The 2009 AMA Motocross Championship has received a boost following the news that double AMA Supercross champion Chad Reed will contest the full series for Rockstar Makita Suzuki.
Reed, who has missed the last two Outdoor seasons, will thus line-up on the 450cc gate for the start of the 12-round series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, this weekend.
"I'm really looking forward to racing the Outdoors this year," said Reed. "And I'm excited about it for several reasons: The last few years, I didn't race Motocross because I really felt like I needed to take a break after the Supercross season. But this year, I feel so comfortable with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team and everybody has been so supportive that it just makes me want to get out there and race.
"Also, I've been impressed with the changes to the series that MX Sports has done and I think they're taking it in the right direction. So I really want to be a part of that and support the series and the sport. My team and my sponsors have stepped up to make this happen and I can't thank them enough."
Reed led the 2009 AMA Supercross Championship for most of the season before narrowly losing out to Yamaha's James Stewart. The Australian took three victories and 16 podiums from 17 races.
Stewart - the reigning AMA Motocross champion, who won every race last season - will not defend his title, leaving Reed up against the likes of multiple Lites champion Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki), Honda riders Andrew Short, Davi Millsaps and Kevin Windham, plus his own Suzuki team-mate Mike Alessi.
Reed, who also won the 2002 East Coast AMA Supercross title, has not yet won an AMA Motocross title.
The Australian finished third in the 2002 125cc AMA Motocross championship, before moving to the premier 250cc class the following season. Reed was third in 2002, second in 2004, eighth in 2005 and sixth in 2006, when the premier-class was remained the 'AMA Motocross Championship' to reflect the switch to 450cc four-strokes.
Before moving to America, Reed finished second in the 2001 250cc World Motocross Championship.