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450 Words: Washougal

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Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed came into the outdoors expecting a fight, but quite a few of the top riders threw in the towel either before the fight started, or soon after. Still, Reed does nothing the easy way, as has been shown throughout his career. Everything is a battle.

  • Chad Reed blew by Grant like he was sitting still to take the lead in moto 2
  • Grant has been twisting the throttle hard this season, and may have been limited by the slick Washougal soil
  • Lawrence looked like he was going to pressure for the lead, but faded slightly as the race wore on
  • Tommy Hahn had a career ride moto 1, but unfortunately was a victim of the first turn in moto 2
But perhaps that’s a characteristic of most racers, though. A frequent phenomenon in motocross racing is the rise and fall of speed in proportion to the competition. Reed sometimes is one of these racers.

For example, during the 2008 supercross championship, he started out giving James Stewart fits until round three, when Stewart dropped out. From there, Reed slowed down a little bit race by race until he finally got beat at Houston, round seven.

After winning five of the first six, Reed only won four of the last nine. Sure, he crashed and hurt his shoulder at one point, but he was getting beaten before that. Maybe this is why Reed says he expected a battle and would’ve preferred that Villopoto and Alessi stayed in the game, or even that Stewart didn’t sit out the series. If you ask Reed, he says he actually expected to lift his game to battle it out with Villopoto.

And why think he’s not telling the truth? He has proven that he’s the kind of rider whose speed is based on his competition. Take away his mystery stomach illness, and perhaps he wouldn’t have quite been racing to the level of his competition so much over the last five races, but he has been doing it.

At Millville, though, Reed started to look more like most of us expected when the series started, and last weekend at Washougal, he looked exactly like what we expected. He dominated. The first moto, Tommy Hahn put in a heck of a ride to keep him honest, but Reed got the mojo going in moto two. He nearly fell in the first turn, but got going at the tail end of the top 10. Then, over the course of the first half of the race, he methodically worked his way into third, and then chased down the fleeting Jason Lawrence and Josh Grant, blowing by both of them without any apparent effort.

It was a 1-1 on the day for Reed, and the second win in a row overall, in perhaps the most otherwise inconsistent 450cc race in years – maybe decades.

Grant: 5-2 for second.
Lawrence: 10-3 for third.
Brayton: 9-8 for fourth.
Byrne: 15-4 for fifth.

It was a crazy day in Washougal, and the inconsistency left Chad Reed holding a 65-point lead with only four races left to run.

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