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Monday Conversation III: Jake Weimer

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One year ago, on Saturday night, January 3, 2009, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer won the opening round of the Lites Western Regional Supercross Series in a sold-out Angels Stadium. Back in third that same evening was Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey. From that point forward, the two riders ignited a mighty battle for the championship. Trading wins – as well as a few sub-par finishes – along the way, the series came down to the final round in Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. When all was said and done, Dungey snagged the title by a heartbreaking margin of five points. Needless to say, it took the native of Twin Falls, Idaho, a fair piece of time to shake off the disappointment. Determined to win the title in 2010, Weimer trained and tested relentlessly during the off-season, and on Saturday evening, once again, it all came right for Weimer as he streaked to a flawless gate-drop-to-checkers win inside a filled-to-the-brim Angels Stadium to start another run at his first AMA number-one plate. While methodically peeling off his race gear and dressing into street clothes up in the locker area of the Pro Circuit 18-wheeler, we stuck a tape recorder in Jake’s face to talk about his day and night in Orange County, California.

  • Jake Weimer won Anaheim I for the second year in a row. And he was pumped.
Racer X: Okay, Jake, what do you think?
Jake Weimer: Glad to be done. Glad to have it out of the way. (Long pause) Anaheim I is tough. You know, we’ve been away for a couple of months. We haven’t seen each other. I mean, you hear, “He’s riding good,” or, “He’s struggling a little,” but you really don’t know until you get here. It’s a stressful day, for sure. Look at Chad [Reed]... He’s 25 points down now. [Note: Reed was knocked out of the 450 main when Austin Stroupe’s footpeg sheered a number of spokes from his front wheel.] Guaranteed, he was going for a championship this year. That’s why it’s so stressful. You know, anything can happen in one race. And if it does, it seems like your whole season is just shot and it’s the worst night of your life. So, I had a lot of nerves. It’s definitely kind of good to get the first one out of the way. You know, then you start to get in that race mode and you get used to it and you just get in that rhythm and everything just seems normal again because that’s what we do: We race.

Everything just comes flowing back to you, huh?
Right. Everything is kind of normal again. I’m very, very happy with how the night went. I felt like I rode well. Nothing crazy. I wasn’t a hero. I just got good starts and I just rode well. I didn’t make too many mistakes, and here we are.

You went straight to the front when the gate dropped with your teammate Josh Hansen chasing you. Did you see him go down on the second lap?
No, I didn’t even know for sure that was him. I had a feeling that it was, but I didn’t know. That was really early and I wasn’t really thinking about it then. I was just trying to go. After I got a little bit of room where I could breathe, after about lap five, I just kind of got into a zone and went from there. It was weird. It was almost like I was doing the same thing every lap. I really didn’t make many mistakes. I hit the exact same lines almost every time. It was just a really, really consistent race for me. Nothing crazy and nothing wild. It was just a good start and 15 consistent laps.

You won very handily. I’d assume this race will infuse you with confidence.
You know, I’m sure it surprises some people, but for me, that’s what I expected coming here. You know, I lost the title last year by five points and I sure as hell don’t want to do that again. So I worked my ass off. I’m happy with where I’m at and I’m going to just keep plugging away and keep my head down and stay focused on the goal at hand. I don’t want to lose this time.

  • Weimer led teammate Josh Hansen (100) early on, but Hansen fell on lap two.
I didn’t really see anyone make any sort of strong charge at you throughout the night. Did anybody strike fear in your heart?
You know, it’s hard to say because there are a lot of people that are capable of going extremely fast. Obviously, it’s no secret that Trey Canard can go very fast. Ryan Morais, you can never count that guy out. He’s so solid. It seems like whatever I do in the last two years, it’s like I’m feeling the heat from him. He’s very good. And Hansen, he had a little bit of a rough night and I don’t know exactly what happened, but he’s going to be there. Broc Tickle showed tonight in his heat race that he can ride well. And there are more. There are plenty of people, but at this point I’m trying to not think about that. I need to get myself out of that and focus on what I’m doing. That’s what I did tonight. I’ll tell you it was a lot easier than winning Anaheim I last year.

Next Saturday comes round two over in Phoenix. You won your first supercross there in 2008 and have always seemed to go good there. Are you looking forward to it?
Yeah, I won my first supercross there and that was a very, very special moment for me. And for some reason it seems like I always go there and I always ride well. I was leading the main there last year, but fell down. However, I rode really well there all day. I’m excited to go there. For some reason, you know never, though. You know how that goes: Somebody always shows up somewhere and just hauls ass. I enjoy racing in that stadium so, yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I’m just looking forward to the whole season, in general. We just are done with Anaheim I, and I’m pumped about the whole thing. I feel good about my chances this year. I’m excited about supercross, which is the goal at hand. I’m excited about outdoors. I love my bike. I would love to ride for Team USA again. That was an amazing experience. That’s way down the road. I’m just really happy with where I’m at in my career and what’s going on. Some people don’t handle losing championships very well and I’m glad I was able to handle it last year and hold my head high. I took my beating like a man. I’m just having a good time with it and enjoying life, especially now with the economy so bad. I guess it makes you think and makes you really enjoy what you do and be thankful to be able to do what you do.
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