Chad Reed: AMA Motocross Title Defense

The Boys of Summer

Only at the end of the outdoor motocross season in 2009, when it was looking pretty good that Chad Reed was going to win the AMA 450cc title, was it revealed that Reed had ridden for nothing.

The last minute decision to go MX racing in the outdoors, which hadn’t been budgeted for, resulted in Reed and Suzuki barely cobbling together enough sponsors to get the necessary gear and people into place in time. This meant the seasoned rider would not be taking home a paycheck.

Instead, Reed bet on himself in a big way. The Aussie took out an insurance policy on himself. If he won the title he would collect a decent bonus (rumored to be $2 million). If he finished second or worse, he would pull down exactly zero.

What does that tell you about the man and the confidence he has in himself? Granted, as the season finished out some top players had been sidelined with injuries (James Stewart, Mike Alessi, Ryan Villopoto) but remember, Reed made this ballsy gambit before any of that had come to pass. He gambled on himself when the entire field was fast, healthy, and hungry.

In the intervening months since the outdoor season wrapped-up the Supercross season has come and gone. Reed was taken out of the Supercross indoor action early with a broken hand. Any question of his health was answered at the opening round of the 2010 outdoor season where he garnered the overall with a first moto win and a third in the second moto after starting mid-pack. All in all it was a successful outing for Team Kawasaki’s number one rider, setting the stage for a dramatic title defense.

Perhaps Reed’s biggest nemesis on the track, James Stewart (JS7), didn’t make the opening round, giving birth to rumors about "Bubba" foregoing outdoor racing. That said, if Stewart comes in late could he be in any position-despite his Superman ability-to earn enough points to be a threat? Gaining ground even when you’re able to run each event is enough of a struggle as it is, let alone giving away substantial points by not even showing up.

Then there is the other thorns in Reed’s side; hole-shot master Mike Alessi, riding the new 2010 KTM 350 SX-F in its development year (already impressing with a moto win and 2nd overall at Hangtown).

As well, the usual suspects, all ready and able to lead and win; Davi Millsaps, Brett Metcalfe, Josh Grant, Andrew Short, and reigning indoor champ, Ryan Dungey, to name just a few of the pros looking to stop Reed from repeating his impressive 2009 season.

With just one round completed there’s a whole season ahead for the boys of summer.

Motocross Class Overall Results
1. Chad Reed, (1-3)
2. Mike Alessi, KTM (4-1)
3. Davi Millsaps, (3-2)
4. Brett Metcalfe, (5-4)
5. Josh Grant, (2-10)

Motocross Class Championship Standings
1. Chad Reed, 45
2. Mike Alessi, KTM, 43
3. Davi Millsaps, 42
4. Brett Metcalfe, 34
5. Josh Grant, 33

Next Event: Round 2- Freestone MX – June 5, 2010

The revised 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Schedule:
May 22 – Hangtown Classic – Sacramento, Calif.
Jun 5 – Freestone Raceway – Wortham, Texas
Jun 12 – High Point Raceway – Mt. Morris, Pa.
Jun 19 – Budds Creek Motocross – Mechanicsville, Md.
Jun 26 – Thunder Valley Motocross – Lakewood, Colo.
Jul 3 – RedBud – Buchanan, Mich.
Jul 17 – Spring Creek Motocross – Millville, Minn.
Jul 24 – Washougal MX Park – Washougal, Wash.
Aug 14 – Unadilla – New Berlin, N.Y.
Aug 28 – Moto-X 338 – Southwick, Mass.
Sept 4 – Steel City Raceway – Delmont, Pa.
Sep 11 – Pala Raceway – San Diego, Calif.