News 17 Jan 2017

American comeback being taken 'one race at a time' by Reardon

Mistake costs experienced Queenslander strong finish in San Diego.

Source: Supplied.

A mistake while running third in the San Diego West Coast 250SX main event at round two of the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series robbed Dan Reardon of the chances to score a strong result on Saturday, but he’s satisfied in what he’s produced so far.

Reardon ran as high as second on the opening lap and then sat third through lap four, before crashing awkwardly on the fifth lap of 18. He dropped to the rear of the field and then clawed his way back to 17th by race’s end.

“On paper the main event at San Diego doesn’t look as strong as what Anaheim did, but generally riding was better,” Reardon told “I put myself in a good position early in the race and I was actually quite comfortable there. The track was fairly technical, not only because of the layout, but we’ve had a lot of rain over here over the past two weeks.

“It pretty much upsets the whole program at events – we don’t have a free practice and go straight into the timed session. The dirt obviously gets covered in the lead-up, but the transitions get really soft and sometimes really rutty. I made a simple mistake on a very technical part of the track, where a lot of people crashed there. Unfortunately it caught me out and put a stop to the momentum of the night.”

The Queenslander wasn’t certain where he would’ve ended up in the main event won by points leader Shane McElrath if he didn’t go down, but thought it could have been fifth at worst upon reflection this afternoon. His approach remains to take his return to America one race at a time.

“It’s hard to say, because the races are pretty long and we were only five laps into that moto,” he said. “The boys were coming on strong, but it all depends… I think worse case scenario I might have been fifth and best case I probably would have stayed there. You never know, because Davalos and Decotis sort of dropped their pace a fair bit towards the end. At the moment we’re just going one race at a time and loving being back over here.”

At 31, Reardon is an elder-statesman of the 250 class, however this is the latest step in what’s been a miraculous comeback to the sport. After retiring in 2012 and returning to win the Australian Supercross Championship in 2015, a second chance overseas in the 250s arrived with Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha as replacement for Colt Nichols this season.

“Everything has been good and the transition to the 250 has gone quite well,” Reardon explained. “I do catch myself in habits developed over many years of riding the 450 – little things like being able to rev the bike a lot more, clutch the bike a lot more. The way I generally ride the 450 is by using the torque, turning down on the corners and I’m not erratic, but I have to change that to ride a 250 well and I think the process has been good.

“We can definitely get stronger, each day, each race, and we will. One thing that this supercross series has, because it’s the worldwide platform and pinnacle, is intensity. It’s really, really high over here and that’s one of the things, because sometimes the tracks in Australia limit us because of the dirt or whatever… the intensity over here is so high. That’s what I probably lacked, being able to go from the first practice and everything’s sorted between two or three laps. I’m adapting fairly quickly.”

Being back in the US is a milestone in itself for Reardon, who made a surprise return to racing just weeks out from the 2015 MX Nationals and has made a major impact since. He previously raced in the AMA series from 2007 through 2010.

“Anaheim 1 is always a weird one, but Anaheim 1 for the majority of guys was only a year ago,” he added. “For me Anaheim 1 was six years ago, so although not much has changed, it’s a very unique environment and you need to be a part of it or you won’t really understand. In fact, in terms of being back racing again, it was funny at Anaheim I caught myself being in a moment on the line, waiting for the sighting lap before the main.

“The stands are full up there, probably 60-thousand-plus people, and it was a feeling of – not overwhelming – but just a sense of accomplishment. Since I’ve been back racing, this is what I wanted, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It was just a really, really cool moment that I had on the line before the gate dropped.”

With a seventh-place finish carded at Anaheim 1’s opener and 17th following his error in San Diego, Reardon is tied for ninth in the point-standings ahead of this weekend’s third round at Anaheim 2.