Motocross

Chad tidings

Chad tidings

After a storming debut year in 250 GPs, Chad Reed headed Stateside to bash bars with Bubba. A year on he’s got RC in his sights… Chad Reed left Europe without a world title – although second to Mickael Pichon in his debut GP year was pretty damned impressive. But in his rookie season Stateside the 20-year-old Aussie put himself on the ‘most wanted’ list with almost total domination of the East Coast 125 SX, top six placings in his handful of 250 SX rides as well as second place in the Vegas Shoot Out and third in the 125cc Nationals. Promoted from the Boost Mobile/Troy support team to the full American Yamaha squad before anyone else could try to steal him away, Chad was in stunning form during a quickfire trip back to Europe in December to contest the opening rounds of the THQ Supercross GP. Chad left second on points to team-mate David Vuillemin, bouncing back from a horrendous mid-air collision with Seb Tortelli at round one in Geneva to roast the entire field at the Arnhem Gelredome. The boy is for real and bubbling with confidence as Alex Hodgkinson found out when they chatted pre-race in Holland. dbr: Welcome back to Europe Chad – even if it’s only for a fortnight. You’re back on a two-stroke again. Why? CR: “That’s where I feel comfortable and that’s where I enjoy myself the best. I was lucky enough to get a ride with the factory Yamaha team and was able to have a choice of bikes. I tried the 450. It’s a great bike but I feel more comfortable on two-strokes so that’s the bike I’m going to be racing.” dbr: Your speed was good in Geneva but you ended up fifth after the collision with Tortelli. How do you see your race? CR: “I think I could have won it, I just didn’t get a great start. I think it was obvious that Tortelli made bad choices – I wanted to get past him but when he took off the jump he just completely went from one side of the track to the other. Once we were in the air I had no control. But I’m walking, I got the wrist X-rayed and I’m fine.” dbr: David Bailey felt you got impatient. CR: “Sebastien was making mistakes in the whoops and everyone passed him at the turn after that. He went inside there when I was behind him to prevent the block but there was enough room after the turn for me to get past. SX is 20 laps and you can’t wait around all race. I train hard all week to win and Yamaha hire me to do just that. I didn’t come halfway round the world for second.” dbr: Do you think you could have caught David Vuillemin? CR: “For sure. We’re on the same bike, I feel my fitness is good and I felt sure I could beat him. But that was Geneva. It’s the past and all that matters now is to beat David – and everybody else – in Arnhem. Last weekend we didn’t get what we wanted but this week we’re gonna!” dbr: Was it your choice to race SX GP or did Yamaha want it? CR: “It’s a little bit of both. I think that Yamaha pushed for it a little bit more than I pushed for it but I think it will be a lot of fun – and I think it’s going to benefit us that we already have two races. I’m looking forward to winning this weekend and then carry that on to Anaheim.” dbr: You seem pretty well accepted in the States. Do you think it has something to do with you being a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant)? CR: “Yes, I think I’m accepted in the US more than most foreigners. I talk the language and I enjoy it there a lot. When I’m there I’m happy and people see that.” dbr: How was it racing James Stewart? CR: “It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. Some weekends I could beat him, most weekends he’d beat me. I don’t have to race him this year but when he comes to 250 I will. He’s only a couple of years younger than I am so it won’t be long but I’ll be ready for him. dbr: From January 4 on you’ll be racing Carmichael. Are you up to it? CR: “Yeah. I can’t wait and I’m up to it. He’s won a hell of a lot of races and is very dominant but I definitely hope to be the person to stop his run.”