For any Aussie who’s a fan of Supercross, 2004 stands as one of the greatest years on record.
With Ricky Carmichael out for the season through injury, the battle was set between Chad Reed and Kevin Windham and Mike LaRocco. There were plenty of other big names on the gate that year but it was these three that would steal the show.
Chad was in just his second year in the premier class and had been only been narrowly beaten for the title by Carmichael in 2003. But he entered the first race of the year carrying a pretty serious shoulder injury and subsequently had little time on the bike. However, in typical Reed style he hit the Anaheim track in round one and posted the fastest practice lap ahead of his team mate David Vuillemin.
When the race started it was Ernesto Fonseca that would grab the holeshot but within the first lap have one of the most bizarre crashes in SX history which gave Reed the lead. From there the Aussie outclassed everyone with what was at one point a 20 second lead on his YZ250. He made it look easy.
To make things even sweeter for the blue crew, Vuillemin and Tim Ferry came in second and third respectively making it a Yamaha podium sweep.
Chad would go on to take some big wins that year and the record is impressive reading with a podium in every round and 10 race wins. Reed has since admitted that the 2004 YZ250 was his favourite supercross bike ever and in fact has even been busy building a replica this year.
The ‘04 YZ250 will go down in the history books as one of the greatest of all time, and Chad’s win will also forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in Australia’s racing history.