With the Supercross season a little over a week away, riders and teams are scrambling to get things ready for Anaheim. Most racers would tell you that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, but a very select few, including Chad Reed, would tell you differently. Having worked his tail off since the nationals ended, Speedy Reedy is all set to go for A1. So prepared is Reed, in fact, that he was recently able to spend several weeks at home in Australia, away from the noise and distractions of the moto mecca. Transworld caught up with Chad on Wednesday during a teleconference with journalists from around the world as he was watching it rain from inside his home in California. But from the sound of things, the poor weather doesn’t seem to bug Reed one bit…
Chad, you’re back in America now from five weeks in Australia, where you had your own private Supercross track to practice on. What were the reasons for you going back home so close to the season starting?
Probably the biggest reason for me going back was that I felt that testing-wise, I had achieved what I needed to get done here. I had a lot going on in October, between the U.S. Open and getting married, plus two weeks after that I had a race in Australia. So, it was a pretty busy month along with testing and all, so I kind of just wanted to get back to Australia and have a track out there so I wouldn’t feel the pressure of needing to get back to the states to ride. It was just a rest and a refresher for the new season.
Do you think Ricky gained any sort of advantage from competing in the World SX rounds?
No, I don’t think so. From a racer’s point of view we all love to race and sure, when I was listening on the internet I kind of wished I was there racing, but then I saw it on TV it didn’t look that appealing to me. I was really quite happy that I made the decision that I made, to stay home and get rested. I felt like racing in December was something that I wasn’t ready to do. I think the World Supercross is a great series, but I just don’t support racing in December.
There was a rumor that you were going to go up and race the second round…
Actually, the second round I just got bored and felt that I needed to race. I was in Calgary the Thursday before the race because I had to go get my Visa all taken care of since I wasn’t able to do it when I was in Australia. It kind of just seemed like it would work out, because I was going to be in Canada and I felt like I was ready to race. But the team pretty much turned me down and told me I wasn’t allowed to do it. I think there are good reasons for everything, and I just wasn’t meant to do it this year.
Who do you see as your main competition this year?
Well I think other than Ricky, Stewart is going to be really competitive, and there is a lot of hype around him. I also think Kevin Windham is going to be strong. He is a guy that can never really be counted out. He has a huge amount of talent, and when that is used correctly, he is tough to beat. There are a lot of new challenges this season, but I am really happy to be a part of that elite group.
How have you been handling the hype, considering this is the most anticipated season the sport has ever had?
Well, I think the hype is for good reasons. I think that the people we are talking about are the main three, and we all believe we can win, and we want to win. But I am definitely not getting caught up in it. I know what I have to do to win a title and I know what it takes. I am just doing my own deal with training, testing and just getting ready.
You have always said that your dream was to someday win a Supercross title. Was it any harder to get motivated for this season now that you have done that?
No, I don’t think that I could ever struggle to find motivation to race or to win. In the last year it seems like my thhing is that I always want more and I always want to be better. But there is always someone ready to come up and try to beat. Last year I won the title, but people kind of questioned whether I earned it or not. Ricky wasn’t there, so I never really got to take his title away from him. I feel like this year I have something that I need to prove to everyone, and I think that I can win whether Ricky is there or not.
There has always been a lot of talk about Bubba being so fast on his 125s, sometimes spinning quicker lap times than the 250s. Do you think he has the ability to carry that talent straight into the 250 class?
I do. He has a lot of talent and a lot of skill on a motorcycle, and I have been in his position before. When I came up from the juniors to the seniors, and wanted to beat the big guys, everyone doubted me. That wasn’t too long ago, so I kind of know what Bubba is going through.
How are you feeling on the bike, as far as the new aluminum frame?
The bike is awesome. The first one I rode was a production bike that I did a photo shoot on. When I rode that bike I told Yamaha that I actually wanted to start off with a production base when testing. This year, we had a really good game plan, and even during the outdoor season those guys were working wide open on my Supercross bikes. I feel like we have the advantage now.
When we see you at Anaheim, will you be running #22 or #1?
It seems like this is a really controversial thing lately! From today, I will be running #22. Yamaha is obviously wanting me to run #1, but I like 22 because everyone knows me as that. It is all a marketing thing.
What are your plans between now and A1? Do you plan on playing any billiards?
(Laughs) No pool games! I feel like the start to this season is a hell of a lot better than what it was last year. This time last year, I was just barely starting to ride a bike again, so I feel like I have gotten a good three months under my belt of riding and training now. Hopefully I’ll be staying out of the rain, but one week (off the bike) is not going to make any difference. We are ready to race right now, and are just counting the days.