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5 Minutes with... Jake Weimer

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Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer has now won three AMA Nationals this season, and combining with his three AMA Supercross wins in the Western Region, he has won six races this year out of 27. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who, prior to this year, had one professional win ever. Add to it that his latest win came in one of the most epic mud races in motocross history, and things are looking up for the Team USA MX2 racer.

Racer X: You’ve never been known as an outdoor guy. I mean, you could ride outdoors, but it was always pretty well-known that your style and everything suited supercross a little better. But here you are and you’ve just recorded your third AMA National win of the season!
Jake Weimer: I don’t even really know what to say! You start winning and you know what it feels like, and you want more, then you get to the point where you just expect it from yourself. You’ve got to get a start, and then the rest just kind of comes to you. To say I’ve been doing anything different isn’t really the truth, but my attitude’s different and I feel like I have momentum going, I’ve been riding really well, and my starts have been good.

Do you know where you are in points?
I’m not sure. I was in fifth, and Searle was like 11 points in front of me, so I don’t know where he ended up on the day.

Yeah, and Metcalfe was another 20 or so points up from him, right?
Yeah, he’s a ways up there.

But he got like 18th the first moto...
Yeah, well...

My point is, considering the start you had, where after High Point you were 10th in points and way, way behind, and now you’re challenging possibly for third in points at the end of the season. After High Point, would you have thought it was possible?
After High Point, I was in such a low that I wasn’t even really thinking about points, but now looking back, it’s pretty cool to see the progress and see how far I’ve come. But at the time, it was more just about focusing on the weekends and trying to get myself back to where I wanted to be.

When you were named to the Motocross des Nations team last week, a lot of people thought you were really kind of a wild-card pick, but then you got third that weekend and then won this weekend, so that has to say something about you not being a bad guy to go, don’t you think?
Yeah, for sure. There’s definitely more pressure because people are watching you thinking, “Why’s he going to the des Nations?” They’re going to watch you, so even getting second the first moto, everyone might be all, “Okay...” But then it downpours, and if I would’ve gotten smoked, then people would be like, “Oh, man, what if it rains?! We’re done! We’re not going to win!” So it’s awesome for me to pull it off and ride so well and make it happen. It’s cool for me, and I’m excited about it, for sure.

What about the progression of your mud-riding abilities?
That’s just kind of one of those things. Since I was on 80s, that was the first time I remember riding amazingly in the mud, and since that time, I was 14, I’ve had days where it was amazing in the mud and everything was awesome and I was pumped, and I’ve had some of my worst days on a dirt bike in the mud, so it’s just kind of one of those things. It’s just hard to be solid and not make mistakes and hold it together in the mud. You’ve got to be mentally strong and fit, for sure, because it takes a lot out of you. The ratio is probably more bad rides in the mud than good, but I knew I had potential to ride good in the mud because I’m not really out of control, which helps in the mud.

Have you ever raced in a race like that one?!
Similar, but nothing like that, for sure. That was crazy!

I overheard you telling a story earlier about water just showing up all at once. What was that about?
Well, obviously I just found out why, but we were going and it was raining harder and harder, and there was just more and more water, and the water was running across the track and down the hills, and you start having to be careful choosing your lines to avoid the water because it was so deep, and then I came around one lap and it’s like three times the amount of water! I’m like, “What just happened?! Where did this come from?!” Obviously, I just found out that the pond in the infield ran over! It was crazy. It was fun for me, though. I had a good time. I made a little mistake and fell over, then got up and regrouped, and it felt really good!

At the end of the race, instead of a checkered flag, you got a red flag, but then you just kept going. What was that about?
I know what the red flag means, but at 27 or 28 minutes in or whatever we were at, since I was a little kid, you’re taught to race to the checkered flag. Whether you’re in 10th or you’re winning, you race until the checkered flag flies. So, 28 minutes in, leading the muddiest race of my life, I’m like, “Dude, I ain’t stoppin’! I’m not going to lose because, for some freak reason, they threw the wrong flag or something!” So I kept going, then looked behind me, and nobody was behind me, and then I came over Henry Hill almost a full lap later, and I saw all the dudes sitting down at the podium, so I was like, “All right.” I just pulled over to the podium.

Obviously you had a goal to win races coming into the nationals, but did you really imagine yourself being able to win this many? If you don’t win any more this year, you will have won a full 25 percent of the races!
Yeah, you know, it’s tough to say, because you have days like this where there are so many things going on, but it works out so smooth, so it almost seems easy. But at the beginning of the season, I really didn’t know. I wanted to win races, and that was my goal, but I really didn’t know how it would be, because in ’08, I had some decent rides, but I wasn’t going to win! I wanted to, but I knew I was going to have to be better than I was last year. I really didn’t know. The way the season started, I didn’t think it was going to happen this year, either, but I got it turned around, started getting some starts, riding really well, and then after the first win, then I knew that I could win races. Then after the first moto today, I knew that I could win today, because Christophe got by me, but I stayed right on him the whole time. Some tracks, like Unadilla, there was no way I was going to beat Christophe. The dude was unbelievable there. And there are going to be days like that when – unless you’re Ricky Carmichael or James Stewart, who are that unbelievable guy every race – I’m going to shine, and days when I’m probably not going to shine so much!

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