lloyd’s of London insurance policy so that if you won the supercross title, you would collect much more than just your normal bonus. Is that true?
It’s just the normal deal where my championship bonus, I want it to be big, so it’s normal. Even when I was at Yamaha, it was the same. I did it then, too.

Are you still leaving tomorrow [Sunday] for Australia?
Yeah, tomorrow night at 10:30, I’ll be heading out to Oz. Me and Ell are going to go chill, and hopefully the weather’s not coming into winter just yet, and we can have a few nice days on the beach. What do I get, a three-week break or something like that here?

Yeah, a three-week break until...
A three-week break, and then I’ll come on back to the U.S.

And do what?
I don’t know, I feel like I’m having fun riding for this team, and I kind of like being around them, so I don’t know. We’ll see.

C’mon, just commit. Just commit. Please?
I don’t know what you’re talking about. Commit to what?

To the outdoor series!
Oh, there’s another series coming up?

Yeah, in three weeks. When you said, “I have three weeks off,” that’s the time period between tonight and Glen Helen, so I figured that’s what you were referring to...
Yeah, so, I don’t know. I’ve got to talk to the team, but I heard there’s another race, and it might be that outdoor thing, so we’ll see.

You used to do pretty good at those things, huh?
I guess I wasn’t, from what I hear, but I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe I can redeem myself and go play with the kids.

Why not?
I’d like to. We’ll see. I haven’t ridden the outdoors since the des Nations, and that was not stellar, so I don’t know. If I show up, I hope maybe I can be in the top five. Qualifying’s pretty tough, too, from what I hear. I don’t know. Top five would be nice.
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