Reed’s gutsy effort
Serious injuries were not enough to sideline Chad Reed, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY
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.