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Between the Motos: Jake Weimer

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For the first time in Jake Weimer’s career, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider went into the series finale with a shot at the championship. He rode admirably, from about 12th at the start to a very close second at the finish, but it wasn’t enough. Still, his second place is a championship-best for Weimer. We talked to him after the race for this week’s Between the Motos.

Racer X: What were you thinking coming into this race? It was kind of a longshot with the points how they were after Seattle...
Jake Weimer: I mean, it’s just kind of one of those things. It’s out of your hands at that point. The only think you can do is go out there and win the race, which is what I tried to do. There weren’t really any nerves involved. It was just kind of one of those things where I just let destiny decide what was going to happen. I just decided to treat it like a race rather than a championship, so that’s what we did.

What’s up with your main-event starts?
I don’t know, they’re not very good, are they? It’s something that I’m definitely going to have to work on! It’s a problem, for sure. Two weeks in a row, bad starts in the main sort of bit me, so I’m not real happy with that, but besides that everything was good. It was disappointing, for sure.

You were making up a lot of time in the whoops, so talk a little bit about the track.
It was good. It was fun. I thought that it was pretty good. The whoops were really tough because they were really shiny and slick, and it was really important to carry a lot of speed into them so that you didn’t have to try to accelerate through them, because there was tons of wheelspin. So that was tough, and then the triples were big and hard to make, so you had to make sure you got a good run. But I felt pretty good around the whole track. As far as how I rode tonight, it was a really good night.

When you started getting on Trey Canard with a lap to go, you got inside him in that turn at the end of the stadium and put him into the bales a bit, and he didn’t budge. Talk about that battle.
Well, I actually had no idea that it was the last lap, so I saw an opportunity and I was going for the pass, and we tangled, and I bobbled and almost went down. I was just like, “Okay, I’ll just stay close and try to get him in the second set of whoops next lap.” Then I came around and there wasn’t a “next lap” so I kind of shot myself in the foot right there, but it was fun. It was a fun night, and it’s always fun to have a battle and have the fans into it and all that. It was a good night.

You’re not really from here, but you’re form nearer to here than anywhere else, and the fans seemed to be behind you.
It’s cool, for sure. It’s definitely the closest race to home that I have. My house is two or two and a half hours from here [in Idaho], and I spent some time racing here as a kid and riding local stuff, so I know a lot of the people up here. It was cool. It was a lot of fun, and it’s always cool when the crowd gets into it like that. It just brings the energy up. That was a lot of fun, for sure. That’s really the first time that I’ve ever been in a situation like that where the crowd’s into it. That was a new experience for me, and it was really fun.

I saw your old friend Damon Bradshaw up in the press box. You guys get along, don’t you?
Yeah... Actually, I don’t even know him.

Didn’t he once threaten to break your legs?
Yeah, one time he told me he was going to break my leg [laughs]. I wasn’t going to say it because I’ve never met him and it was a long time ago, but now that you say that, yeah he did threaten to break my leg one time [laughs]. [For details, check out Steve Matthes' podcast with Weimer.]

How old were you?
Fourteen! True story. Mountain Home, Idaho.

What do you think about Vegas? It’s a track you’re always fast on. When you were a sixth-place guy all year, I think you got fourth there?
Second.

Right, okay, so what do you think about it? It usually favors guys like you who have a chip on your shoulder having lost the title...
Yeah, for sure, I think Vegas is always fun to race at just for the fact that there’s so much energy around. It’s fun to be there whether you’re gambling and getting into that or not. There’s a lot of energy, it’s fun, there’s a lot of people... I enjoy racing there, and I always have a good time, and the record books show that I’ve had some success on hard-pack tracks. I feel pretty good going into next week, and I definitely have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, and I’m ready to do some work.

And you still owe me a win from our pre-season bet...
And I still owe you a win.

What about your wrist? You’re wearing a brace tonight, but it didn’t seem to bother you...
I crashed really bad on Monday [before Salt Lake City] and kind of messed myself up a little bit, and I didn’t ride all week or train or anything, and I was at the doctor’s everyday doing therapy on my wrist, so it was a little bit of a question mark coming into here. I got into a race situation, though, and it wasn’t bad. [Scrunches face.]
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