Reed’s gutsy ef­fort

Se­ri­ous in­juries were not enough to side­line Chad Reed, writes STEPHEN OT­T­LEY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport -

IF CHAD Reed wins this year’s AMA Su­per­cross World Cham­pi­onship, last week­end’s race in Detroit could turn out to have been be the most im­por­tant event. The Aussie Yamaha ace came back from a hor­rific crash to fin­ish 12th and score valu­able cham­pi­onship points.

He has spent the week re­cov­er­ing be­fore this week­end’s race in St Louis as he con­tin­ues his fight for a sec­ond AMA Su­per­cross world ti­tle.

Reed crashed hard dur­ing morn­ing prac­tice in Detroit and was taken to a nearby hospi­tal for ur­gent treat­ment.

‘‘It’s all still a bit of a blur,’’ Reed says. ‘‘I came down hard and the next thing I knew I was in ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain and vom­it­ing more blood than I had seen in my life.

‘‘Med­i­cal staff at the hospi­tal con­firmed what I al­ready knew — that my shoul­der was bro­ken — and di­ag­nosed the blood loss as ab­dom­i­nal con­tu­sions.

‘‘I begged them to let me re­turn to the track, which I did against their ad­vice. I know my com­pe­ti­tion well, I knew what I had to get done that day and I needed to be out there.’’

Reed was able to use a pro­vi­sional en­try for the main race, but was forced to start the heat and the last-chance qual­i­fy­ing race ac­cord­ing to the rules.

De­spite tak­ing only off-the-shelf painkillers to help his in­jury — heav­ier med­i­ca­tion is banned un­der the se­ries’ reg­u­la­tions — Reed started both races. He was able to com­plete only a hand­ful of laps be­fore the pain of his in­juries forced him to stop.

None­the­less, he still lined up for the main race and was hop­ing to last the 20-lap race to main­tain his cham­pi­onship lead.

But his day of drama wasn’t over. Reed was in­volved in a crash at the first turn.

‘‘My plan was to fin­ish inside the top 10, no mat­ter what,’’ he says. ‘‘Un­for­tu­nately, I was taken down in the first turn, so from there it was just head down and try to claim as many spots as pos­si­ble.’’

He rode through the pain to fin­ish 12th. His cham­pi­onship lead over Amer­i­can Kevin Wind­ham was cut to 16 points, but Reed re­mains the ti­tle favourite with three rounds re­main­ing.

‘‘It wasn’t the best of nights, but it could have been a lot worse,’’ Reed says.

‘‘The cham­pi­onship was at stake and I want that ti­tle more than any­thing.’’

Tena­cious: (above) Chad Reed strug­gles to race. Left, Reed on his way to hospi­tal af­ter the ac­ci­dent.

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