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Bench Racing Ammo: Winless Streaks

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When Chad Reed won the High Point National on May 25, 2002, it appeared many more  wins were in store. Reed had moved to the U.S. following a Vice-Championship in the 2001 250 MX GPs behind Mikael Pichon, and had dominated the 2002 East Region SX tour on his Yamaha YZ250F. Armed with the only factory-backed 250 four-stroke in the field, a year of experience in the GP motocross wars, and confidence from a big SX season, and Reed looked like an unstoppable force outdoors.

More than once leading up to the 2002 AMA Nationals, the words “you now have the best rider on the best bike” were uttered in pre-season prognostications.

But Reed ran into an obstacle on his way to race wins, one that would become all-to-familiar to him: James Stewart. The rookie Stewart took it to Reed and the rest of the pack at nearly every race. Even without other pre-season title favorites Grant Langston and Mike Brown able to compete for the whole season due to injury, Reed was not able to notch another win. But at High Point, Stewart tweaked his knee in practice. Reed capitalized by topping Brown for the first-moto win, and then Brown crashed out of moto two and injured his knee.

Hmmm, two other contenders end up injuring their knees, and Reed wins High Point. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, Reed separated his shoulder in a crash at the next race at Southwick, and he never got his High Point mojo back after that.

Reed moved into big bike class for 2003, but he ran into another familiar obstacle there, one Ricky Carmichael, who only LOST five nationals in that class for the next four years. And after 2006, Reed signed a SX-only deal with L&M Yamaha, and save for one appearance at Budds Creek in 2007, he was absent from the Nationals.

This year Reed elected to return to the tour. Now, seven years later, Reed is a winner again, which gives him a spot on the AMA Record Book: Longest stretch between first and second wins. Reed went from May 25th, 2002 to June 13th, 2009 between winning nationals, a tad over seven years. The previous record holder? As far as we can tell, it’s Tim Ferry, who won the High Point 125 National on May 28th, 1995, and the Glen Helen 250 National on May 13, 2001, a span of just under six years.

Just like he had hoped in 2002, Reed is hoping this national win will soon be followed by a few more.

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