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450 Words: Unadilla

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  • Chad Reed could wrap up the 450 championship next week live on NBC
Like Pourcel, Chad Reed was in a class by himself at Unadilla, and now he and Chris are standing above the rest of the pack (though not one another, as they are still tied with 387 points apiece in the fictional 250-450 race). But unlike Pourcel, you can’t point to his European-style line selection as a primary reason for the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider’s dominance at ‘Dilla, because Reed only spent a couple of seasons over there, and he tends to mostly use the same lines as everyone else. But what he does have going for him is a great deal of confidence and motivation that has him playing with the poise of someone who is already a champion. Wasn’t that what Rule #72?

At Unadilla, a track with a lot of fresh topsoil that was rough as a cob by the end of the day, Chad rode with a bulldog style reminiscent of Stanton or RJ, or even RC himself. It was quite a contrast to some of the problematic rides that others were having behind him. Tim Ferry and Matt Goerke couldn’t make it through the first lap without crashing. Ivan Tedesco just plain ran out of steam (though in his defense, the unexpected loss of his father-in-law the week before the race must have been a terrible strain on him and his family, even as he was named to Team USA). Davi Millsaps had a good first moto and then just couldn’t get it going in the second. And Kevin Windham looked like he was on a 250 out there… oh, sorry.

Reed wasn’t the only man charging. His Aussie teammate on both Suzuki and for the MXoN—Michael Byrne—had a fine performance for third overall, and so did Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short, who has been struggling lately. Muscle Milk/MDK KTM’s Justin Brayton looked solid, especially in the second moto, and visiting GP rider Gareth Swanepoel, the replacement for the replacement rider (Ricky Dietrich) for the real rider (Ryan Villopoto) at Monster Energy Kawasaki, did a fantastic job to carve out a sixth-place ride before heading back to Europe.

But Reed is on a roll. He won his third national in a row and now sits poised to possibly wrap up the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship this Saturday at Budds Creek (on live network TV, as NBC will air the second moto from Maryland). What does this mean going forward? Like a lot of other situations in the business of motocross right now, that’s a question that remains to be answered. On the track, though, here’s hoping Reed gets something more out of this summer than just the AMA Motocross Championship that’s ahead of him; here’s hoping he found that little bit of speed he was looking for in order to make the 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship even more exciting than this past year’s colossal title fight!

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