Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Reed has been having some tough weekends as of late in the defense of his AMA Motocross Championship, but things took a step in the right direction last weekend at RedBud.
This was a step forward compared to what’s going on with you recently, isn’t it?
Chad Reed: Yeah, it’s been a rough go at it the last few weeks. It’s nice to be on the podium. The first moto was encouraging. I felt like I had what it took to win the race, but just didn’t have the chips fall my way. If [Ben] Townley’s bike falls to the right, Ryan [Dungey] gets derailed and I go up the inside and I make the pass and I win the race. Hear a lot of people say Ryan’s got this horseshoe that Ricky [Carmichael] had, so I need try to rattle that thing out of there a little bit. I wouldn’t mind borrowing it for the last six. Just give me a shot at the last six! He’s got a pretty good points lead, so we can see if I can borrow it for six.
What’s it like to go to round one and go out and win and obviously be confident and feel good, then have everything that’s gone on since then happen? What’s that like mentally for a racer like yourself?
I think mentally I’ve been through my fair share of ups and downs over the years. You always believe you can do it and know you can do it and hope you can do it still. There have just been a lot of challenges thrown at me that I’ve had to deal with and I feel like I’m trying to take it all in a good stride and conquer it, really, and get back to winning. Ryan is riding real well but I think I’ve got what it takes to win, and truthfully I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could win. There are a lot of things to work on and daily we’re working on them, but time’s crunched right now.
Do you feel better, though, knowing that you had it going in that first moto?
Yeah, absolutely. I think that was the positive and the negative on the day that I took away from it: The positive being that I was so excited and upbeat and really looking forward to the second moto, but somewhat frustrated with not being given the chance to battle it out on that last lap. But I’m excited. I think I carried that over into the moto a little bit in the second one. I went to the front pretty quick, but was a little forceful. This is a difficult track to be forceful on and I feel like the mistake that I made today was I was forceful in the second one, and just made really bad choices on lines and pushing in the wrong places, and I wasn’t aggressive in the right places. Overall, I gave up a lot of time to Ryan. Just little things like that at this point in your career, it’s just funny because you’re still learning and you’re still moving forward. As long as I’m learning things and moving forward, then I’ll continue to come out here.
A lot of people maybe don’t understand that. You want to win, but even if you’re not winning, but you are learning, that’s a good thing, right?
I really believe that, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve learned so much about myself and learned a lot about the sport. This year in general, starting off behind the eight ball, getting injured at the second supercross and missing supercross, dealing with the highs and lows, like the amazing feeling of having my first child and then losing one of my best friends… It’s been a huge year for me to really take in, and I’ve had a lot of things that I hadn’t had to deal with ever before, but I am now, both as a racer and as a person. I feel like I’m taking it all in, and as much as you want to say it sucks, there are a lot of positives to take from it. I feel that with six races to go, we’re still in a good position to fight. The points are ugly, but I’ve seen worse things happen.
On the other side of it, in three weeks we have X-Games. Are you doing that?
No, that’s not an event that I’m going to participate in this year. Basically, I’m going to go straight from Washougal to Australia and spend two weeks down there with my family. Baby Tate hasn’t made a showing; no one has met him. Only my mother-in-law has been around and met him so I don’t want him with a full grill and walking around and talking before they get to see him, so I’m going to miss out on X-Games. To be truthful, I don’t really think I would want to do it anyway. I feel like I’ve got my hands full with the Nationals. I don’t need to be switching over to supercross right now mid-season. I’m going to go back there and that’ll be good. I feel like I always come back rejuvenated from Oz and I’m looking forward to it.