5 Minutes With... Nick Wey

December 31, 2008 3:17pm | by:
Nick Wey isn’t just a top racer, but a personality. When the MDK team went racing full-time, Nick was their first star rider. After four years, though, the two parted ways, and a lot of speculation says that Nick didn’t get along with the new KTM. For 2009, though, Nick Wey is the 450cc teammate to Jason Lawrence on the new Boost Mobile/Monster Energy/AM/PM/Yamaha of Troy team. We caught up with Nick this week to find out how things were going heading into Anaheim I.

  • Nick Wey will be on Yamahas for 2009 - again.
  • Wey has ridden Yamahas two other times in his career: Once with the Mach 1 Yamaha team, and a previous time with Yamaha of Troy (pictured).
  • Wey rode for the MDK team for the last few years, including this past year on KTMs.
Racer X: What’s the off-season been like for you? For the most part, it has seemed pretty quiet.
Nick Wey: I’ve kind of been trying to stay busy and do what I can. I’m riding for the Boost Mobile/Monster/AM/PM/Yamaha of Troy team, and everything came together late with that. I haven’t been doing photo shoots and interviews and things like that because I didn’t really know what I was doing up until recently. Everything’s going pretty well, but I think going into the first few races, I’m not going to be as prepared as I’d like to have been, but I think as far as the season goes, it’s going to be a work in progress, for sure just because we’re starting off so late with testing and starting to ride the Yamaha and things like that. But I’m excited, and it’s a great group of guys to be working with, and we’re going to have a good package. It’s just going to take me a little bit to get comfortable because I haven’t ridden the bike for that long, but I’m excited about the opportunity.

When you weren’t sure what you were doing next year, I understand you went out and bought your own bikes and stuff. Is that true?
Yeah, I wasn’t sure what I would be doing, so in the meantime, I kind of got a bike and had some friends help me with the suspension – some sponsors from the past put the thing together for me. So I rode that bike for around a month or so because, I figured, regardless of what I was going to do for a ride, I needed to stay in shape because January 3rd, the races were coming whether I was ready or had a ride or not. I just tried to do what I could to be ready, and once the team came along and it looked like a good opportunity for me, I jumped at it, and now here we are.

Is your hope basically to try and race yourself into contention over the first few weeks?
I mean, I think this year’s definitely going to be tough. There’s a lot of competition in the class, but my goal is to run at the front. That’s my goal. I’ve been riding a fair bit this last month and I’ve just been trying to get as ready as I can. The team is coming together late as far as getting the bikes and parts and everything to make the adjustments that we needed to make down the road, but Enzo Suspension has been helping out a lot, and Keith Burns is doing the engines and stuff all in-house at the team, so everyone’s been working around the clock to make the team even happen, so I’m appreciative of that. But from the get-go, I’m not going to be “nailed” come A1. I might be coming into my own a little bit a few races in.

Is there maybe a silver lining to that cloud in that you can race this season with less pressure than in seasons past?
Well, not really. Obviously, I’m going to the first race to do the very best that I can. I’ve been working hard, but I’m a realist also, and I don’t want to go there and get discouraged either. I know it’s a long season, and I’m confident that I’ve put in a lot of work, and I think it’ll be a good season as a whole, but as far as getting the results that I want at Anaheim, Phoenix or the second Anaheim, even, I think that’s a little bit unrealistic. I’m just looking forward to the whole season. I’m feeling comfortable with the bike and the team, and I’m looking forward to it.

Didn’t you ride a Yamaha YZ450F outdoors a few years ago as part of the Mach 1 team? And does the bike feel different now than you remember it then?
Actually, I did do one race on the 450 at Glen Helen, and then I switched back to the 250 two-stroke. I can’t really say if it’s much different because it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a Yamaha, and obviously the four-strokes have changed a lot since back in ’03 when that went down, so... I like the bike and everything seems pretty good. I’m just looking forward for the races to start.

  • Wey rode admirably outdoors, finishing sixth in points, only two points out of fifth.
You’ve been with MDK for quote a few years now. How did the switch come about, and what was the reasoning for it?
MDK’s been a great sponsor of mine for years. Obviously, I had four good years with them, and I’m very appreciative of the help I received from them. Obviously, with this last season, they made a big change in their program, and I wasn’t able to perform to the expectations I had for myself, so I decided that I kind of needed to do something else, and I tried to do whatever I could to work with MDK, but nothing really worked out there. Once I had a few other things come up and I just waited to see what would be the best-case scenario as far as the equipment, and with the group of guys at the Yamaha of Troy team already in place, I decided that was the best place for me to be to have the best bike that was capable of getting the best results that I could.

How old are you now?

That’s not old in today’s motocross world, but it used to be. How long do you expect to continue racing at this level?
I still feel young. There’s obviously a lot of young guys coming in, and I think that the class this year is going to be awesome as far as the depth. Obviously James [Stewart] and Chad [Reed] and guys like that – the past champions – are going to be the guys to beat for sure, but there’s definitely some young guys in their early 20s that are going to be in the mix, too. I’m just looking to be a part of the battle every week, and hopefully I can progress to that. It’s everyone’s goal to win, so hopefully I can progress this season and then we’ll go from there. The way 2008 went for me, I can’t really say how many more years I’d like to have seasons like that...

But if things go like some of the past few years...
Yeah, exactly.

Thanks for your time, Nick.
I appreciate you calling me. See you at Anaheim.