Weston Peick was gaining momentum in the beginning stages of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series, but disaster struck in Arizona when the likable SoCal native crashed in practice. The impact resulted in a dislocated and broken wrist. Only the weekend before Peick finished fifth at Anaheim 2 and was sixth in the standings. We caught up with Weston to discuss everything from his injury to the switch to Suzuki, timed main events, and more.
What are your sponsorship and team obligations while you’re recovering from a wrist injury?
Even though I am injured, I planned on coming to six or seven rounds of Supercross. I want to be there to support the team and sign autographs. I think it’s important to show my face and make people happy. It’s either that or sit at home and not do much. I like coming to the races and supporting the team.
You flew in early for the Atlanta Supercross last weekend. Why?
We had a meeting with Suzuki in Rome, Georgia, which is a plant of theirs for the ATV/quad side of their operation. I had a red eye flight on Wednesday to get in on Thursday morning. We took a tour of the plant, signed autographs, and served the staff lunch. The rest of the day I hung out. On Friday, we went to Autotrader, which is a big sponsor of the team. We got a tour and signed autographs. From there we went to the Georgia Dome to sign autographs in the middle of the Arenacross floor.
What’s the status of your wrist injury?
The wrist is healing up nicely. It has been a long four weeks. Without a doubt it has been a struggle going from racing and feeling really good to sitting around in a cast. I’m looking to continue with my recovery so I don’t mess it up. The doctors have told me that I can get the cast off in a little less than four weeks, so I’ll be able to begin physical therapy. At that point I’ll have a better idea of when I can come back.
Take us through the crash and how it happened.
I rode press day at Glendale, so I had the track dialed and was feeling really confident. I was coming off three good weeks of racing. My speed was good and I felt confident. On Saturday, the track had changed quite a bit. They flooded the track before practice, so it was really muddy. I came up to this one jump that I was doing perfectly on press day. I jumped the gun. Since I nailed the jump on press day I thought I would be able to do it easily in practice. When I came off the face of the jump I got wheel spin because of the wet conditions. It shot me super nose low. I knew I was going to endo into the face of the landing, so I jumped off the bike. I landed on my left side, and then whiplashed my right arm into the ground. The impact blew apart my wrist. I suffered a dislocated lunate bone and broke my ulna. There was a pretty big surgery to fix that, and here we are [laughter].
Did your past experience racing a Suzuki RM-Z450 help jumpstart your 2017 season, given that JGRMX switched to Suzuki during the offseason?
Yes, and no. It was nice getting on a bike that I really enjoyed riding in the past. I rode a Suzuki when I had my own team and also when I was with RCH. I was comfortable right off the bat when I hopped on the JGRMX Suzuki. The bike works so well for me. I was really stoked when the JGR/Suzuki deal ended up working out. I had no idea that it was even possible, to be honest. I’ve enjoyed the switch, and I think it’s a really good brand choice.
What are your thoughts on the switch to timed Supercross races?
If the track was around a minute per lap, or even longer than that, then it would be fine. When they have a short course that’s in the 50-second range the track deteriorates so much that conditions get really bad. That puts the riders in a position of making more mistakes and crashing. That leads to more injuries. We all have to race the same number of laps, so it’s pointless to complain about the new format. However, I feel like if you’re going to make that rule, then also make the tracks long enough to be around a minute long.