Five Minutes with Chad Reed

With several races in the books, Chad Reed has been working hard to get a piece of victory pie. With more pressure than ever, Reed is now at a crucial part of the season, and is looking to step things up a notch. We talked to Chad about everything from split starts to golf, and how he plans to make the 2005 season his.

Do you still have the same confidence coming into this weekend that you did at the beginning of the series?

Yeah, I still have the confidence. I feel good on the bike again, and I feel that if I ride the way I should ride — the way I know I can ride — then we can win. I have no doubts in that. I feel that once we get the first win, the second win will come. There are some things that I need to work on. I’ve been off a little bit. My riding wasn’t as great as I expected it to be, and Ricky has been riding great. I just want to ride all I can, get some wins and have some fun.

You said that after the first few races, you made a few changes to the bike. What kind of things have you been playing with?

It was just a number of things. I think that my riding was a little off, therefore I wasn’t riding the bike to its full potential and the way it was set up to ride. I feel like I wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be. So we just went back to the baseline and got the point where I was more comfortable on the motorcycle, and things started happening for the better. My riding is feeling better, and things have been going great this week. I’m excited, I have won two races at Anaheim, and I would like to make it three this weekend. I’m confident: I don’t feel bummed out or like I am behind the 8-ball or whatever. I just need to polish a few tools up, and try to come back swinging.

Aside from your training, what do you do during the week to break up your schedule so you aren’t too focused on racing?

I just try to go riding — good riding – to work on the things I need to work on. Also just hanging out with Ellie, playing some golf, doing stuff that makes my life fun. It is a long season and a long career, and you can’t just beat yourself up everyday. You have got to put some fun in there.

So is golf your main thing to tune out all the other stuff?

Yeah, I can just go out there and have a good game of golf. I like to just be Chad — don’t be Chad Reed (laughs). I like to just hang with my buds and have some fun.

What do you shoot?

I shoot anywhere from 75 to low 80’s.

If you get some lessons, will we be seeing you on the PGA tour?

(Laughs) That would be cool! I’d like to play some pro golf. Definitely, after racing you are never too old to play golf. We’ll see what happens.

Back to racing, you have the best seat in the house to see Ricky ride. What are the little things that he does that are different from everyone else?

I think his turns are just a little bit better these last couple of weeks. I have been working on that, trying to get my turns down again. Like I said, I just want to sharpen up some of the stuff that I have and bring that to the table. It is kind of a shock on the weekends, so I am going to work on that.

Do you think you have any case of overtraining?

Physically I feel good. My health is great. It’s just my riding that is a little off. It is coming back quick, the test track was a little bit different than the racetrack. Thing have been thrown at us that weren’t expected, but we are working hard and are confident that we can get up there and go unchallenged.

What do you think of the split start this weekend?

Out of the last three that I have done, I have holeshot all three. They are good to me. It can be circus a bit, or it can be good. I think it is a tough thing for the track guys to try and get it even. I think that is a really tough job for them. For them, they have got to keep wwatching it. As the track changes, things change. As long as they keep it even, it is a good deal. I remember the first time we had it was in ’03, and I was going one way and Ricky was going another and we were always battling. You can hear the crowd when you are riding, wondering who is going to come out where. It is a fun thing, but I wouldn’t want to have it every weekend.