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Monday Conversation: Chad Reed

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It’s still a little weird for most of us to see Chad Reed on a green Monster Energy Kawasaki, but get used to it. Reed is on a new bike, and like most people, also on new tires, and he’s looking impressively fast yet again. He successfully defended his Australasian Supercross Championship, and he absolutely dominated the finale in Brisbane last Saturday night. He’s got big plans for 2010. We talked to him after the race.

  • Chad Reed holds up the number-one plate yet again.
  • Reed celebrates on the podium for the last time this year in Australia.
Racer X: Talk a little bit about the progression of the series this year. It seems like everyone’s saying it’s much better this year than in its first year.
Chad Reed: Yeah, I think the second year’s always the hardest. Watching other promoters and other sports going into their second year, it seems like they make major changes the second year, where some things are better, but some things are always worse. I think this year our TV package was amazing. They achieved their goals with that. But I think the actual production of the event during the day needs to be a little better; the timing the fans get in, when we race, all that kind of stuff, it can be better. But overall, the tracks were a bit better, the riders rode a lot better, and it was definitely a better second year.

This is the first time that top American riders have shown up for this...
Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people are watching the videos that are posted immediately after the race – not only the fans, but I think a lot of the riders, because in talking to the guys who came over here, they mention that they saw this or that on the internet – so they’re up to date on it, and if they say they’re not, they’re probably lying, so there are a lot of positives. [The promoters] are bringing a new aspect of the sport. They’re making it exciting for the actual fans there, and the TV here is turning out really, really well, so from a racer’s point of view, it was fun this year. A lot of the things I hated last year I actually enjoyed this year

In qualifying, you showed that you still have an ability to put down some raw speed...
I’m confident. To comment on that, I feel great on the bike, I feel race-ready, and I feel like there’s still plenty to work on, which is a good thing. I’ve only done five days of testing, so where we’re at, I’m quietly confident for 2010. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. I don’t feel like I’ve given up anything. I feel like I’ve gained more from it. My switch to the Kawasaki has been really positive, and everything has been well thought out and planned. When I committed my time to the Nationals, it was so much harder. It wasn’t like I just jumped at it and jumped in the deep end, because there was more to the picture. It wasn’t as easy as saying, “I’m going to go race the Nationals.” I had to really think about it, and luckily I was in a position to win a championship two races from the end, and as soon as I won in Budds Creek, I really stepped away. I stepped away from the program.

You talked about how much you loved the Suzuki, but you were on a Yamaha for a really long time prior to that switch, and now you’re on a Kawasaki, so you’re starting to fill in the rainbow pretty quickly.
Yeah, which kind of sucks to a degree. Throughout my whole career, I’ve always been consistent and loyal, and I think if things had been different at Yamaha, I would’ve finished up there, and three or four years ago, I would’ve told you that that was the goal, but things change, and I think things happen for a reason. I went to Suzuki and I learned a lot and had a great year, but budgets were a huge issue this year with Suzuki. Bikewise, I loved my bike. It was a great bike. My only complaint was suspension components, and I’m really stoked to be on Kawasaki and have KYB again. I think the product is superior to everything else, and it’s exciting to kind of have that feeling. Sometimes, you feel like you have a goal and you know what you want it to feel like, and you chase it and chase it, and sometimes you think you’re crazy and wonder if it’s real or in your head, but immediately, the first day that I rode my Kawasaki, it was, “Okay, I’m not crazy, and I think I can grow and be faster and stronger on this bike.”

Next year, you’re going back up against James Stewart, who has a new bike, too, and then we’ll have Ryan Villopoto and Josh Grant, and we’ll have Ryan Dungey now, but you have proven yourself over the years of getting a podium in something like hundreds of races...
Yeah, I don’t even know how many. All I know is that I have 38 wins and I want to get a lot more. You know, 2010 is fast approaching us, and like I said, I’m quietly confident, and I’m not buying into the pre-season hype that I’ve seen and read about. It’s been a fun experience and a great experience to come to Australia and be around my friends and family and just get some downtime. Had I not have done this series, I would’ve left the Motocross des Nations and switched over to Monster and Kawi and continued down the road of just pumping out lap after lap at the Corona test track, and I think that can burn you out more than racing every weekend throughout the whole year! In my book, that’s not what’s fun. What’s fun is racing. Racing is fun. We all love to go racing, and we love to be in front of the fans and the people. So I think 2010 is going to be great, and all of the obvious guys are going to be strong and fast. I think I’ll be just fine. I wouldn’t have signed this contract if I didn’t feel I had a good chance to win races and titles, so I’m in it to win it, and I feel like I’ve got a great shot at it. It’s going to be a fun year, and it’s going to be hard-fought. There are a lot of guys who are going to come in with a full head of steam, and after the third, fourth or fifth race, we’ll see the normal rhythm.

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