By Jim Kimball
At the final AMA outdoor Motocross at Ironman, it was Chad Reed’s motocross return that drew the loudest cheers. In a last-minute deal, Reed joined up with the Autotrader.com/Yoshimura/JGR Suzuki team to make a return to motocross. And with 5-8 moto scores in the taxing motos, Reed proved he still has it. And best of all, he had loads of fun! We talked to Chad just after the second moto ended. Now the wait begins to see if Chad lines up at Anaheim 1 next year!
CHAD, I WOULD SAY THAT 99% OF THE PEOPLE AT IRONMAN WOULD SAY YOUR RACING WAS A SUCCESS. I would agree that it was a success, and more than anything, I had fun. I really enjoyed it, coming into a press day yesterday, and doing some of the big jumps. It is really quite a beautiful track, to be honest. It was a shame that it rained because of how nice the facility and track is. I was nervous about the triple, I think they call it the Godzilla. I was a little nervous, but this year they made it a table top, so they made it easier on us. I definitely wanted to do press day, because I wanted to get that out of the way and jump that. I think it was a really positive day. I had a blast and really stoked that I did it.
WOULD YOUR RESULTS BEEN MUCH DIFFERENT IF IT HAD NOT RAINED? You know, I think there were a few things that the wet track resulted in different riding style. I think had it been drier, I would not have had that, but I would have had other things to experience with the track, so for me it is kind of a wash. I feel like a 5th is better than expected. I think around 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th was realistic, so I think we were above average in the first moto, and right around where we should have been in the second one.
YOUR STARTS WERE REALLY GOOD. The starts were good. Obviously, I watch the races all the time and I see when Justin Bogle is racing, I see he gets holeshots all the time. I did starts for the first time on the Suzuki on Thursday and every start felt consistent, and from a rider’s standpoint that is what you want. You want to do a start and have feel the same every time, and there is nothing making you scratch your head or anything like that. Literally, I think I did four starts on Thursday and busted out two pretty much holeshots today, so I will take it.
IN MOTO TWO DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WERE IN FRONT OF ELI TOMAC? Yes, I saw Eli behind me. But, I have been around it long enough to understand that there is a championship on the line and you do what you have to do. He was there and he kind of yo-yo’ed behind me, off me, on me. It was cool to beat the fastest guy in the class and I was totally happy that I beat Eli Tomac. But certainly, he was going for the title, and I get the bigger picture.
DID YOU HEAR THE CROWD CHEERING FOR YOU? Oh yeah, the whole way around the track. They were cheering the whole time. They seemed super stoked that I was out there. Unfortunately, I do not get to pull the fun card. I don’t get to just come here, and be here to have fun. There are expectations on me because of my previous results. My name holds a certain value of where I am supposed to be, so I think that with all that said, today was a positive day. I performed better than most people thought. As a race you always want to hope that it is there, and you believe that it is there, but sometimes when you have a really challenging summer, like 2013, 2014 and 2015 outdoors, and 2018 in Supercross, those questions that you try to ignore are still there. I think coming out today and performing the way I did makes me feel excited. It makes me feel good about my preparation at home. My lack of riding did not seem to hurt me a whole lot. Can I do better? Yes. Can I be fitter? Yeah. Can I be more prepared? Yes, but for what it was, it was unbelievable. I tipped all the boxes, so it was a fun weekend
THIS FINISH IS GOOD FOR WHAT YOU IN GETTING A RIDE FOR 2019, ISN’T IT? Obviously, there are lots of those talks happening. The goal for me personally is to be on a factory team in 2019. I can say that I have enjoyed my time a lot at JGR. It brings back a lot of good vibes and memories of my Suzuki days. You know, people think of my American career, but obviously there was a career before I came here. I was always a Suzuki amateur, from 11 until I was 17. I won my first ever Pro race and my first Pro championship on Suzuki. A lot of people think of 2009 was my only year on Suzuki, but there history with the company, so everything feels at home.