Jake Weimer sewed up the West Coast Lites Championship in Salt Lake City, after finishing in fifth place.
This weekend a soaking wet and muddy Jake Weimer rolled across the finish line in Salt Lake City to earn himself the first championship of his professional career. The Pro Circuit rider finished on the podium six out of eight races, and collected four race wins. Weimer will be running the 1W plate in the East/West shootout in Las Vegas this weekend. MotoUSA caught up the new champ just before the racing began in Salt Lake City.
Jake, so it looks like tonight will be the night you’ll take home your first championship.
Well, it’s going to be the night, or it’s not going to be the night. This is the last points race for the West Coast. The plan is to try and win. Obviously my job is to try and win the title, but I’ve been going into every race with the goal to win. It’s been working out for me. So I’m going to keep doing the same thing, and hopefully tonight is the night.
So what’s going to happen if you don’t get a good start? Are you going to try and battle for the win or just ride conservatively to make sure you finish with enough points to win the championship?
It just depends on the situation. I’ll ride hard and go for the win, but I’m not going to ride over my head and take chances. If I’m in a situation where I feel like I’m the best guy, and I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing then for sure I’m going to go for it. If I’m a little uncomfortable, and the track is really tough then it’s time to be smart. You know, just do what I’ve got to do to get the title.
Let’s talk about Seattle last week. You kind of had a rough night with a ninth in your heat race and then on the first lap of the main event you tipped over in the rutted whoops. Were you worried about where Canard was at that point?
Weimer almost missed the main due to mechancical issues but despite the poor gate position in the main he managed a third place finish to extend his lead going in to Salt Lake.
The whole day was actually going well; I felt really good in practice. Then in my heat race I had a really good start. Obviously in the first turn, it was what it was. I wasn’t very happy about that. Then I ended up stalling it and got ninth to get into the main. I was stressing out because the start straight was really short, and I had 18th gate pick. I was stressing out before the main big time. I ended up getting a good start, and then I fell down on the next straightaway. I had no idea Trey was behind me because off the start I saw he was out front. In the second corner I went completely inside, and he was up high. So we weren’t even close to each other, and when we came out of the corner, I knew there was a Honda in front of me. I just figured it was him. I got up in 10th, and I battled back to third. I felt I rode a pretty good race considering how bad the track was. I was happy regardless, but at the time I was still thinking that Trey had won the race. I came over the finish line and he was sitting there. That again made me think that he had won because he got the holeshot. But he went down a couple of time and ended up getting lapped, and that’s why he was sitting there. It was a tough night, but it worked out really well for me.
Those whoops you went down in were insane. Quite a few guys said that was the craziest track they had ever ridden.
It’s possibly the gnarliest track I ever rode. It was difficult, very tough.
So it’s looking like tonight will be a mud race with possibly some snow later on. Being from up north, are you used to riding in mud and snow?
Yeah, I’m from Idaho, which is a couple hours north of here. I’ve ridden in the snow before, but believe it or not, I didn’t really grow up riding in the mud. Usually in the winter you can’t ride at all. I’ve ridden in some snow, but usually the ground is frozen and not really muddy. It will be interesting to see tonight, but at the end of the day it’s riding a motorcycle. We already had some races that were on the muddy side, and it worked out.
Let’s jump ahead a few weeks. Are you ready for the outdoor season?
With the 2010 Western Lites championship title, Weimer begins to focus on the upcoming AMA motocross season.
I’m pretty much done testing. I tested over the break and pretty much got exactly what I wanted. I’m basically done and ready for outdoors.
You’ve been on the Pro Circuit team for two years now. Has being in the team helped you with the current success your enjoying now?
For sure. I think this whole deal is a puzzle, and whoever is able to put their pieces together best wins. Every year for me has been better. When I got on the team, I had won one race the year before. Then last year I won three main events. So every year has been getting better and better. For sure it’s important to have good people behind you. I think a lot of people would agree I’m on the best team that there is in the pits, and that definitely doesn’t hurt. Our bikes are good, our management is amazing and the structure of the team is great.
What’s it like riding for Mitch Payton? He has a knack of signing riders that always do well, and with the team is able to elevate them to even higher levels.
It’s awesome. When I first got on the team, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard gnarly stories for years about him, but it’s been very enjoyable for me. I get along with Mitch. I consider him a buddy; we talk on the phone. We just get along really well. I don’t think it’s really any magic he’s got. I think it’s fairly simple, and people maybe look into it too deep. He works hard, he wants to win, and he does what it takes to do it. It’s tough to work hard, basically, and to be 100 percent dedicated to what you do. That’s difficult. It’s easy to let things slide a day here and a day there, but he doesn’t. Every day he does what he needs to do. He hires people that work hard, and if they’re not working hard then they’re clipped. If you’re not working hard you’re done. A lot of people ask if he gets mad if you aren’t winning. No. He’s never been mad at me for not winning. I’ve seen him get mad at people for not trying. It’s not hard to see if someone is not trying. He’s strict, he knows what he wants, but it’s not like he asking too much. He’s asking you to give 100%, and if you’re doing that he’s happy. And I’ve been doing that. It’s been awesome for me, and I think the little bit of pressure that is there has helped me expect a little bit more out of myself. That’s helped me get to the next level.