Kawasaki Racing News
Weimer Extends Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Championship Lead in Seattle
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer moved one step closer to his first professional championship as he extended his supercross lites points lead at Qwest Field in Seattle. Weimer finished third on Saturday night and now leads the AMA Supercross Lites Western Region standings by 19 points with only one race remaining. His teammate Josh Hansen finished sixth. In the supercross class Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Nick Wey finished sixth and Chad Reed came home eighth.
Weimer had a difficult start to his night program in Seattle. After leading the only practice session, Weimer crashed in the first turn of his heat race and then stalled his bike trying to work his way up through the field. He was able to get the final transfer spot to the main event and he capitalized by finishing with his sixth podium of the season.
“There is no doubt that it was the toughest race of the year,” said Weimer. “It was possibly the toughest track I’ve ever ridden, like ever. It was nasty and gnarly, so this is the happiest I’ve ever been to get third place. I’m so happy. After falling in the first turn of the heat race and then stalling it. After finishing ninth in the heat and getting the 18th gate pick, I figured there was no way I was thinking I was going to extend my points lead.”
Wey’s return to the Monster Energy Kawasaki team resulted in his best finish on a factory bike this season. Though his main event didn’t start the way he wanted it to, he finished strong to come home sixth.
“I got off to a good start, maybe a little farther outside than I wanted to be,” said Wey. “I fell back a few positions early in the race because I was riding tight. In the middle of the race I started riding better and made up some positions. Sixth isn’t bad, I would rather be top five, but this weekend was a little rough. Coming back to the factory team, I only had one day on the bike and then we only had one practice so I’m happy with my result.”
Up to Speed
Hansen spent a good amount of the eight week break in the West Coast season working on his speed and consistency and it showed on Saturday. Hansen was one of the fastest riders on the track and worked his way up to third before a crash set him back.
“I came from the back and thought my speed was good,” said Hansen. “It makes me mad, because I thought I could win. I got up to third and was closing in on second. But I got cross-rutted and crashed and then later in the race I got caught up with a lapper and crashed again. The track was gnarly, but I was able to come through the pack so it’s frustrating I didn’t get the finish I wanted.”
Reed’s night didn’t start off well as he went down in the whoop section during his heat race and finished eighth. With the bad gate pick, he tried to make up some positions on the start, but ended up going down in the first turn. Even with the difficult track conditions, Reed slowly worked his way into the top 10 finishing eighth.
“It was a brutal track, one of the gnarliest I’ve ever raced,” said Reed. “It’s difficult to race in these conditions when you have to come from last. I crashed in my heat race so I didn’t have a good gate pick. I pushed hard at the start and ran out of racetrack. I’m going to get home soon and hopefully I’ll have a big smile on my face really soon when I see my son for the first time.”
By finishing ninth in his heat race, Weimer had the 18th gate pick and was worried how his start would be with the very short start straight before the first turn. From the outside, Weimer made his way up to second by the first turn, but soon there after he went down and dropped back to 10th. During the race, Weimer didn’t know his closest competitor for the championship also went down, he actually thought Trey Canard was leading.
“After I was stressed out for the hour between the heat and the main about my start, I got a great start,” said Weimer. “But then I fell down on the first lap and I didn’t know how far back I went, but I was just thinking I was the biggest idiot to ever ride a dirt bike. I thought Trey was leading so I just rode the best I could and ended up on the box. My goal was to push and get as much as I could and I did that.”
Hard Days Night
The track in Seattle was a consensus pick as the toughest of the season by the riders and some even said it was the most difficult they had ever raced on.
“It was probably the gnarliest race I’ve ever been in,” said Hansen. “It was ridiculous out there. When the track looks bad on TV you know it’s bad, because TV usually makes the track look better than it is.”
Business as Usual
With the final race of the supercross lites West Coast season coming next week, Weimer has both plan A and plan B ready to make sure he leaves Salt Lake City with a title.
“I’m going to try and win next week at Salt Lake, but I’m also going to be smart,” said Weimer. “My job right now is to win the title. When the gates drops, if I get the holeshot I’m going to go for the win, but if not I’m not going to push and ride over my head.”