Weston Peick pushed a lot of buttons last summer with his fourth place finish at Salt Lake City during the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series last year. Riding privateer Suzuki’s, Peick has turned in some pretty impressive performances in this year’s supercross series as well, surpassing the expectations of a lot of the factory riders in the pits. And based on his performance this year, including a fifth place in the 450 class this past weekend at Anaheim III, the 23-year-old is definitely deserving of a factory ride, but seems content to just beat the factory riders on his Motosport.com/Fly Racing-backed Suzuki.
Dirt Rider checked in on Peick after his amazing A3 finish to see how things were going.
Dirt Rider: Talk us through the weekend.
Weston Peick: The weekend was good, I got off to a good start in my heat race and finished third, then I had a good gate for the main but I didn’t get off to a good jump and ended up having to work my way up one the first lap to about top 10. I just kind of fell into a groove and started making a few passes and then Dungey went down and I ended up fifth overall.
DR: How do you feel about the season so far?
WP: It’s been kind of up and down, but I think it’s going to get solid from here on out. So far, I’m pumped on the season, and I think things are coming together for us.”
DR: Have you received any calls from any of the factories?
WP: Not really, but everyone knows I have my own team for 2014. So I think everyone knows I’m not going to drop something that I already have going on.
DR: Do you feel like you’re at a big disadvantage for the factories?
WP: I don’t know, really, we have a solid program going on and that’s all that really matters. When you have a lot of determination behind you then there’s really no difference between someone else and me.
DR: Tell us about your team this year.
WP: My team is supported by Motosport.com, and I also have support from Yoshimura Suzuki. As far as my engines, it’s a combination of Yoshimura doing them and Catfish Motors. My suspension gets done by Dave Cruz, who has been doing my stuff for about two-and-a-half years now.
DR: Do you get any help from Suzuki?
WP: Suzuki helps out as much as they can, obviously they have budgets, but they do what they can and it’s a big help to my program.
DR: What do you think you have improved on over the past year?
WP: My riding has improved a lot over the last year, I’ve worked with Buddy Antunez a lot and he’s definitely helped me with my riding and my speed. He helps with my conditioning too. I work hard on and off the bike and I feel like I’m a strong rider, so I don’t really have any issues with that.
DR: With teams like yours and Rockstar Energy Racing turning in such good performances, do you think it’s easier these days to compete against the factory teams then, say, five years ago?
WP: Everybody has progressed and more people understand the four-stroke engines now, and more and more people put there can build a solid engine package to compete with some sort of a factory level bike,” says Peick. “It’s still not going to be the same, obviously, because they have factory support so they have special parts that we don’t. But for the most part, you can definitely make a privateer bike competitive these days.
DR: Are you getting a lot of recognition from your finishes?
WP: My fan base has picked up a lot this year, and I’m definitely getting more recognition this year, and that’s good.