Looking at the long track record of championships and success that Mitch Payton and the guys at Pro Circuit Kawasaki accumulated over the years, it’s no wonder why many riders can only wonder it what it may be like to ride aboard such a prestigious team and bike. Jake Weimer, however, is one rider who now has the honor of riding for one of the best teams in the industry. Though Weimer came from an already well respected Geico Powersports Honda squad, he hopes to carry his moment from the ’08 season on over to 2009 with his new team, bike, and mechanic (whoever that may be).
After spending several years aboard a Honda, how has the transition to the all-new KX250F been treating you as well as the new team?
It’s been fun, for sure! It’s always fun when you are making a change, getting to meet new people, and ride a new bike. It’s different, but fun and like you said I’ve spent a long time with the Geico team; three years I think. I was doing well over there, and I had a good time while I was with that team. I feel like I’ve come along ways from my rookie season to present day, so I feel like this is the next step for me in my career.
What’s been the biggest challenge, if any, of adapting to a new team and a different bike?
Honestly, adapting to a different bike isn’t all that difficult. For most people it’s not too big a deal and you are comfortable on it within a couple of days. I think the biggest thing is just getting to know everybody, and everybody has a different way of testing, so it is important to have good communication with the entire team and being able to let them know how you’re feeling and what you’re feeling. So, I’d say familiarizing yourself with everybody and the way in which they run their ship is the biggest obstacle to conquer.
Do you feel like there is more pressure on you to succeed now that you’re a part of the Pro Circuit team?
Oh, no doubt. I knew going into this deal that this team expects you to win and that’s why they hire the people they do. I think I have a good relationship with Mitch and we get along really well. There is definitely pressure to win, but I knew that when I signed my contract. It’s time for me to win or go work at McDonalds.
Your long time mechanic, Jeremy Hoyer, opted to stay with the guys at Geico Powersports Honda. Was it difficult for you to join a new team without your mechanic/best friend?
That’s a bummer because I really did get a long with Jeremy. I know that he enjoys working with the guys at Geico and that it’s a good environment for him. It’s one of those things where you need to be where you click and around people you click with. There are no hard feelings between us. We’re still friends and we still talk and hang out. To be completely honest with you, I have no idea who my mechanic is going to be over here (laughs). The guy I have been working with has been awesome, so we’ll see what happens. It’s kind of a bummer to switch things up like that, but at the same time we’re buddies, so it’s not too big a deal.
What was your motivation for signing with Mitch Payton instead of staying with JC Waterhouse and the guys at Honda?
When it comes to decisions like that you need to follow your heart. The Geico team is an awesome team, and they treated my very well for the three years I was with them, and it has difficult to leave them. However, I feel like it was something that I needed to do and that would help me take my career to the next step. Like I said before, so far so good. I feel like I’ve come a long ways even since the outdoors, especially on a mental level. I believe me making the switch was something that I needed to do, and I am happy with my decision. I have been doing a lot of testing, and I am so pumped on this bike.
Do you know if you’ll be riding West or East Coast Supercross come 2009?
(Laughs) I have no idea what coast I am riding. That’s the big question for all of the riders, so I have no clue where I’ll be; I haven’t even spoke with Mitch about it.
Do you have a preference of which coast you ride?
I really don’t care. If I feel like I am ready to do the West Coast series then that’s what I’ll do. I’m sure once the time gets a little closer we’ll sit down and talk about it and make the best decision based on where we are at in our program.
Your trainer is Randy Lawrence, who has had an immense amount of success with Ryan Villopoto. Since you started working with Lawrence, what have been some the more noticeable changes in your riding and fitness?
Working with Randy has been a lot of fun for me, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. The biggest thing that I’ve noticed with Randy is that he is super knowledgeable when it comes to the mental outlook on the gate and what it takes to win and where you need to be to make it happen every weekend. You mentioned earlier that the PC team expects you to win and Randy holds that same mentality, but at the same time he is very realistic. He knows where I am speed wise, and I don’t think he expected me to win an outdoor race this year, but he has the same outlook that PC does and that’s to never settle for where you are. He is really good at motivating me and making me want to work hard and reach the next step. It’s also nice having Ryan [Villopoto] around, who has had some experience with himself and Randy as a team. I think this is going to be a good deal, and I’m excited for next year!
How long is your deal with Pro Circuit?
I have a one-year deal with them.
After your contract is up, do you have any intentions of moving up to the 450 class?
No. I would really like to stay in the Lites class for a two more years.
Coming 2009, what are you expecting of yourself?
For Supercross I’d like to win a championship. I’ve had three seasons of Supercross and I believe that’s the next step for me, especially after winning a race last year. With the guys at Pro Circuit, Randy, and myself working as a team there is no reason why we can’t win a Supercross championship. I know that’s no easy task, but I think that’s a reachable goal. As far as the outdoor season goes, I would like to win, but honestly I just want to be up there battling for wins.