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5 Minutes with... Jake Weimer

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Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer has a near-perfect season going. His only race loss of any kind came in San Francisco two races ago, where a game Trey Canard got the holeshot and Weimer was unable to overcome it. However, in the other four races run this year, including last Saturday night’s event inside Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Weimer has won. He has yet to lose a heat race, and he has won four of five main events, finishing second in the other. And now he carries a points lead of more than one whole race into Anaheim III this Saturday night, which is the last race for the Lites West guys until the series gets back from its east-coast swing.

  • On the first full lap in the main, Jake Weimer went for a giant double in the middle of the track that he had been jumping all day. He cased it hard, and this was his recovery in the turn - wide open.
Racer X: It has been a little while since we talked to you, so what was it like in San Francisco to actually lose a race this season after winning everything prior to that main event? Were you freaking out at all out there?
Jake Weimer: No, I wouldn’t say it was freaking me out, but I knew that San Francisco was going to be tough because the dirt is so slippery there. I did struggle a little bit, and I wasn’t feeling great out there. I got the best start that I could, and my goal was to get a good start and just see what happened. I got a good start, and Trey [Canard] was leading, but I was in second, and he was riding well. I was a little bit uncomfortable and wasn’t really comfortable pushing it any harder than I already was, and at that point it was just kind of time for me to be smart and not do anything stupid. That’s what was going on in my head. I didn’t really freak out, but as far as getting beaten, that’s not fun. I don’t like to lose, and I went to San Francisco to win and I didn’t. I wasn’t happy about that, but at the same time, I understand the aspect of trying to win the war. I knew the long-term goal.

It’s funny how you guys think, because two years ago, you would’ve been pumped with second place, and now you’re bummed about it.
Yeah, it’s just progression. You can only work so hard for so long and still be happy with getting on the podium. If you continue improving and continue working hard, at some point getting on the podium isn’t enough anymore, and that’s kind of where I’m at.

Trey Canard is a great rider, obviously, and he got the holeshot, then I saw the two of you disappear to the other side of the track, but then just saw you come back out. On the podium, he took credit for the mistake, saying he was the reason he fell, because he refused to let off and hand you the lead. But what happened there from your perspective?
He wasn’t able to triple through the rhythm section, and I was, and I got almost dead beside him, and he was fighting for it just like I was. I didn’t know exactly what happened, but I did just watch the race on TV, and he basically lost the front end and slid out going into the turn. We were singling into the corner, and over the single he lost traction and slid out.

So, you didn’t hit him or anything?
No, I didn’t touch him until he fell. He kind of fell into me a little bit, but I didn’t touch him until he was already on the ground. I didn’t take him out, for sure, and that wouldn’t have been my intention. I have a lot of respect for Trey. I think he’s a great rider, and I would love to have some great races with him, so from my perspective, that’s what I gathered, and watching it on TV, he was just coming in really hot trying not to give up the position, and I was going for the position, and he came in a little hotter than normal and lost traction.

  • After taking his fourth win of the season, Weimer was confronted with a smattering of boos from the crowd, presumably because the crowd thought he took out Trey Canard on the opening lap. He didn't.
After the race, you were riding around celebrating and I heard a smattering of boos. I don’t know if you heard it, but I did.
No, I didn’t hear that, but whatever. That’s racing. I’ve sat in the stands before and sometimes it’s a little bit of a situation where you don’t really see what happened. I’ve never been a dirty rider, and I don’t plan on ever being a dirty rider, and unfortunately, I think it could have been a really good race between him and I, but he went down. As far as the boos are concerned, it’s okay, but it is a little weird to me that people will sit in the stands and boo James Stewart or boo Chad Reed – some of the best riders who have ever raced in our sport. That’s a little bit disappointing to me that people will do that, but I’ve sat in the stands since I was 10 years old, so I’ve been on both ends of it, and it’s apparent that this is how people are going to be, so let it be.

You’ve said from the beginning that your entire point here is to win a championship, but having won four out of five main events so far this year, and every heat race, where do you set your goals for Anaheim III? I’m not saying it’s boring, but you’ve been dominant, and most racers are always trying to progress. Where do you progress from here?
I look at it a little bit differently. I don’t feel that I’ve been dominant at all. I feel that I’ve gotten great starts and I’ve ridden really smart. “Dominant” to me would be winning by 30 seconds...

Or getting really bad starts and still winning...
Right, exactly, so I don’t feel like I’ve been dominant at all. There’s always room to improve, and I have goals, and aside from the points and the race wins and all that, I am going to have to move up to the 450 class very shortly, and at that point, I’m going to want to be faster than what I am now because I want to do well in the 450 class. So, there are always longer-term goals, but my goal right now is to win a championship and to win races. So there’s always a further goal in sight, and that is motivation enough. It’s a good driving force to get better. The goal for Anaheim III is to win, and I’ve said it before, but I want to get good starts and give myself a chance to win. If it doesn’t work out that night and something’s not clicking, then I’ll do what I have to do and be smart about it. But my goals are to win. I want to win. I love winning races, and it’s a great feeling, so that’s the goal for this weekend, just like every weekend.
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