The Fast And Misunderstood: Weston Peick
We often like to complain about rider’s personalities—or lack there of. With an abundance of preprogrammed and near-automated interviews out there, it’s easy to hit the fast-forward button on the DVR remote when trackside commentators speak to an athlete. But when someone actually does say what’s on their mind, they’re usually criticized for expressing their opinions or letting us know how they truly feel. Maybe sponsors don’t like it, but for the media it’s refreshing in a sense; what’s the point of asking a question if we already know what the answer will be? Weston Peick has been slowly working his way into the spotlight this year, mostly because he’s fast as hell on your average privateer equipment, but also because he sometimes wears his emotions on his sleeve and says what he thinks no matter who’s listening. Anyone we’ve talked to that knows Peick personally usually says one thing: he’s a nice, quiet kid, but sometimes misunderstood. Whether you like what he says or not, it’s impossible to overlook his results lately, especially after his performance in Salt Lake City this past weekend, earning fourth overall in a stacked 450 class. Without a doubt, Peick deserves a lot more support than he is receiving, possibly even a shot at a factory ride, but will anything come his way? We caught up with Peick earlier this week to ask him a few questions about 2013.
First of all, congrats on Salt Lake City—5-5 moto scores for fourth overall. Tell us about last weekend.
I really didn’t know what to expect; it was a new track and it wasn’t really the best for practice, so I really didn’t know what to think by the time the race came around. I got a good start and it just started clicking from there—I was top-10 both motos and worked my way up and made some passes, and I ended up having a pretty solid weekend.
Did you feel better there than you have all year?
I’ve just been trying to change some things as much as possible. I’m limited in what I can do and what I can’t do, but I’ve been testing as much as I can trying to get the best settings possible for me with what I have to work with. We’ve just been focused on that; trying to get a better setup and that’s been paying off. I’ve been training a lot harder too. I trained pretty hard all season with Buddy Antunez, but now it’s just starting to pay off. It was the best outing of the year and hopefully I finish strong at Elsinore.
How pumped were you on your results?
I was definitely happy with my results. It was a part of my goals that I had set up for me this year. Some of my goals this year were to get in the top five and experience the speed, and I’ve achieved those goals so that’s definitely a plus.
Your bike was having a lot of issues; you were scrambling around looking for parts and you had to bump start the thing to get it going…
I was trying every last thing I possible could; I just got some pieces for a hot start and I figured the issue was with that, but it was something else. I couldn’t really say what the problem was but we finally got it figured out and we’re good—the bike starts first kick.
The Yoshimura Suzuki team has a vacant bike this weekend—has anyone talked to you about filling it for Stewart?
In a sense it’s just not worth it. Even if I was going to bring my own bike out there and put it under their tent it’s not worth it with only one race left. It’s not going to benefit anybody in any kind of way because it’s not for the full season; not that anyone has called but that’s just how I think things work. It’s not worth doing a bunch of testing with a team for only one race.
You’ve made a lot of noise in 2013; how do you feel about your effort earlier this year in Supercross?
This year in Supercross we started off making the mains and then we had a few issues halfway through the season with just crashes and things like that. The last five or six rounds we started figuring stuff out and got a bike setup that was better for riding faster. That’s when everything started clicking and getting better. I became more confident and more comfortable, and by the end of the Supercross season I was definitely a lot better than in the beginning.
You’ve had some critics lately regarding your people skills and patience, and your ability to deal with sponsors and the media. How do you want to be perceived or do you even care about that stuff?
Obviously the way I handle things isn’t the way people want to hear it; it’s always straight forward and the truth, and people don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to hear that their product isn’t good—they just don’t want to hear the truth. I’m the type of person that’s always going to tell you what’s up and that’s the best way to do it. I feel like the reason why I have a bad rap is because I tell the truth about what happened and why I got screwed. I’m just calling out the person who said that they were going to do something for me, and then didn’t do it. That’s why I think everyone says I burn bridges because of what other people have done. I’m doing what they wanted me to do but they’re not doing what they said they were going to do for me, so that’s what the whole situation is about: supposedly burning bridges. I’ve definitely gotten better with the media, and I’ve learned that you really just have to shut your mouth and not say anything. If a company isn’t good you have to lie, so I guess that’s just the way you have to go about things.
That being said, have any teams contacted you yet for 2014, and if you don’t find a team are you going to put forth your own effort again?
As of right now, nobody has contacted me or offered me any kind of team ride for next year, but if it doesn’t happen we’re coming up with a “plan B” and find the funds to run our own team. We’re going after it just so we can have all of our resources and do what we need to do and run exactly how we want to run.
In 2013 you made all of the Supercross rounds but only select Nationals. What are the differences with the outdoor races that keep you from making it to every stop?
It’s the money payout and how much it costs to get there, and the wear and tear on the motorcycles. I don’t have the extra budget to rebuild stuff every weekend, and it’s just a shit payout. I went 5-5 and got fourth overall, and I only made $1300, which I think is a joke. It all just comes down to that and in a sense it’s not even worth it to race if you’re not on a team, because you’re not making any money. I spent twice as much getting to Utah than what I made from my results in Utah. I do the races that I can afford and a race is a race, and that’s why I only ended up doing five rounds.
What else were you doing this summer to make ends meet?
Just racing fair races and kind of hitting as many on those as I can and trying to stay afloat.
What are your plans for after Elsinore?
So far just the Monster Cup.
Last but definitely not least, you have a lot of sponsors, but who are the main supporters that help your privateer effort?
Fly Racing , Hyper-X, ARMA Energy, Revolution 2MX, PistonBones, Utopia , Dave Cruz, CatFish Motors; these are my main funders.