Chad Reed on nearly signing with Suzuki in 2005 – until Ricky Carmichael did!

Chad Reed talks to us about when he nearly went to Suzuki in 2005 and even rode the bike!

Unfortunately for Reed, Suzuki ended up going with Carmichael and it was the American who won the title that year on a bike Reed believes was better than his Yamaha. Reed of course eventually did sign with Suzuki in 2009, narrowly missing out on the supercross title to James Stewart however he did win the outdoor series, the only one of his career, later that year.

But was 2005 a year of what could have been for Chad and does he regret not being able to go to Suzuki that season?

“I wouldn’t say regret,” says Reed. “Honestly, I never had the contract in hand. I rode the bike, Ricky, I think in a lot of ways they really wanted Ricky and I think Ricky was probably wanting to go that direction but I think he was also using it for leverage with Honda. I think I was part of the leverage, I think I was almost the back-up plan. So I rode the bike and it was a good bike, probably riding the bike hurt me more than not because I knew how good the bike was. It was basically a Yamaha, the cylinder head was basically a Yamaha, the linkage was a Yamaha the motorcycle rode like a Yamaha, the engine was a little bit better than ours. They were going into year two, 2004 was the first year of unleaded. Our bike (Yamaha) in 04 was a really good chassis but the engine was so-so, where (in 05) it was the opposite, I had rode the Suzuki, realized the engine was good, when I stayed at Yamaha I made them aware. I said, ‘guys, I rode the Suzuki, their engine is so much better than ours, we need to work on it.’ So our engine was really good in 05 but then our chassis was shit. 

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“I don’t regret it because it was never really an option because Ricky took the deal and then once he took that there was no budget to take both of us. But you always wonder had that progression happened, where would your career have gone but yeah, it was exciting. we were switched out a little bit, I had spent many years having the better bike than Ricky, I had better tyres, better bike and then in 05 he had the same tyres and I really think he had the better bike so it was a little bit of a role reversal. It was a bit of wake up call of how things change, a learning part of my life really.”

You can read our full interview here or listen below (go here for iTunes):

Article: Jonathan McCready