Rapid ReaXtion: Chad Reed Back with HondaTuesday, November 8, 2011 | 4:00 PM
Today TwoTwo Motorsports officially announced their new deal for 2012 with Honda, which keeps Reed riding red. There was some speculation that Reed could have linked up with another manufacturer, like Suzuki, but now those rumors have been put to rest.
Here's what our editors think of Reed's new deal. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
This is a good move for Reed, and here's why: Forget about his spectacular crash at Millville, but rather how fast he was going before it, because that was the true measure of his speed. Reed was the outdoor points leader before that ridiculous crash, and he also won the last round of the AMA Supercross tour. The only glimpse of real speed we saw after that was his win at the Motocross of Nations. Now he's had time to rest, get his team set again and prepare for 2012 -- and he doesn't have to worry about starting over with a brand new bike (and here's betting Honda gives him even better parts this time around).
Much like the Stewart/JGR deal a few weeks back, Reed’s 2012 plans definitely seemed liked they could mesh with Suzuki. Today, I’m hearing a lot of fans expressing how well TwoTwo would have worked in yellow, as we already know he rides that bike well. But I think the Stewart/JGR Yamaha connection and TwoTwo sticking with Honda comes down to long-term stability and commitment, as much as what bike will produce faster lap times in 2012. In today’s climate, long-term commitment is a much bigger factor than it used to be.
It was announced today that Reed and TwoTwo Motorsports will be back on red for 2012.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson (@afred)
Stewart, for example, got a three-year deal with JGR Yamaha and even a chance to do some car racing down the road. Similarly, it’s clear Reed is focusing not just on 2012 race results, but on the future of his team. With this Honda deal, his boys get to work in house at the Honda shop, which is a massive move forward for a satellite team. I’m also hearing Honda may have some big improvements up their sleeve with the 2013 CRF450R, and Reed’s team will be on the ground floor for that bike. This link up with Honda could lock in TwoTwo well beyond Reed’s own racing days, which is a huge accomplishment. Seriously, no rider who ever became a team owner has been able to keep the team going very far after his own retirement.
True, Honda is in deep this year with the factory Trey Canard/Justin Brayton tandem, the McBrooks team with Andrew Short, GEICO with Kevin Windham, and Reed's effort. But it sure seems like Reed arranged this one carefully to make sure his squad succeeds, this year and into the future.
And it’s not like Reed was a slouch on the red bike! Dude could have won both the supercross and motocross titles if things had bounced a different way. Why change what seems to be working?
Should any of us really be shocked that Reed returned to Honda? Other than some early season troubles with his set-up, Reed was ecstatic about his situation last year. And when Reed is happy with his surroundings he tends to do very well. Case in point: second overall in supercross and third overall outdoors after leading a majority of the series. I think I would have been more surprised if Reed didn’t re-up with Honda.
So Reed’s back at Honda and this is a surprise? I know that he’s publicly stated that he was dancing with Suzuki and he even busted me a few times on Twitter when I stated that he was on a Honda but honestly, I knew all along that he was going to stay red. It was a natural fit, he really outperformed the factory teams riders last year (Canard and Grant were hurt) and was rewarded with a full factory bike after a few races.
The reason that I figured he’d ride red was because it just made sense. Hey, even though they blew up the shark at the end of Jaws, the movie was awesome and it made a billion dollars. Of course they’d have to make Jaws 2! Reed was incredible last year (and he really got appreciably better with the works Honda) and everyone wants to see that mojo keep on keepin on.
Some speculated was that Reed would make a return to Suzuki.
Photo: Simon Cudby (@cudby)
Along the way Reed acquired an appreciation for the sport of motocross, the fans and the way he interacted with them. It was a win-win for the red guys and for Reed himself. He always wanted to be on a Honda (some would say because he had ridden for every other brand but I’m not going to be a negative nelly) and his talk about having the best bike out there was proven with his results.
Add to the fact that sometime late last year his team moved into the road-racing shop at American Honda, his mechanic is a long time Honda employee, he just hired Mike Gosselaar who was at Honda forever, and is beloved there, and you have everything fitting together like making another movie about a killer shark.
Reed on red? Bingo-bang- a slam-dunk.
Bring on 2012.
The fact that Chad Reed is sticking with Honda should come as no surprise. Before TwoTwo Motorsports had even come together, Reed had been vocal about his desire to ride Hondas in 2011, and despite a somewhat rough start to the supercross season, he started putting in great rides, demonstrating that he was indeed a title contender.
When that happened, equipment started to trickle down from Honda’s factory team, and as the season progressed, Factory Honda technicians could be seen at work on the TwoTwo machine at any given race, signifying that a working relationship between Factory Honda and TwoTwo Motorsports had indeed been forged. Now, after a year of racing aboard the red bikes, Reed is both familiar and comfortable with them, he’s proved he can win on them, and most importantly, it seems to be a relationship that Reed is happy with. As we’ve seen in the past, a happy Reed is a fast Reed.
Can Reed contend for another championship in 2012?
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson (@afred)
Share this article:
Did you like this article?
Check out INDO MOTOin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Deus Slidetober is an annual surfing-meets-moto event held in Bali, Indonesia. This is what surfercross in paradise looks like. Page 132.