By Sean Brennen Monster Energy Supercross Wire Service
Chad Reed left his homeland of Australia with a dream, a woman who would become his wife, and a lot of talent on a dirt bike. At 19 years old the young man attacked racing in Europe in 2001, but his dream always had its sights set squarely on the uniquely American sport of Monster Energy Supercross. His first season came in 2002, in the Regional 250SX Class, racing machines identical to the premier class bikes but for a 200cc engine deficiency. Bucking tradition, he spent only a single year in the 250SX Class (and won that Regional Championship) before moving up to the premier 450SX Class to pursue his dream of a Supercross title.
Over his 18 years in the class, Reed has raced for ten different teams and won on four different bike brands. He was a prototypical Supercross athlete with smooth style and perfect form, but his journey to the top was unconventional. And the fans loved him for it.
Reed brought home the title twice, in 2004 for Team Yamaha and again in 2008 for the independent L&M Racing team. After some tough, recent seasons, the two-time champion announced his retirement… but only after one final season that he's calling his “One Last Ride” tour. Riding a Honda under the banner of his own Mountain Motorsports/TwoTwo Racing/Honda team, Chad Reed's 2020 season has been far from a victory parade. The 37-year-old battled hard in the first three rounds, but a rib injury at round four in Glendale, Arizona put him out for round five. He pushed his recovery schedule to race the San Diego round this past weekend – a venue that has been very good for him with six 450SX Class victories – but Reed was forced to pull out of the Main Event due to a bike issue.
The Monster Energy Supercross series comes to the state the Aussie has called home for most of his career - Florida. It could be Reed's biggest push for a podium or a win this season – an achievement that would mark a record for the oldest rider in the sport's history to do so. Reed is no stranger to breaking records. He holds the current record for most 450SX Class Main Event starts with 254, and the 450SX Class podiums with 132. One more designation, one more place in the history book, in his final year, at his hometown race, might just be the latest dream the can-do veteran has set his sights on.