Interview with Yamaha's 2004 Supercross Champion Chad Reed - Dirt Rider Magazine

We sat down with the 2004 SX Champ at Yamaha's 2005 Team Intro. We talked to Reed about the what he's been up to in the off-season, how his training is going and what he thinks of the new aluminum-framed YZs. See what he predicts for the 125 class, and find out why he calls himself the underdog coming into the 2005 season._DR: Are you enjoying the off-seasaon?_
Reed: It's been pretty fun, I spent most of it in Australia._What do you think of the new YZ250?_
I liked it a lot from the very first time I rode it. After winning the championship on the '04 bike and being very comfortable on that, I was kind of nervous going to the aluminum frame. I expected to feel a change, or feel something different, but it was just a lot lighter which suited me fine—you can't beat that._It didn't take long to get it dialed?_
It was very easy. The second day of riding it I said to the guys, 'Here we are in October and I feel like we can go to Anaheim and win the race no problem.' I think that's a good _and_ a bad thing because it makes you feel comfortable and ready to race, but you also feel like you need to be doing more._So you didn't have a lot of work in front of you to prepare for '05?_
No, I felt like the bridge to '05 was pretty short. All races I've done in the off-season I've been able to win so it's pretty exciting._Does it feel different going into this season with the target on your back now?_
I don't think so. I think there's so much hype surrounding my two biggest competitors: Ricky going to a different bike and Stewart coming to the 250 class. I'm kind of the guy who's left out of it. I'm staying where I was at and just looking forward to a great season. I feel like I'm the underdog coming into the season._Wait a second... you feel like the underdog?_
Yeah, I feel like it. There's just a lot of hype about the other two, and for good reasons. Ricky changed bikes and Stewart's coming in. I respect that, and I look forward to it. I welcome the challenge._What do you think is going to happen in the 125 class this year?_
Obviously in the West, Ivan Tedesco is the champion; I think he's going to be very strong. He's got a great attitude and a great work ethic. My neighbor and good friend Nathan Ramsey seems very comfortable and happy with his switch to the new team . He's very motivated and he's a hard worker so he'll definitely be a threat to win the title. I just hope there's a great race and they all stay healthy. It's all about the fans enjoying it and I'm the biggest fan. I'm sitting on the line when they're racing so I love to see a great battle._What do you think of Jay Marmont coming over to the states? How do you think he's going to do?_
I think he's going to do quite well. This season he was able to get his contract done early with KTM. I think he's in a very good position. When he was in Australia this year he built a new track that was a lot like the US. He's really polished up his Supercross skills and his technical skills. The biggest question for him is just staying in the season. That's the hardest thing in the US. You race every weekend and it's tough. I think once he gets the hang of that, he'll be fine. It's great to see Jay achieve his goals and come to the States and race. I'm excited for him._Are you going back to Australia for the rest of the year or are you here until Anaheim 1?_
I'm here for the remainder of 2004 and 2005. October next year I'll probably go back to Australia and hang out a bit, but that's it. It's interesting; I moved here three years ago and some things that I used to be uncomfortable with I love right now and found it very difficult to be away from for five weeks. I couldn't wait to get back here. I actually came back a week before I was meant to._What things used to bother you that now you can't do without?_
It's just things like being familiar with where to go and the traffic, obviously. Also, in Australia we don't tip so it was very different for me to have to tip. But when I go back to Australia I think it's terrible. I wish they would introduce it there because the service is horrible! I welcome the tipping now. My ways have totally flipped. I definitely love living in the US—I call it home._Do you plan to get your citizenship here?_
I would like to, it would certainly make my life easier because of the visa problems you face every year. I definitely would like to have my citizenship or my green card so I can come and go and not feel like I'm going to be kicked out of the country.