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Monday Conversation: Jake Weimer

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Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer is having quite a year so far. In two rounds, he has yet to lose a single race – whether it be a heat race or a main event. We talked to him after the Phoenix Supercross to get his take on how his weekend went down.

  • Jake Weimer after winning the Phoenix Supercross for the second time in his career.
  • Weimer with a faceful of champagne, courtesy of friend and rival Ryan Morais.
Racer X: That was a little harder fought than a lot of people probably expected considering how fast you normally go here. What was going on out there? Why were you riding around in third for a while if you had the speed to win?
Jake Weimer: I don’t have a good answer for that. I can tell you what happened, but I can’t tell you why it happened. I got a decent start, and I probably would’ve been around third, and then [Josh] Hansen either got cleaned out or fell down – I don’t know, and I don’t want to speculate. But something happened, and he wrecked, so I was in second, and I don’t know what the deal was. Today was a really hard day with what I did to myself in practice – I came up short on a jump and just blew my foot apart. I struggled with that all day. But in the main, my heart rate just blew up straight off the bat. I was straight winded on like the second lap.

Were you holding your breath early on?
Yeah, probably, and after that, I was just struggling. They piled the sand all up and that wasn’t doing me any favors. I was struggling, and I stood it up in a berm, then Mo [Ryan Morais] got by me, and I wanted to just stick to his back fender. At that point, I was just kind of thinking, “I just want to get on the podium tonight.” I just kind of stuck to his back fender, and I got myself to calm down, and I started hitting my lines a lot better. I was being more aggressive with where I wanted to be on the track, and where my lines were, and I got a little more aggressive with the throttle, and I started making it work a little better. I calmed myself down at that point, and Mo and I both started catching [Blake] Wharton. Mo got on him, and I basically made the pass at the same time he did, because I saw it coming and made a plan and did that. So I got into second, and at one point I didn’t think that I’d be able to get him [Morais] back, but I felt like I had a couple pretty good lines and was carrying some good speed in a couple spots, and there wasn’t much time left. There were probably three laps left? I figured I could make a pass on him, and I made it happen, and that was that. I just had to ride out the last lap and a half and I was good to go.
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You’re buddies with Morais, and he’s never won one of these things, so do you feel bad a little bit? Just a little bit?
I do feel a little bit bad, but definitely more now after the race than I did during the race! But I made a conscious note when I decided that I could get him back, I thought, “Oh, Hannah [Ryan Morais’s wife] is going to be so pissed at me!” because she’s always laughs going, “Just give him one! Just one!” But the thing is, this almost makes me sound like I’m putting him down, but the dude is a terrific rider, and that was cutting it close. You mess up one little bit and he’s going to beat you. He’s a very talented rider. I’ll bet you money that he’ll be in the exact same position next weekend. For some reason he never lets me win very easily, even last year [when they were teammates]. It would be nice for me if he would back it down a little bit, because it seems like even when I do win, that dude is shadowing me everywhere I go! But yeah, we are good friends, and on the track, we do what we have to do.

Except for basically one lap in the second timed practice session, you seemed to be struggling. Was your foot bothering you the whole time?
Yeah, bad. Really bad. When I initially did it, I came up short in the rhythm section. I did the same thing that [Chad] Reed did in his heat race later on. It was the same jump. I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox like he did, but I jumped it the lap before and everything was good, and then I came around the next lap and just didn’t even come close. I tensed up, and I didn’t land on the ball of my foot, I landed right on my arch, and I’m pretty sure my toes touched my heel. Initially, when I did it, I was like, “Oh, great, there goes my season! My foot’s broken!” But I rode around the last half of that lap, then I pulled in, and I was like, “Okay, I think I’m all right.” I think I’m okay, but man, it’s painful. I swear to you, I was hurting bad. In the first timed practice, I struggled in that because I couldn’t even really pay attention to what I was doing. I had a tough time focusing because the pain was bothering me so much.

  • Weimer only led the last two laps of the Lites main.
  • Weimer celebrates his second win in a row. So far this season, he hasn't lost a Heat or a Main.
Last year, you were almost in this position, because you won round one, and you were leading at round two here, but you fell in the sand. Then today you fell in the sand again in practice. How much were you thinking about that sand?
I crashed in the sand in practice twice today! But I just tried to not think about it. The only time I really struggled in it was when they piled it all up and there were no lines in it. I think I have a tendency to ride the front of the bike too much, and obviously in sand that doesn’t work, but even at Southwick, I’ve done okay there, and obviously that’s sand, but there are lines, and once there were lines through the sand in the main event, I was fine. I felt like I was putting time on them in the sand, actually. But initially, when they pile it all up, I think I ride the front of the bike too much and I just kind of wallow around in it.

At this point, two races in, are you thinking about the championship, or just going race by race?
Yeah, I’m thinking about the championship! I was thinking about the championship before the first round started, because ultimately that’s what I want to win. I want to win the championship. That’s really what matters. That’s what gives us jobs and makes us the money that we want to make. So before the first round, I was already thinking about it. I mean, it’s there. But in order to win a championship, which I have yet to do, you’ve got to focus at the goal at hand, and every Saturday night, that goal at hand is to win the race. Winning the race is what I want to do, and if I don’t win, I’m not going to be happy. Toward the end of the season, it might be a little bit of a different story, if it winds down and I’m comfortably in the lead, but right now, it’s win, win, win; I want to win.

And finally, you and Wharton were on the podium, and you both have mop heads. Do you think that’s the difference between beating Ryan Morais and not beating him?
So, you’re on Ping’s team now? You’re going to talk trash about my hair, too?

No, actually, I think Ping forgets the mullet that Jeremy McGrath had when he was riding for Pro Circuit. I’m just saying that you and Wharton have hair that’s kind of out of control, and one of you led most of the laps, and the other one led the rest...
I’m just saying, everyone always has their hair all trimmed up before the race, and they shave their face... Let’s go at it from a different angle this time, right? I got recognized in Target in Phoenix!

Really? Someone was like, “Hey, it’s Jake Weimer!”?
Yeah! So, you know, the hair? I like it.

One day, you’re just going to cut it all off, and then everyone’s going to be like, “What happened to your hair?” And you’re going to say, “I wanted to cut it!”
Yeah! If I wake up and I’m like, “I want a haircut,” then I’ll go get a haircut. But if I wake up and I’m like, “You know what? I ain’t even going to comb this baby today!” then I’m not going to comb it! And the thing is, we race dirt bikes. We get dirty.

Do you want to look at some pictures of Bob Hannah in like 1978 and see what he looked like? He looked about like you, except more bad-ass, because he’s Bob Hannah.
Hey, I told Pingree, “Maybe I could get the phone number of your barber, and I could get myself a nice little trim-up job, and maybe highlight my tips like you.” And I don’t know, he didn’t give me the phone number, so I guess I’m going to have the same hair-do at Anaheim II.

Or worse. You might not comb it between now and then.
If I don’t want to...
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