Australian contender earns top 10 to kickstart 2019 campaign.
Chad Reed believes racing the last chance qualifier (LCQ) at the weekend’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship opener offered him insight on track conditions for the rain-soaked 20-lap main event in Anaheim.
The JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing pilot was forced to transfer to the main via the LCQ after finishing 10th in his heat race, although the additional track time as the rain started to increasingly fall provided somewhat of an advantage to the two-time premier class champion.
Despite a poor gate pick, the Australian charged his way through the field to ultimately wind up ninth in extremely difficult conditions, marking a respectable start to his campaign in the 17-round series.
“With the weather, it was an interesting weekend,” Reed admitted. “I had the feeling that no matter what I was going through, it was going to drastically change by the night program. I tried to get the most out of the daytime practices and qualifying to have good data for the next round in Glendale. Once the weather came I just dealt with it.
“I didn’t get the best of starts in my heat race. The conditions were tough and challenging, so I had to go to the LCQ. In some ways, it rained quite a lot in the LCQ, so I had a feel for what the track was going to be like in the main event. The downside was that I was on the far outside gate for the main. I was dead last on the start and came up to ninth, which is respectable.
“I feel like I have the pace. There are just a few things I need to work on to allow me to feel more comfortable when I’m out of my comfort zone. I have to adapt to the pace, but fortunately that’s one of my strengths. Sometimes that pace comes naturally, and other times it’s forced. I need to be more comfortable in that area – that’s something I will work on this week.”
The AMA Supercross series heads to Glendale in Arizona this weekend for round two of the championship.