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Exclusive: Chad Reed interview | Features

It’s been an eventful year for Chad Reed. Coming into the season, no one counted him out for a title run but we knew, and he knew, it was going to be tough.

A Different Kind of Year for Reedy

ADB: Been a weird year for you. There was the win, I haven’t seen you crash this much and, of course, there was the DQ as well.

Chad Reed: It’s been a crazy year, to be honest. For whatever reason I showed up at Anaheim and struggled at the first couple and then, like you said, there was the black flag situation. It’s just been a real uphill battle, just been a tough season. Like you said, I don’t believe that I’ve crashed in 10 years as what I have this year. Just wrong place, wrong time sometimes but the majority of the time just dumb mistakes on my part.

I can’t put a finger on it, exactly what I feel, but definitely going to do some backtracking at the end of the series here and try to figure out where it went south and try to be better for next year.

ADB: But you got a win, which is nice, you’ve won a Supercross race every single year since 2003 when you’ve made it to the end.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t be out there if I didn’t think I could win. That’s kind of what I’ve always been saying. As long as I feel competitive and as long as I want to come out there and do it. It still is a lot of fun. I feel like I have the motivation, the skills, the package to get it done.

It’s just not happened nearly as much as I’d like. Surely it is nice to get a win. I think there’s been two years, 2010 and 2013 are the only years that I haven’t won a race. And both those years I was injured.

ADB: Do we know for sure that 2016 is going to be your last year racing?

As I sit here today I say I’m, for sure, racing. There’s no timeline, there’s no date put forth or anything like that. Maybe it will be like what Windham did and I bail on a series or maybe it will be at the end of the season and I have a good season or I win or this or that, and I just go, you know what, I’m good. And I don’t know when that’s going to be.

ADB: You hired a teammate this year and if there was a constructors’ championship in Supercross, you and Josh Grant would be second behind factory Honda so that’s good for you.

That’s a pretty cool stat. It’s something that I’m proud of. When you take a year like this and in our fifth year as a race team, it’s the little things that you’ve got to be happy with. This is our first year of taking on a second rider. That was a big deal for us just taking on and learning that not everything is about me, trying to spread the love. I feel we came into the season maybe not as prepared as we needed to be. A few things went wrong. Josh had foot surgery in the middle of December. I think that that kind of slowed down and delayed his progress throughout the off-season.

ADB: I feel like, for whatever reason, this year wasn’t the best in terms of great racing and buzz around the series …your thoughts?

I think any time that you take a James Stewart, second on the all-time win list or a Ryan Villopoto being a four-time-in-a-row champ, you remove two guys like that obviously isn’t a positive thing. I think what the series lacks these days is there’s no flavor in there anymore. It’s very boring.

Even as serious as Ricky (Carmichael) was and the training and all that, maybe because I’m older and it’s just once you’ve lived an era it’s hard to embrace or enjoy the next era, I probably am teeter tottering right now. I’m still able to be competitive and I obviously still want to race and still find myself with a shot at these things.

I kind of call myself more old-school than new-school. What I see in this new-school group, they’re boring. There’s no flavour there. The way they race is really different. It’s not as fun.

ADB: Ryan Dungey was better than he’s ever been. New bike, got married and he was much better week-to-week than everyone else. What did you think of his year?

At the end of the day I always thought that Ryan Dungey was going to be the guy that we had to beat, as far as just a competitive guy that was going to be there, week in and week out. Did I think he was going to win as many races? I honestly was hoping to be on the opposite side of it and be the one winning the races. But I just think that you’ve got the guy that’s been given a better competitive motorcycle. Clearly the Aldon (Baker) program works for certain people.

Kenny (Roczen) seems like he imploded. It just seems really bizarre to me how that all went down. I didn’t really think that he was going to be the guy to go out there and kill it all year but then you never know. He’s young but I also see him as somebody that last year, even when there were mistakes, for the most part he was there every weekend. So I kind of factored him in to be a bigger chance. But everybody else, I think (Trey) Canard was better than I expected and more consistent than I expected. Him getting hurt wasn’t necessarily his own doing, it was just wrong place, wrong time. I think Dungey had a great year, great program, great bike, great race team. When you add all those things up good things are going to happen.

ADB: You’re going home to race the Aus-X Open Supercross against James Stewart, you must be pumped about that.

I’m excited to go home. I haven’t been home …actually I got back there last year but I was there really quick, didn’t really get to see family too much. November’s always a really tough time to go home because it’s crunch time. But I think it’ll be exciting for Australian Supercross. I’m excited because James is going also. To race James in my own country will be fun.

Photo: Cudby

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