250 West Champion Jake Weimer hopes familiarity translates to success for his rookie season in premiere Supercross class
Since turning pro in 2006, reigning AMA Supercross Lites West Region Champion Jake Weimer has progressively become one of the best supercross riders on the planet. Fresh off the most successful season of his career in which he won his first professional title, Weimer is making the anticipated move into the premier AMA Supercross class for the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross, and FIM World Championship, season.
Photo Frank Hoppen
After years of coming close to reaching his true potential, Weimer’s career took a turn for the better when he joined the hugely successful Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team led by Mitch Payton in 2009. He kicked off his stay under the Pro Circuit tent with a win in his first race for the team, ultimately finishing runner-up to eventual champion Ryan Dungey in the AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional Championship.
Last season, Weimer returned with something to prove. Missing out on the title by just five points in 2009, the Idaho native let it all hang out in 2010, his final season in the Lites class. Four wins and six podiums later, Weimer captured the title that eluded him on year prior to set the tone for a promising start to his premier class career.
“Winning the Lites title last season was huge” said Weimer. “From the moment I joined Mitch’s team, I felt like I had everything I needed to win. Unfortunately I came up a little short in 2009, but last season I was determined to not make the same mistakes and everything worked out.”
Upon the start of the annual offseason signing period affectionately known as ‘silly season’ Weimer was one of several riders who weren’t sure what the future held. At a time when manufacturers are suffering from a down economy, available spots on teams and big contracts are at a premium.
“I really had no idea what to expect” added Weimer. “For the first time in my career I was a free agent and didn’t know what to expect. I had high hopes, but ultimately it wasn’t going to be up to me where I landed for next season.”
As riders began to sign with various teams, Weimer became a part of the Monster Energy Kawasaki team alongside his close friend Ryan Villopoto.
“Not only was it a relief to finally get a deal done, but to be a part of such a successful program and work with Ryan is pretty much a dream come true,” Weimer said.
Thanks to the close ties between the Monster Energy Kawasaki and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki programs, little change will be put on Weimer’s shoulders. Rather than having to adjust to a new manufacturer, new team, and new racing program, he simply makes the progressive step forward with a group of people he is already familiar working with.
“I think it will be a huge advantage to not have to go through much change other than riding a bigger bike,” he said. “I’ve worked with Mike Fisher (Kawasaki Team Manager) for a couple years now and I’ve spent time over at that truck. I’ve developed some good relationships at Kawasaki.”
What the future holds for Weimer’s rookie season remains to be seen, but all the pieces appear to be in place for the opportunity for him to succeed. With victories at the past two season openers to his credit, Weimer will look to make it three-in-a-row and get his premier class career off to a fast start at Anaheim 1.
“Supercross is definitely my strength and I have a lot of confidence in my ability,” he added. “The field is going to be stacked this season for sure, but you never know what can happen when the gate drops. I’ve gone back-to-back at Anaheim the last two seasons so obviously I’d like to keep that streak going.”
Courtesy Feld Motor Sports.