Reed sustained substantial upper body injuries when his bike bogged on the approach to a technical section and sent him flying into the face of another obstacle.

The Australian was left vomiting blood, but still left hospital in time to make a token heat and last chance qualifying appearance - necessary to start the main event under the provisional entry rules for a top ten rider.

The run of bad luck followed the Australian to the main event where he was brought down in the first turn of the 20 lap race. But Reed remounted his Yamaha YZ450F in 21st position before embarking upon what commentators described as the one of the greatest rides in AMA Supercross history.

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He repeatedly pushed his way through the pain barrier and whilst riding with a broken shoulder blade, passed over half the field to eventually finish 12th.

"It is all still a bit of a blur," said Reed. "I came down hard and the next thing I knew I was in excruciating pain and vomiting more blood than I had seen in my life.

"Medical staff at the hospital confirmed what I already knew - that my shoulder was broken and diagnosed the blood loss as abdominal contusions.

"Once we knew where we were at I begged them to let me return to the track, which I did against their advice. I know my competition well, I knew what I had to get done today and I needed to be out there," he explained.

"My plan was to finish inside the top ten no matter what. Unfortunately I was taken down in the first turn so from there it was just head down and try to claim as many spots as possible.

"It hasn't been the best of nights, but it could have been a lot worse. The championship was at stake and I want that title more than anything, so not making it to the starting gate was never an option.

"I am in a lot of pain but being able to bank some points tonight was the best possible pain killer anyone could have given me," Reed concluded.

In a race won by Honda's Davi Millsaps, Reed's nearest title challenger - Kevin Windham - managed third, leaving the Torco Fuels rider just 16 points behind Reed with three rounds to go in the newly classified FIM World Championship.

Millsaps turned in a strong, consistent ride to lead 18 of the 20 laps. Tim Ferry was second for Kawasaki.

"I found some really good lines in practice and got a good start in the main and took care of the rest," said Millsaps. "I got caught up in lappers but ended up fighting through. It was unfortunate what happened to Chad today but I felt like I rode a good race and really earned it tonight."

The big question will now be how quickly Reed, the dominant force for much of the season, can recover from his injuries - with the St Louis round taking place next Saturday.

"It will be interesting to see how Chad bounces back from his injury," said Windham. "It should be an interesting finish in the series. Today was really an emotional roller coaster for me. I came in here 27 points back and after his crash in the first practice it really pulled a 180 for me, and the season.

"Chad has got a lot of adversity in front of him right now. He has won a championship before so he knows what he's got to do to get it done. I've never won one and I'll be looking to do what I need to do to get my first."

In the AMA Supercross Lites main event, Ryan Villopoto grabbed the $1,000 Progressive Direct Holeshot Award to start the 15-laps up front with title leader Torco Trey Canard and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's local star Nico Izzi second and third.

Villopoto, winner of the previous two main events leading into Detroit, quickly checked out and rode a near flawless race to earn his third victory of the season. Boost Yamaha's Ryan Morais finished second while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Brendan Jesseman was third.

Villopoto's win coupled with a 10th-place finish for Canard, who crashed on lap seven and had a difficult time restarting his bike, has reduced Canard's lead to three points in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites standings with one race remaining.

"I got off to a bad start this year and put myself in a hole out of the gate," said Villopoto. "I came around there and saw that [Canard] was down. It was definitely what I needed and it's good to be down just three points down with one race to go."