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Between the Motos: Jake Weimer

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Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer is quickly becoming among the best riders in the 250 class. He won three supercrosses in the Lites West before finishing second in the title chase to Ryan Dungey, and after a rocky start to the outdoors, he has now won the last two races in a row – the only rider so far to win two in a row in the class. We talked to him after the race.

Racer X: Obviously, you went 2-1 last week, and that was a legit win, for sure. But this week, you also got second in the first moto, but you got a so-so start in the second one and looked like you almost settled for fourth – but still won the overall.
Jake Weimer: I was like 10th pick, and I was quite a bit farther inside than I wanted to be, but I felt like that was the best gate, so that was what I opted to do...

Condition over position...
Yeah, exactly, so I didn’t get the greatest of starts and had to pass a few people. I didn’t feel amazing, but I felt good. I felt solid and I felt like I was in control. I felt good. I passed a few people, and by the time [Ryan] Dungey had fallen, I started looking around and I was like, “I think if I stay here I’ve got the overall!” I was thinking about that a little bit, and I was right behind [Brett] Metcalfe, and I wanted to get him, but because I didn’t get the greatest of starts, I ran out of tearoffs. Then it started to rain a little bit, and the mechanic put on the board, “Be smart. Overall.” So, at that point, I just did my job to bring it home. The overall’s definitely more important than getting third in the moto rather than fourth.

What is it with practice? Why were you the 10th gate pick if you were that fast in the races?
Because dudes are crazy in practice! [Laughs] I don’t know! I don’t know, honestly.

What was your time in Colorado?
I was 11th! I don’t know the deal. I’m kind of one of those guys who can get in a rhythm and I get better and better and better, and some people are just able to lay down one really fast lap. That’s difficult for me. I’ve worked on it a lot, and I think I’ve gotten better at it, but what are you going to do?

You started pretty far back in points, so what is a realistic goal for you now that you’ve started winning?
Obviously, for the team, it’s important for me to get up as high as possible, but for me, I haven’t even thought of the points one time until you just brought it up. Unless I’m going to win the title, or have a chance at winning it, then it’s not really a big deal. Obviously, third’s better than 10th, but for me at this point, it’s all about races rather than the championship.

I asked you the night that you won in Colorado, and you didn’t seem certain about it, but is there a switch that happens in your head after you win one that tells you that you can win any of them?
I think so, for sure. I’m sure for everybody it’s a little bit different, but there was a switch for me, for sure. You kind of already know you can win, but you have to really experience it and feel it to really make yourself believe it. It’s kind of weird. For me, it’s like, “Huh, it’s really not that hard if you start up front!” You follow Christophe [Pourcel] or Dungey, and you’re like, “Okay, he’s braking there, huh? Okay. Oh, he’s getting on the gas there? Okay!”

You’re a copycat...
Yeah! But by no means is it easy, but it’s a hell of a lot easier than starting 20th and getting 10th! It’s easier to holeshot and get second than it is to start 20th and get 10th. And it’s a lot more fun, and it doesn’t hurt as bad – because roost hurts.

Are you paid bonuses based on overall finish or moto finish?
Overall, but if I win a moto, I get some extra. But overall.

That’s cool, then!
Yeah, because it’s all about the podium for them. That’s what they want. They want you up on the box. They don’t care if you go 10-10 as long as you’re up on that box saying your sponsors’ names.

What about racing with Dungey that first moto? You hung with him for a long time, but then he started doing the Leap and got away from you. Were you thinking you had something for him late in the race?
I actually felt really, really comfortable, and he was going fast enough that I just didn’t feel like I could make a move anywhere. I could get right up on him, but I couldn’t find anywhere that I felt I could make anything happen. He was going fast. I just felt like I was kind of stuck. He jumped the Leap the second-to-last lap, and then on the last lap, I was going to do it, but I almost looped out coming out of the turn, so I was like, “Okay, I’d better get second instead of blowing the rear wheel up.” Then the second moto I did it and overjumped it by like 30 feet! That jump is sick, for real.

What are you doing with your time off?
Honestly, probably the same thing as everyone else – just relax. You travel as much as I do, and it gets old. It’s nice to be home. I’ll probably just lay low, do what I need to do during the week, and then just kind of rest up and watch some movies or TV or something.
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