Photography By: Andrea Wilson
ANAHEIM, CA, JAN. 3 - Excuse Chad Reed if he's not giddy like a kid in a candy store just days away from the season-opening Anaheim Supercross. The excitement tends to be tempered somewhat when you're starting your 11th season. Let's just say that he's seen this movie before.
"When you grow up and you've been to one of these things a time or two, it's funny," Reed said. "As I sit here today I find it amusing that we're sitting up here and everybody is all serious and everybody's bikes are the best they've ever been, they're training as hard as they ever have and all that kind of crap. I'm just ready to drop the gates, go racing and have some fun on a dirt bike that I love doing. For me, 2003 as a rookie 250 guy I remember the nerves and going against Ricky [Carmichael] and all them... it's not that that's not there, it's just different. You look at it and view it differently."
With his injured knee completely rehabilitated, Reed had an enjoyable off-season that saw him win some races in his homeland of Australia - including one that ran in conjunction with the MotoGP round at Phillip Island. In addition to that, he's been training and riding at his place in Florida and enjoying the go-karting track he built on his property.
"The last few months have been fun," Reed said. "Right from the Monster Energy Cup I went back to Oz and did three races down there and got to hang out with the family a little bit. I did what I had to do the last couple of months and we'll see if it's enough here in a couple of nights. It's a long series so I just try to start off consistent and be there at the end - not like last year and crash out."
When asked what he anticipates from the coming season, Reed was to the point.
"I anticipate it to be a 17-race series and you're going to have to be there every weekend," Reed said. "Like I always say, in it to win it. New guys come and go all the time. I was one of them and you never knew what you were going to get. It's evident that Justin [Barcia] is here to stay. He did really well at Monster Cup so you know we have a stacked class. But as far as the season, it takes being there every weekend and being fast on bad weekends and sacrificing some race wins to try to try to be on the podium. I will try and do my thing as always and try to end up in Vegas with a shot at this thing."
Reed has won 41 AMA Supercross events and he's fourth on the all-time win list. He's also a six-time winner of the Anaheim Supercross.