Sunday, April 13

Detroit 2

Normally I post something here Saturday night. But normally I don't turn 30 on Saturday night. It all turned into a blur at the Greektown Casino, and when I woke up this morning, I had a bad headache and memories of a crazy night of racing in Detroit. It made me question everything I remembered from the race. It seems unbelievable that Chad Reed would crash in practice, get a ride to the hospital in an ambulance, then return to walk, not ride, onto the track in opening ceremonies and do his interview while still having his emergency room bracelet on. Only Stone Cold Steve Austin has bounced back from an Ambulance ride to perform again so well later that night.

By race time, rumors and speculation had reached a fever pitch, and the wrestling analogy started to fit. Everything was in play--provisional starts in the main, out for the season, or even planting fake injury reports to psyche out his competition. We heard Reed had a broken shoulder blade. But then we heard that could have just been a fake story just to throw people off. Hey, it's not out of the question to try that--Reed's dealing with Kevin Windham and Jeff Spencer here, and he knows how their mind works. After the race, Windham said he was struggling to stay calm through the emotional roller coaster he was riding all day....

So even when Reed came out for opening ceremonies after all, no one was sure what he really had (although by looking at his eyes on the big screen, it was clear that, at least, he had some good pain killers). The heat race and LCQ went terribly, but could that have possibly been part of the plan, too? I think I was buying a little too much into the WWF hype and rumors surrounding the building. On the 200 percent Trey Canard scale, 100 percent of me expected Reed to whip his San Manuel Yamaha coat off like James Brown, hop on a bike and start nailing triples. The other 100 percent of me expected Windham to hit him in the ribs with a steel folding chair. The whole scenario was bizzare and totally unprecedented.

Before we even knew what was really going to happen, Trey Canard dropped the Ice Trey moniker as soon as he tried to pass Ryan Villopoto on the first lap of the main. He went for it in the whoops and very, very nearly crashed. Canard wisely slowed down and saved it, and then I think the following scenario ran though his mind "I don't have to beat Ryan here to win this championship."

And just like that, Canard was finally thinking about the championship. And the the pressure came.

Once Canard couldn't shake Nico Izzi, it was obvious that he wasn't the same guy who said "what championship?" in Minneapolis. He was making huge mistakes, and finally he crashed. If ever you wanted an example of "don't slow down because you'll start riding different" this was it. Now Villopoto just needs to win once more in St. Louis and he'll complete the worst to first comeback just like Townley did last year.

Then the 450s rolled up. In the end, everything was much more real than any rumors could be. Honestly, if Chad could have raced hard he would have done it in the heat race, because he was screwed with a bad gate pick for the main. Reed was hurt, he was probably numbed up pretty good, and beyond that he had guts and determination and most importantly, the classic unwavering Reed confidence. In his post race interview with us, Reed explained that he knew he would be in the back of the pack, but he knew what that competition is like, he knew they weren't as strong as him, and indeed while Reed didn't go very fast, the riders around him got tired and crashed and handed him one spot after another. On the last lap, Nick Wey and Paul Carpenter crashed, and Reed slithered from 14th to 12th. Crazy.

Reed isn't just tough physically. He's tough mentally. After the race he told us he had wanted to get a good start. I don't think ANYONE else in that situation would have wanted to get a good start. Dive into the first turn at the front of the supercross pack right into a ridiculously rutted set of whoops when you have no idea if you can even ride a bike at speed at all? You're liable to get run right over and end the season right there. Reed has no fear.

Lucky for him he crashed in the first turn instead, so he was able to safely pick his way around downed riders and get his 12th. Windham, meanwhile, could only get third, as he just didn't have anything for Ferry or Millsaps. Depending on how this season turns out, K-Dub can look to his thirds at Minneapolis and Detroit as the major gaffes to his title drive.

Then we had more controversy after the main when Windham had words with Reed. Reed ran him wide in a turn when he was about to get lapped. More mind games? More psyche jobs? Just reality? The line right now is fuzzier than my mind last night.


Tits Legendary said...

Didn't you break your scapula a while back? How long did it take until it started feeling better? Do you think Reed will be able to race a little more competitively next weekend?

Jason Weigandt said...

I separated my shoulder. That's when your collarbone becomes disconnected (separated) from your shoulder. That's what Reed did back in '06. That's not a bad injury to come back from, because apparently your collarbone doesn't even do too much even when it is connected. The shoulder blade (scapula) is much worse, and I don't think you can do much to heal it. I remember Mike Lafferty broke his one time and it cost him the '02 GNCC title. I think Reed's gonna be in pain next weekend for sure.

ian and kate said...

So you think Reed will still finish the season? I mean, I really can't see him backing out now, but since that is such a serious injury couldn't it be very dangerous to race? What about the outdoor season?

Mike said...

hapy birthday weege!

Matt Ryan said...

You gotta give it up for Chad, that guy is a tough mother.

I saw the race and the pass in question, when Windham lapped Reed. Yeah, technically speaking, Reed did run him a bit high. Was it because he was trying to take him out? I doubt it. I could've been coincidence. Maybe it is harder to turn the bike when your shoulder blade is broken. Maybe it was just a bit of muscle memory. I just can't see him intentionally trying to take Windham out, on the same side of his body where his shoulder blade was broken.

I can see why Kevin was a bit upset by it. I hope he'll just let it go, and I believe he will.

Englishman in S.D said...

A semi related question. Reed said his bike bogged and that caused him to crash. Josh Grant has had that same issue several times in the past that he's made mention of.
What's up with these 4 strokes ?Does EFI cure it ??
All's I can say is I'd hate to be hitting triples every Saturday night with half a mind wondering if my old works jalopy is about to, yet again, bog worse than a '67 BSA Bantam and end my career..... or worse.

Jason Weigandt said...

Ian and Kate,
I think the shoulder will be worse for Chad in STL than it was in Detroit. But there's no way this guy is giving up after what he just went through. He'll race there I'm sure.

As for the outdoors, uh, Chad really isn't worried about that,

I was thinking the same thing. I think we need a new post about this....