Photography by Andrea Wilson
ANAHEIM, CA, JAN. 2 - If there is one rider going to the starting gate for Saturday night’s opening round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series with the ability to make a prognosticator look bad that rider is Chad Reed. Pick him to get smoked and he can make you look bad in a hurry. Ditto for picking him to win. With Reed it truly is a matter of waiting until Saturday night to see what he’s got.
Reed showed up for today’s pre-event press conference at Angel Stadium looking relaxed, calm and almost downbeat. But why wouldn’t he be. He’s seen this movie before. After all, this will be the Australian’s 12th Anaheim Supercross opener so you can hardly expect him to giddily jump up and down on the stage.
Reed is back for his third season as team owner/racer in the TwoTwo Motorsports team, but this time he’s back on a Kawasaki – three seasons removed from a disastrous 2010 season when he was a member of the factory Kawasaki team. Back then he didn’t like the KX450F, but he says things have changed.
“Luckily a lot,” Reed said when asked how much the Kawasaki has changed since he last rode it. “For me it was about riding every bike and I’m probably as surprised as anybody that I chose this bike after the last time I was on it. But it is what it is and the bike changed, we saw that last year, and I’m going to go do my thing. I’m healthy and I’m going to do the best I can and put the bike and me and more than anything Discount Tire [his new team title sponsor] on the stop step.”
The 31-year-old Aussie who now calls Florida home admits that being a team owner is a lot of work, but he says he’s still enjoying the challenge.
“It’s been fun the last three years,” Reed said. “It’s been a lot of work, but I think for me when I sat down and looked at the ins and outs, the positives and negatives, I want to see this thing through. I want it to become what I want it to become and try to win some more races and challenge for a title.”
As for the changes to the program with the 450s now getting the addition of semis… it’s a case of same ol’, same ol’ for the 31-year-old veteran.
“A lot has obviously changed over the years and I think when I rode some West coast races in 2002 there were semis and stuff that year,” Reed said. “So it will be different, but the same all at once. Anaheim has a lot of pressure, a lot of hype around it, but when you’ve been here a time or two it’s kind of fun. You can take it all in and enjoy the moment. It’s definitely much easier when you start to grind it out [later in the season] and there’s a pecking order that starts to form by March. Everyone has high expectations this weekend and they are all coming off of a lot of down time. Shit happens at this first race so you’ve got to be careful.”
As for life itself… that’s where Reed seems to have it all.
“It’s fun. I’ve got a good group of guys, Ellie and the two kids… life is great right now. We’re having a blast. I get to do my training and be a mini dad in the afternoons after we pick Tate [his young son] up from school. Honestly, I would say that my life is the best it’s ever been and I’m excited to be here and enjoy that moment with them.”