Chad Reed – Aussie Moto Legend

Still one of the best riders in the world, and a damn good bloke at the same time. We were lucky enough to sit down with Chad recently and spin a yarn about all things Chad, the growth and evolution of Team Two Two, how 2015 is shaping up, as well as some great memories of his time spent over this side of the world growing up and racing, before he went away to conquer Europe and then more recently America.

You have always been first to put your hand up to represent the Green and Gold at the Motocross of Nations. Tell us about your experiences over the years?

My first year was 2000 when I was racing in Australia. At that point I didn’t even know if I had a ride for the following year in 2001. I was a special experience, and the best memory was being together with Byrner (Michael Byrne), and Andrew Mcfarlane {RIP}. We were always banging bars with each other every weekend, and we weren’t really that good friends then, we just knew each other, and for that weekend it was the first time we all got to spend time together. We had some good times that weekend, laughing and joking around with your teammates. I felt like we grew so much closer just over that weekend, and become good friends after that. Over the years I’ve won some MXoN races here and there. 2011 on the podium was a special moment too.

We understand you will head back home to Oz for some family time after the MXoN, and then is it back to business to get ready for ME Cup and SX season 2015?

We just had a new boy Pace, he’s only a couple of months old. We haven’t been home in two years, so it’s nice to get back to Australia, let the kids see their cousins and Nan and Pop, and go from there. It’s a crazy trip for me, with not a whole lot of downtime, but it’s mainly about the kids, and more important for them and the family, and vice versa to spend time with each other.

After missing out on signing an additional rider last year, you have nabbed JG33 (Josh Grant) for 2015, so Team Two Two is more than just a one man band now. Tell us about that…

Right from the beginning, it was always the plan to have two competitive guys on Two Two. It’s not so much ‘finally’, it’s just come time to go racing with two guys as a team, and I’m really happy. JG is excited, he’s been doing lots of riding and testing, and initial thoughts from him have been really positive from the get go, so we’re looking forward to going racing with two guys next year for sure.

Obviously bringing on another rider puts some extra pressure on the team budget and resources. Discount Tyre has proved to be an integral partner for you, are we likely to see more outside sponsors for 2015?

You always need sponsors. Each and every time you evolve and change, it costs money, so I feel like we’re now ticking the boxes of how to do things the right way. With JG on the team, and Discount’s support, it will take it to another level, from just ‘Chad Reed Racing’ to ‘Two Two Motorsports’, which is what it always is. Still a lot of people to this day think that it’s ‘my team’, when it’s more than that. It’s a business project, and sure I employ myself and have myself racing on the team as part of that, but there’s a bigger goal that we’re excited for – growing the business.

Does that mean you’re thinking about a Lites / 250F rider or team in the future?

Honestly I don’t see that happening, but you can never say never. I don’t see us having a Lites guy because the effort, money and resources you need to make Lites bikes fast, reliable, and competitive all in one, is just far too high. You look at Mitch Payton, and you see his team, I see his budget, and I see the whole effort that goes in to making that happen, and it’s crazy. Until I get Mitch’s budget, then it’s not gonna happen (laughs).

How’s it all looking for you for next year? Kawasaki back on board again with Two Two?

We’re working on all of that right now. We’re going to be on Kawasaki’s, but we’re negotiating to see where that’s going to be, and what it entails support wise, and how many years commitment that’s going to be. I’m enjoying my time with them. They really allow us to have the freedom that we like, to choose the parts we want, and I feel like we’ve earned their trust to get some of the (factory) parts that they make available to us. I feel it’s a nice trade-off for sure.

Family is a big part of your life now, how do you balance being a team owner, racer, and father all at the same time?

It’s hard. It’s always a balance. I’m always critical and you always try to be realistic with yourself, and there’re times when I feel like I fail at one aspect here or there, you’re forever evolving. The days, the hours, the years go by and you learn a little more. You learn to delegate things so that it frees up more personal time and space, but I feel like going into 2015 we should have a really solid effort.

It was definitely a tough outdoor season this year for you after coming back from your Supercross injury. How is the body now?

The body feels good. I feel healthy. I’m not 100% where I want to be fitness-wise, but for me the body is good, and the body and mind is starting to come back to where it needs to be heading into 2015. That’s what I’m most excited about right now – next year. 2014 was a rough year, it was brutal to be honest. It is what it is, and you roll with the punches, and learn from it.

You still keep a watchful eye on what’s going on back home. How do you see the moto scene down under in Oz and NZ at the moment?

I still follow it a bit. It’s difficult to say. Obviously I would like to see more guys wanting to take on the world. The era I grew up in, across the pond I was seeing the Kings and Josh Coppins taking on the world, and you don’t see it much anymore. And now, nobody from Oz is really wanting to come over and make a big push, and put it all on the line. I feel like everybody is so conservative these days, and they’re always worried about ‘Oh if I fail, then this and that’, and right now they have good jobs that pay well, they can secure their lifestyle at home. You can’t hate that, I get it that people need to making a living and live your life, but sometimes there’s more to it. At 17 years old, I didn’t care about all that stuff. Realistically I probably failed more than I achieved, and that’s how you learn, and you get back up again. Sometimes you do fail, but honestly my failures have been the times that I’ve learnt the most. You put it behind you, learn from it, and you become better for it. I feel that some people don’t want to go big like we did.

You spent some time over here in NZ back in your junior days before heading to Europe. Those must be some fond memories…

I’ve got a lot of fond memories from New Zealand, for sure! It was so fun. It’s basically where I became a young adult. I was 15 years old, living there without Mum and Dad, living with Dave Craig, and just enjoying life. Shooting rabbits and possums, doing all the stuff that 15 year olds should do. Yeah, I wasn’t at school, but I felt that the bigger goal and the worldly knowledge I was gaining was more important. Definitely some of the most fun memories I have as a kid are travelling to Kiwi land.

Last time we saw you in NZ was back in 09 at the Hamilton Super X at Waikato Stadium. Any chance the Kiwi fans will see you again sometime in the future?

I’m always a big believer in ‘you never say never’, but it’s hard to work it in at the moment. BT actually emailed me about some event that he was working on, but we just couldn’t make it work because I already had an event on, but he was just basically asking if I was going to be within the Southern Hemisphere at that point. You never know, I’d love to get back down there. Some of the tracks I raced on growing up are some of the best in the world, in New Zealand, so it would be fun to go back!

We know you’re a busy man Chad so thanks for your time, and all the best for 2015!

Cheers mate!

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