Last year there was a lot of talk surrounding yet another Australian rider making his American debut on the Geico Powersports/ Honda squad. Dan Reardon showed plenty of potential in his first U.S. season, but perhaps did not live up to many fans' expectations in the 250 class. For this season, Reardon switched over to the 450 class outdoors and was a whole new rider. Scoring fourth in the second moto at Freestone, Dan looked to be well on his way to backing up the hype that preceded him. Unfortunately, the following weekend at Mt. Morris, the friendly Aussie suffered a bad crash that has had him sitting on the sidelines since. We caught up with Dan to discuss what happened in his crash, the move to the 450s, and the possibilities for next season.
Take us through your injury at Mt. Morris.
Well, the race was beginning to come around for me. I had gotten a really bad start and I was coming from way back in the pack. There was about a lap to go and I was stuck behind this lapper. I couldn't actually see the face of the jump that we were going off of because he was right in front of me and there was a kicker that I just didn't see. I was seat bouncing the jump and I kind of went over the bars and hit the ground pretty hard. I ended up hurting my shoulder and both of my knees. I wouldn't say that was the end of my season right there but it was definitely the end for a little while at least. It was definitely disappointing but right now I am just ready to get back on the bike.
Your disappointment is understandable because the previous weekend at Freestone you had your best finish ever in a National, right?
Yeah, just being on the 450 this year was so much of a change for me, but I was returning to what I was used to. When I first came to America, I had already been on the 450 for two years back in Australia. That's where Chad and I had a good race so people started hearing about me, but the 450 was really a comfort thing for me. I gave the whole 250 thing a go and the first year wasn't a bad year by any means. It wasn't perfect either or what I had hoped for, but it was an okay year. It just didn't happen for me in Supercross. I had a couple of crashes and got hurt here and there. Once I stepped up to the 450 outdoors, me and the team put a big effort into it where me and the team tried to develop the bike so that it was comfortable for me to race and they did a great job. I was feeling, without telling anybody, that things were going to turn around. Every race from the first round got better and I got stronger and stronger. That's how I wanted the season to go, but without setting goals too high or basing them on any result, I knew that I just wanted to get stronger as the season went on. Freestone was definitely a good ride for me, but that definitely wasn't the end and things were only going to get better from there. Unfortunately, as a lot of other people seem to be experiencing this year, I am sitting on the couch. But I am going to come back stronger, faster, and harder once again.
So how is your recovery coming along? Do you have any date set when you are going to be back on the bike?
My recovery is going really good. The shoulder surgery went perfect and along with the rehab I am actually ahead of schedule from where I should be. But I want to race before the year is out and do some Outdoors if I can. I will do what ever I can, and in a perfect world, I will try to finish out the Nationals. That's my goal and what I am striving for. I won't be at Unadilla this weekend but, fingers crossed, I will race before the season is out. Obviously I need to play it a little safe as well but I also want to be out there and it is important for me.
It's also important to keep you fresh in people's minds for next year. Speaking of which, do you have a contract for next season?
No, I am not signed for next year, but whatever happens I will be riding a 450 both in Supercross and motocross next year. It will be good to show people what I am capable of on the 450 in Supercross and I am really looking forward to next year.
There was certainly a lot of hype built up around you when you came here last year, but your finishes on the smaller bikes probably were not what people were expecting. Perhaps your 450 results have show more of your true potential?
I did always feel like I was fighting the 250F. I loved the bike but I wasn't always 100 percent comfortable. Like I said it wasn't necessarily a bad year but it wasn't a good year either. Perhaps what people were thinking was, "Maybe this guy can turn it around."