One of the strangest stories of the 2013 Pro Motocross season so far is the epic struggles of 2009 AMA 450 Motocross Champion Chad Reed. The Australian suffered a knee injury during this year’s Supercross Series and cut away from that to focus on getting ready for motocross, but things haven’t gone according to plan as he came down with a virus infection the week before the opener at Hangtown and has yet to recover.
To give you an idea of how bad it’s been for the 31-year-old TwoTwo Motosports Honda rider, consider this: Reed finished 14th overall at High Point and that’s his best result of the season.
The results are head scratching enough, but even more confounding is that Reed says that a stubborn virus is the cause of his poor performances, yet he’s decided not to disclose exactly what kind of illness he has. Reed was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in 2010, but says that it’s neither EBV nor mono this time around.
“It’s been a rough month,” Reed said. “After my knee surgery I turned all my focus and energy and time and effort into getting ready for outdoors. Then I got super sick and just had nothing to give. Supercross was a disaster for us and then we kind of put all our eggs in one basket and tried to come out swinging for the outdoors and it didn’t work out.
“I had a bunch of blood tests and some things we’re concerned with, but we’re working on it. But unfortunately there’s no quick overnight fix. It’s a matter of going through the process. We’re excited for this weekend to come and go and then have a weekend off. I need rest to regroup and get back to where I was.”
Reed said he got back final results of his medical tests last week and feels he’s on top of getting back to full strength. He admits that if he were part of a team with multiple riders, he probably wouldn’t be riding right now. But as sole rider of his own team he feels a responsibility to keep his effort going in spite of the dent to his ego and reputation as a rider.
“You really just want to hide in the truck and you don’t even want to race actually, but you’re here and you’ve got to do it. I feel like I’ve gained a little bit of… I don’t know how you’d want to say it… patience maybe? Trying to put a smile on your face when you’re a 15th-place guy. It’s something I’ve never had to do.”
Reed says he hopes by midseason he’ll start to be back where he can race competitively again. He said he feels the pressure of getting results in order to secure backing for next season.
“It’s interesting to not have calls returned,” he confessed. “My goal is to come back from the break and battle for top five at least and by the end of the year for podiums. That’s the goal.”