Chad Reed's 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season has not exactly gotten off to a spectacular start, but it has been a solid one. And after coming off a year in which the Australian rider spent much of his time recovering from injury, solid is acceptable.
Last year in Dallas, Reed came into the event second in the championship standings behind eventual champion Ryan Villopoto. However, a crash during that race caused serious injuries, including a torn ACL in his left knee, a broken left tibia and fibula, two broken ribs and a broken vertebra T6.
Needless to say, that incident ended the rider's 2012 Supercross season.
The severity of the injuries had been at least partially caused by the fact that Reed's left boot was entangled in the bike's foot peg as he flipped over the handle bars after having his front wheel dig into a sandy portion of the track. This accident came less than a year after he had been hurt in a Motocross crash in Minnesota.
After the Dallas wreck, Reed said:
This is bitterly disappointing. I felt like I had everything in my corner this time. I've never felt more comfortable, from the bike and team to my riding. I was genuinely in a position to fight for race wins week in week out and expected to be going to Las Vegas for a shot at the title.
It was actually a twofold disappointment for Reed when he was unable to continue. Not only is he a rider, but he also is the owner of his TwoTwo Motorsports team. So not only was he kept from riding, but his team's effort ground to a halt as well.
Reed recovered enough to compete on and even win in the Australian Supercross Championship Series near the end of 2012.
This aided him in not only getting back into racing shape but also to log laps on the newly re-engineered Honda CRF 450R bike.
That extra work seems to have paid off as Reed has posted two good runs so far in this year's version of the Monster Energy Supercross schedule. A pair of fourth-place finishes in the season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and the second race at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona have Reed in fourth place in the overall standings. He is just nine points behind leader Davi Millsaps.
While neither of those were podium finishes and probably not the results Reed was hoping for going into those first two main events, two top-fives are certainly worthy of note considering what the 30-year-old rider has had to recover from over the past couple of years.
It's still very early, but the leader of TwoTwo Motorsports has to be pleased with his position going into the third race of the season on the circuit's second visit to Anaheim this weekend.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow along with his Chase for the Sprint Cup series by clicking on the driver of your choice Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.