Injuries are an unfortunate part of motocross and at one point or another, we all face them. Racers are considered lucky if they can go an entire year without facing a debilitating injury that sets them on the sidelines for some part or even an entire season. And others, like Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, are the not so lucky ones. After wrapping up a 250 Championship, Weimer made the switch to the 450 class and immediately signed with Monster Energy Kawasaki. However, not long after, he encountered his first injury during a practice crash. Since then, save for 2012, Weimer’s 450 career has been littered with injuries that have kept him from his full potential as a racer. At the beginning of the 2014 season, Weimer sustained a shoulder injury at the Supercross series opener, which wasn’t anything serious, but once San Diego rolled around the shoulder had completely popped out. After getting the shoulder injury back under wraps and a brief return to racing, Weimer and another racer had come together at the High Point National. Weimer had gone down in the middle of a blind section (where no flaggers had been positioned) and Malcolm Stewart had nowhere to go, but straight into Weimer’s back. The crash, which was caught on Stewart’s GoPro, was nothing short of scary, however, Weimer was able to board a plane that night and get home to his own doctors. The number 12 has made his return to racing as Unadilla marked his first race back, but with only two more races remaining in the season Weimer is determined to make a strong showing at the final rounds because it is contract season for the Kawasaki rider.
First off, how is your back healing up from the crash at High Point?
It’s good now. It’s definitely not 100-percent, but it’s gotten to the point were I can manage it and do what I need to do. It is still a work in progress trying to get it fully strengthened.
By now, everyone has seen the crash from Malcolm’s GoPro and, needless to say, you’re beyond lucky that it wasn’t any worse than what you ended up with. Was that a pretty scary one for you?
Yeah, it’s absolutely scary in it’s own way. More than anything, though, I just got lucky that I was able to walk away. So I’m thankful for that! It was a struggle, but I was able to fly home that night and see my doctors as soon as I could. But, yeah, I was extremely lucky!
As far as rehabilitation goes, could you do anything or did you just have to let it work itself out?
At first, I couldn’t do anything. I was laid up for a good week just not doing anything because of the amount of pain I was in constantly. After that initial week, I started therapy and rehab to get my mobility back because I had lost most of that, building up my strength again and trying to get that giant hematoma to go down. So there was a lot of stuff that I started doing later on to try and get it better overall.
Malcolm had gotten ahold of you after the crash to see how you were doing, right?
Yeah, Malcolm got in contact with me a little later on to see if I was okay. That was a cool thing for him to do, especially since the crash wasn’t his fault.
The picture that you put up on Instagram of your back seemed to get a lot of coverage…
Yeah, it did. I mean in this modern day and age that’s what social media is now. A way to let others know what you’re up to. It was a way for myself to let everyone know what was going on with me and why I wasn’t at the races because when you have an injury and it’s not a broken bone or something like that people are always wondering, “what’s going on? And why isn’t he racing?” They even put it on TV during one or two of the races.
Are you now back to your normal training regimen with Randy Lawrence?
Just about, yeah. The last two weeks or so we’ve been pretty much back to normal, but I definitely lost a little bit. It was probably an entire month were I didn’t do a whole lot of anything, but I was slowly able to progress over time. Like I said, I definitely lost some strength and conditioning, but we’re working on all of that and Randy and I are almost back to normal.
Randy Lawrence has a background with bicycles, right?
Yeah, he’s always rode BMX because it’s his passion and that’s what he enjoys and then he was racing downhill mountain bikes for a few years so, yeah, he’s always been into bicycles.
Does he incorporate bicycles into your program?
We do road biking and some mountain biking, but as far as BMX, I’ll go once in a while for fun, but I’m terrible at it so I don’t do it that much because I’m kind of sketchy (laughs).
This past weekend at Unadilla, you had a fairly good showing considering the injury you had just returned from. Was it up to your standards?
For me, no! It was kind of disappointing, for myself, but it’s one of those things were it’s just tough. It’s tough to do good when you’re healthy these days! It just seems like all year I’ve been dealing with something because it started with my shoulder and that took a while to get back to normal. It’s just been a rough time dealing with all of that stuff. Obviously, I would have liked to have done better than I did, but I just have to keep fighting and get stronger and give it another try this weekend at Indiana.
So, in your own opinion, you don’t feel like you’re back up to speed?
Not entirely. I mean I’m decent during the week when I’m practicing at some of the local tracks, but it’s the real deal when you get to the race because those tracks are a lot gnarlier than out here. Missing so many races and getting back into the groove of things can be a little tough, but, yeah I wouldn’t say that I’m back up to 100-percent.
It seems from the time you made the switch to the 450 you’ve been injured almost the whole time…
Somewhat, yeah! I’ve dealt with a ton of little injuries that I feel have held me back. 2012 I was healthy, I think, but last year in 2013 I got really sick and broke some ribs and then this year it started at A1 when I crashed and messed up my shoulder a little bit. Then it eventually popped out in San Diego. It’s definitely been frustrating! It’s rough when you crash on these 450’s because you’re going pretty fast (laughs). It’ll take a toll on you.
This is contract season for you. Anything in the works?
Not right now, no.