450 Words: Weston Peick

450 Words: Weston Peick

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Weston Peick has spent the better part of his five year professional career dwelling in the privateer ranks. A brute force on the bike, Peick gained a loyal fan following in 2013 with spectacular rides in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. The underdog had carved his path. Carlton Dry Honda, a well-established team in Australia, recruited Peick to compete in the 2013 Terex Australian Supercross Championship. Amid bike changes, Peick struggled at the opening round. The struggles wouldn’t last as the journeyman caught fire, finishing no worse than second over the next three rounds, including a win at Round 4 that vaulted him into the points lead. He held that lead for exactly one day. The next day in practice at Round 5, Peick tore the AC joint in his shoulder, ending his chances at a title. Peick is back home rehabbing in hopes he may be able to return for the final round at Toowoomba Royal Showgrounds on November 16.

Racer X: First and foremost, how is the collarbone?
Weston Peick
: I actually didn’t even break the collarbone. I thought I broke the collarbone—that’s what they told me before I went in, because it was so swollen and stuff. I actually just ended up tearing my AC joint in my shoulder, so it should actually be less time off the bike.

Are you going to try and make the last round?
The last round is in a few more weeks, and I’ll try and make it but I don’t want to rush it and have more issues with getting ready for racing over here. If I end up going over there it will be last minute, and I’ll probably book a flight the week before or something.

Talk about how the deal came about? Carlton Dry Honda is one of the more respected teams over there.
Their team manager Chris Woods actually called me around the week before the Elsinore National and we started talking from there. I didn’t have anything going on for the off-season, so I decided to do something different and do a deal with them over there in Australia. It was definitely a big change switching from Suzuki to Honda. Everything was kind of last minute with getting the bike and getting everything dialed in. It was definitely just showing up and trying to work out everything at the races. But other than that it went fairly well. The first two rounds, the first night I had a bit of an issue, but I rebounded the second night with a second. It was going good until I crashed and screwed up my shoulder.

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Peick was leading the Terex Australian Supercross Championship before going down with a shoulder injury.
Shayne Rice photo

You had actually just taken over the points lead the night before. A little disappointing, obviously.
Yeah, I was pretty pissed off. It was such a stupid mistake. I had won the night before, I know I could have won the championship, which was the goal. The next day the track was really wet and slick and I came into the whoops and there was no berm, so I just kind of flat tracked the turn. There was some traction on the edge of the track, but I went a little bit too far and clipped the hay bales, dropped my front end. The front end dove and just high sided, and I went shoulder first into the berm. It was one of those things that just happens.

You’re no stranger to doing overseas races in the off-season. You’ve done Greece, Germany, etc. What was Australia like compared to those races?
It’s definitely … it’s not like it’s ran better, it’s just easier to be more comfortable and things like that. Everyone speaks English … you’re not going to a different environment where nobody speaks English. It’s definitely a lot easier going to Australia.

The tracks are a little different over there. Will this help you in regards to supercross back here?
It definitely helps you. Obviously getting gate time early and putting in supercross racing will help for 2014. The tracks weren’t exactly like what we race over here in supercross, they are a little smaller—the jumps and rhythms are a little smaller. All in all its really good practice and it gives me the ability to get my feet wet. In Australia, obviously, I want to win a championship and stuff like that. The biggest thing was, I didn’t know what I was doing in 2014, so I went over there to race and make some money to be able to pay for stuff over here.

Talk about the competition? Most people are familiar with the Moss brothers and Josh Hill, but a lot of people are not as familiar with some of the other talented riders in the series.
I went into Australia thinking the competition may not be that strong. I didn’t even know Josh Hill was racing until I got there and was like, “Oh, Josh Hill is racing, that’s cool.” Definitely Jake and Matt Moss stepped it up. They are riding well. They have been riding the same bikes for a couple of years now. I was over there on a new bike, and like I said, I was struggling for the first couple of rounds getting used to the bike. But the competition was good.

I know you really like the Suzuki. How was the switch to Honda? Did you adjust quicker than you thought you would have?
At first I didn’t, because obviously it’s a new bike and everything is different, but once I knew how the tracks worked—like over here—because I was struggling with softening and softening the suspension the first two rounds. But once I came back over after the first two rounds, the bike was a lot better. But it’s still a new bike and trying to get used to it is a definitely a challenge.

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Peick plans to stay with Suzuki in 2014.
Simon Cudby photo

What do you have lined up for next year?
Nothing yet. I wouldn’t say nothing. We are still working on deals and getting stuff figured out. I haven’t been offered any team offers, so it will kind of be my own deal again, but an upgraded one. I think we’re trying to get a rig and stuff like that. Other than that still just trying to put sponsors and money together.

So would it be kind of what you had last year, as far as most of your main sponsors, and then bringing in a couple of more sponsors and basically making it your own team?
Yeah, pretty much. I don’t know if it will be a Peick Racing thing or one of my other sponsors, Mike and John at Revolution 2MX, we kind of came up with another name, it’s called Private Tier. We might start going under that brand and basing the team after that name, and obviously whoever else wants to come on board and help. So were going to kind of go that avenue and try something different.

You have gone the privateer route, unfortunately, for most of your career. Have you learned that you need to brand yourself to a certain extent?
Yeah, exactly. Like you said, unfortunately I’ve been a privateer for way too long, but in my case I’ve done pretty well with what I have and what me and my team have been able to put together. It’s definitely not what I wanted coming in, but that’s what it is, and we’ve done a good job with what we have. Now, if I can get the funding to do it on my own, and kind of build our own little structure then that’s what I’m going to do. That’s kind of what we are heading toward if that’s what it comes down to.

Not sure if you’re aware, but the fans have kind of taken to your case of you deserving more support. Have you noticed that and how does it make you feel?
I have definitely noticed it. Toward the end of the outdoor season I started to notice I gained a hell of a lot more fans. It’s definitely been cool. Obviously more fans is better.

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"I haven’t been offered any team offers, so it will kind of be my own deal again, but an upgraded one." - Peick
Simon Cudby photo

Do you feel that helps raise your profile when you go into off-season talks?
I think it definitely does. I think the main thing is being able to market a rider and the more people that want to have something to do with your program definitely helps.

Are you going to be riding Suzukis again this year?
Yeah, I’m sticking with Suzuki this year. I already have a bunch of Suzuki parts and that’s what I’ve rode the last two years. I’m loyal to Suzuki and they’re going to help out as much as they can.

Being able to stick with a brand has a lot of benefits. Is that something you’ve been mindful of going into negotiations?
I mean I’ve obviously switched around a lot to different brands during my career because that’s just where I ended up being. But I’ve found something I really like and a good company and a good bike with Suzuki, with also Yoshimura helping out. Unless I get a ride with another team, then I would switch, but as of now I’ll be riding Suzuki.

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