In just a few weeks, the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series will begin. The best riders will line up for the winding tour around North America, all in hopes of making their mark on the sport. Well, the best riders that managed to get some sort of support, that is. As we come to the brink of the new year, the list of talented racers and past champions without a signed deal with a team is longer than ever. Jake Weimer, a former 250 West Coast SX champ and weekly top-ten threat, is on that list. His position is very unique, as Weimer is still spinning laps on a race-ready RCH Suzuki RM-Z450, but everything else is still undetermined. During a recent break between laps at a private SX test track, we spent a few moments discussing what comes next.
You're riding, which is a good sign, but still uncertain with everything else.
I'm still riding and doing all of that, but as far as the next or Anaheim or whatever, I don't know how any of that will play out. I'm still riding.
RCH has given you a bike and a mechanic…
My deal with them was through Vegas, then I had surgery, and then I started riding again. They let me have a bike and I've been riding it for a few months. I show up every day, a mechanic helps me out, and I have a good bike. It definitely makes it easier to do the training and all of that, by having a good bike and a mechanic. It would be hard to ride all day, go home to train, and then have to spend hours in the garage prepping the bike for the next day.
We're just over a month away from the start of the season. Do you have any idea of what will happen?
I don't have an idea. For a while I was back and forth, wondering what I was doing, and I still don't know. Two weeks I thought, "Well I have a bike so I'll train and ride like I'm going racing." For now, I'm trying not to think about it. I'm on the phone and doing what I can to figure things out, but there's really not much there at the moment. There are not rides available, so I just try to focus on my riding and whatever happens, happens.
Was there any talk of going to Europe after you went for the SMX or for Arenacross?
Nothing from Europe. There was some Arenacross talk and Canada, but I don't have anything done. I want to race Supercross and that's what I'm preparing for. If it doesn't work out, I'll cross that bridge when it comes. I'm just focused so that I can be ready and I'll figure that out.Let's say the worst case scenario happens and nothing comes at all. Do you show up at Anaheim One in a pick-up truck? We talked about this a few months ago and you said no, but the closer you get to the season, the more you have to re-evaluate.
I think I would, but it all comes down to the logistics, like if I can get a bike that I feel is competitive and then find a mechanic. If it comes to that point, I would do it as long as I could. People think we can just throw a bike in the truck, but dude, it's really not that easy. For one thing, this is not my bike and I don't personally have a mechanic. I can't be my own mechanic at the race, so I have to hire someone to do that. There are a lot of things that go into it that take time and money. People aren't handing out good transmissions or a head that has been done or cams. I could get help but it costs money and takes time.
The one thing I always hear is, "How doesn't a professional racer own a motorcycle?" It's not like you can't go out and buy a bike, you can go get one easily, but it's the factory transmission, the built head, the spare parts, the suspension.
There are certain things where I don't even know if I could get it, even if I had an unlimited budget to buy it. I guess I haven't really tried to do this, but you can't just go buy mapping. You have to spend a day with a guy that knows what he's doing for testing. You don't just buy a map and then are ready for Anaheim One. You can put together a decent bike and do it. But it's as simple as what people think make it seem like. It's not a piece of cake to throw a bike together. At this point in my career, there is a big difference that is decent and having a bike that I feel is competitive and that I want to ride. I'm not going to try and go there just to be there. If I'm going to be there, it's because I feel like I can do well.
If you show up and you're not ready, it's a waste of time that could ultimately hurt your stock.
Absolutely. For me, it's too dangerous to be out there and be mediocre. I want to feel like I can improve myself and do well. Otherwise, it's not even worth it. And that comes down to everything, like the bike and the mechanic. I'm not willing to do it half-assed.
Would you just quit?
I think so. I wouldn't race half-assed. I'm not going to throw an exhaust on a bone stock bike just to say that I was there.