Features 23 Feb 2012

The Matthes Report: 7

Pulp MX's Steve Matthes checks in from the U.S. every single Thursday, presented by Fox.

I love to watch movies and some of my favorite ones are the ones that end unexpectedly or in a manner that makes you go “huh?”.

Some of the flicks like Titanic where Jack and Rose escaped the boat but only Rose makes it, or Heat where the bad guy (but a guy that you were cheering for because it was his last caper) Robert DeNiro ends up dying in the end.

Or what about when the Terminator forces the kid to lower him into a vat of lava to destroy himself? Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get what I mean.

These things just remind you that not everything is peaches and cream and as much as we’d like for everything to end up awesome, sometimes crap happens.

The results of this crash were pretty remarkable. Image: Simon Cudby.

And crap happened this past Saturday night in Dallas at round seven of the AMA Supercross series as Australia’s favorite son Chad Reed went over the ‘bars while in second place and weeded himself. It was a nasty crash but upon seeing it in person, I thought that Chad being Chad, he was going to get up.

They don’t make them much tougher than Reed and it was a sand surface he landed on so maybe he would rise and get back into the race. But within seconds we could all see that this one was different. He wasn’t getting up and actually needed help getting off the track.

The results of this crash were pretty remarkable. A broken left tibula and fibula, a torn ACL, broken ribs and a broke T6 vertebrae in his back. And that folks, is all she wrote for Reed’s supercross season and most likely, his year.

The press release that was put out by Team TwoTwo indicated that he’ll be assessed when the outdoors start but if he has to have a new ACL put in, he won’t make the opening few rounds at least.

So where do we go from here? Well Reed himself indicated that he’s not going to put anyone else on the Honda for aupercross and besides, with Honda giving him a full factory bike this year, it may not be his decision on who gets the bike anyways. His team will retreat back home and lick their wounds, their king is down but he’s not out.

Reed was on point this season up until his crash. Image: Simon Cudby.

I worked with Chad at factory Yamaha for three years starting in his rookie season and although at times he seemed to have the great Ricky Carmichael covered in supercross, he seemed to be on another level in the last year and a half on the Honda.
I truly believe that without his sky flight last year at Millville, that he was going to win the 2011 450 motocross championship.

In supercross this year he seemed to be the only man to rise to Ryan Villopoto’s level and last year, he held the points lead late in the year [before being taken out by James Stewart at, yep, Dallas] before ending up in second.

In 2012 his old rival Stewart was second fiddle to Reed as was 2010 champion Ryan Dungey. Reed was just starting to get his roll going and him and RV were set up to take this thing to the wire until his crash. But that’s all gone now. The cruel sport of supercross has struck once again and it goes to show us, no one is immune to it.

Only Dungey has remained among the top riders to stay injury-free and that is a unique skill set. It’s just too hard to go week-in and week-out without a mistake happening. Our sport that we all love is gnarly folks.

The plans for Team Two-Two are going upward and onward. Image: Simon Cudby.

In an earlier interview Chad indicated that after 2012 he’d take a look around and decide if he wanted to go on from here.
He’s turning 30 and is on the backside of his career, he’s got money in the bank and a family. Who could blame him? Maybe it was the pain meds but the day after the crash, Reed Tweeted that he would indeed be back in 2013.

The plans for Team TwoTwo are going upward and onward. Starting the team under some trying circumstances has been the best thing Chad has ever done.

He was in talks with James Stewart this past off-season, this team isn’t going the way like so many others. With the powerful WMG group representing him and an eye to outside the industry sponsors, Team TwoTwo will be blowing up in the future.

He’s got the mojo working for him, he’s eyeing to try and sign up and coming star Dean Wilson next year, he’s even told Villopoto’s reps to please keep him informed of RV’s upcoming talks.

If I had a gun to my head, I don’t think we’ll see the 22 bike on the track for the rest of 2012 but not to worry, the CEO will be back racing for at least one more year and it sounds like we should see some big things in the future on and off the track from Reed.

So this movie’s going to have a sequel, the hero isn’t going out like that. And lucky for us, there are plenty of tickets available.