AMA

Australia's proud of Reed's championship

Reed finally clinches AMA supercross title Australian Chad Reed's oft-mentioned vow to win the AMA Supercross Championship has been realised after the 22-year-old finished a cautious second in the final round at Las Vegas on Saturday, May ...

Reed finally clinches AMA supercross title

Australian Chad Reed's oft-mentioned vow to win the AMA Supercross Championship has been realised after the 22-year-old finished a cautious second in the final round at Las Vegas on Saturday, May 1.

Reed, the 2003 world supercross champion, now becomes just the third foreigner to win the AMA 250cc title in its 31-year existence, with Dutch rider Pierre Karsmakers the inaugural champion in 1974, followed by French ace Jean-Michel Bayle in 1991.

"This championship really means a lot to me," said an emotional Reed, who broke down while thanking his parents back home in Australia. "It was probably my least spectacular race for the year. I just did what I had to do win the title; it was my number one goal.

"There was a lot on my mind and I didn't feel I needed to push anymore - sometimes you gotta back away from the battle to win the war," continued Reed, who finished a close second to Ricky Carmichael in the 2003 title.

The Newcastle-bred ace won 10 of the 16 rounds en route to the AMA title - although only nine of the triumphs were point-scoring affairs. That's after Reed's factory Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke was found to be using 'non-compliant' fuel during his round 14 victory, just when he was on the cusp of claiming champion-designate status.

However, Yamaha's attempt to take the case to an appeal's tribunal failed, which meant that Reed still had to maintain due diligence in the final round to keep the title away from arch-rival Kevin Windham (Honda CRF450R) -- which he completed with a cautious runner-up finish behind Windham, while the evergreen Mike Larocco (Honda CR250) was third.

Reed, who finished first or second in every round, finished on 355pts to claim the AMA title, becoming just the fifth different winner since Bayle in 1991. Since that time, the likes of Jeremy McGrath (seven wins) and Ricky Carmichael (three) have dominated proceedings, in what has become a title with enormous cachet.

Windham completed proceedings 9pts (346 to 355) behind Reed, with Larocco (310), David Vuillemin (YZ250, 271) and Suzuki's Nicolas Wey (RM250, 204) rounding out the top five. Reed's compatriot, Michael Byrne (Kawasaki KX250, 201pts), was fifth in the standings after the penultimate round, but a disappointing 11th in the finale saw him lose the position to Wey.

Meanwhile, three-time Australian supercross champion Craig Anderson (CR250R) -- a cousin of Reed's -- left it until the last round to produce his best work; a classy ninth place, which bumped him up a spot in the championship to 21st.

Final standings (after 16 rounds):
1 REED 355
2 Windham 346
3 Larocco 310
4 Vuillemin 271
5 Wey 204
6 BYRNE 201
7 Voss 194
8 Hamblin 170
9 Huffman 158
10 Tyler Evans, Suz, 114
21 ANDERSON 52.

AMA ROLL OF HONOUR (American unless stated)
2004 Chad Reed (Australia)
2003 Ricky Carmichael
2002 Ricky Carmichael
2001 Ricky Carmichael
2000 Jeremy McGrath
1999 Jeremy McGrath
1998 Jeremy McGrath
1997 Jeff Emig
1996 Jeremy McGrath
1995 Jeremy McGrath
1994 Jeremy McGrath
1993 Jeremy McGrath
1992 Jeff Stanton
1991 Jean-Michel Bayle (France)
1990 Jeff Stanton
1989 Jeff Stanton
1988 Rick Johnson
1987 Jeff Ward
1986 Rick Johnson
1985 Jeff Ward
1984 Jeff Ward
1983 David Bailey
1982 Donnie Hansen
1981 Mark Barnett
1980 Mike Bell
1979 Bob Hannah
1978 Bob Hannah
1977 Bob Hannah
1976 Jim Weinert
1975 Jim Ellis
1974 Pierre Karsmakers (Holland)

-Motorcycling Australia

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Jeff Ward , Ricky Carmichael , David Vuillemin , Jeremy McGrath , Chad Reed , Mike Bell , Jeff Emig