Chad Reed: “Before the 2004 season, I dislocated my shoulder and was away from training and riding for almost seven weeks. That year I won 10 races and was on the podium six times. Following the 2007 season, I had the entire summer off and won the 2008 championship.”
The desire to win has always been a staple in Chad Reed’s training regimen, but unlocking the potential to maximize his speed and talent has been a course of trial and error. That is until now. Heading into the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season, Reed’s time away from the sport may be the key to success based on history.
The two-time AMA Supercross class champion reflected on his most successful seasons, 2004 and 2008, noting that time away from the rigors of professional supercross racing and training have actually helped him.
“Before the 2004 season, I dislocated my shoulder and was away from training and riding for almost seven weeks,” said Reed. “That year I won 10 races and was on the podium six times. Following the 2007 season, I had the entire summer off and won the 2008 championship.”
Reed, who is third on the all-time AMA Supercross class wins list with 38, further analyzed his career path, noting that he made huge mistakes in trying to defend his championship, which he has yet to do.
“In the off-season, I have always worked hard to defend my titles, and I think that has hurt me,” he added. “As I was trying to get better, I was actually hurting my progress.”
Last year, Reed was forced to withdraw from the championship due to an injury to his left hand that happened in a crash with rival James Stewart. This allowed Reed to step away from the sport and live a normal life for a few months, which included becoming a father to his son, Tate. One could make the case that the AMA Supercross class veteran has been overworked and arguably so; he’s first on the all-time consecutive start list with 116.
“I know that you have to be in it to win it,” said Reed about his consistency.
As Reed’s contract with the Monster Energy Kawasaki came to an end this fall, he was left without a job and the search wasn’t easy. After exploring the market, he decided to take a chance and form his own team, riding Honda motorcycles with support from Pro Circuit. During the time that he was unemployed, the Australian native wondered if this was a sign to call it quits.
“I’ve been around and seen a lot and thought that forming my own team would be something that was fun, new and exciting,” said Reed. “I’ve always tried to stay focused and do what I believe in, but there was something missing. It was like 80% was there and I was missing something and that was happiness. Right now I feel like I am at 100%.”
Reed began racing in the U.S. in 2003, winning the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship as a rookie and moving into the premier class the following season. As he enters his eighth season, he welcomes the challenges the 2011 season presents.
“Everyone keeps talking about how competitive this season is going to be that I feel like it’s going to be the young guys versus the old guys like James (Stewart) and I,” said Reed.
While the rivalry between Stewart and Reed was put on the shelf in 2010, it will be a major part of the 2011 storyline.
“James and I have a lot of respect for each other and what gets in the way is we both want to win and neither of us let anything get in the way of that,” said Reed. “My job is to show up prepared and do what I do best.”