ASK THE MXPERTS: CHAD DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG

Dear MXA,
    I don’t understand why everyone is so down on Chad Reed. He didn’t do anything wrong? When you get the blue flag you are suppose to “hold your line.” If Dungey was so fast, why didn’t he just pass Chad and move on?

You are picking and choosing the parts of the rule that suit your argument — you skipped over the section that states “2. When conditions allow, move out of the fast line.” And even the section that you cherry-picked that says “hold your line,” also continues to say, “do not impede the faster riders progress.”

The are several salient points at stake here:

(1) Chad Reed was lapped and was riding around in 16th place when Dungey, running in second, came up on him. Chad should have swung wide in the next corner and let Dungey go by—and then, if he wanted to, he could have tagged along behind Dungey to continue his race at a faster pace.

(2) The fans didn’t pay the excessive Supercross ticket prices to watch a 16th place lapper race with the second place guy. Chad Reed robbed the paying patrons of the race they came to see—which was Tomac versus Dungey. Instead, Chad’s actions caused Dungey to lose so much time that his chance to attempt to get closer to Tomac was ruined. And the fans were left hanging.

(3) Ryan Dungey didn’t push the issue with Chad Reed to make a sketchy pass because he is racing for the 2017 Supercross Championship—and Chad was already showing that he was in an unstable frame of mind by ignoring continuous blue flags. What’s to say that Chad wouldn’t have chopped down on Ryan out of spite for whatever peeve that Skippy had against him.

(4) Reed was fined $5000, which is probably what he spend on dinner the night before, and penalized 5 points (no big deal for a guy who is so far out of the Championship lead that he has already been mathematically eliminated). At least, in this case, the AMA did enforce a rule. That is something that they rarely do. That doesn’t make it better for the paying fans or for Ryan Dungey.

(5) The blue flag must be obeyed for fair racing to take place. And we should all remember when Kyle Chisholm was James Stewart’s Yamaha teammate and got in Chad Reed’s way while being lapped in Salt Lake City in 2009. Chisholm was black flagged, disqualified from the race and not allowed to start the next week’s race. Chad got off lucky.

(6) Anyone who has ever raced, has been held up by a lapper. It happens. But if it happens for more than one or two corners—it is happening on purpose. Chad Reed did not let the faster rider by for several laps. What did you call the lapper who blocked you at Chicken Licks Raceway? That’s what Chad Reed is.

Photo: Scott Mallonee

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