ANSWERING THE CALL OF DUTY
By John Basher
TEAM: RCH Suzuki
REPLACED: Broc Tickle
It was only a matter of time before Weston Peick
caught his big break. The gruff Californian with
a lumberjack build is a hard worker off the bike
and a top-five threat given the right circumstances;
however, Peick has always been overlooked by
the factory teams. If the walls had ears inside the
board rooms, we could hear the team
mangers saying that Weston was unproven and a
wild card. Simply put, his inconsistency was a risk.
Fortunately, RCH Racing Suzuki took a chance on
Peick. It was a wise choice. It’s hard to say
whether Weston would have landed on a
factory-backed team for 2015 without the RCH fill-in
ride, but Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart deserve
credit for putting Weston in the limelight.
HOW DID THE RCH RACING SUZUKI
OPPORTUNITY COME TOGETHER? The RCH
deal came about during the last four or five rounds
of the Supercross series. Broc Tickle had gotten
hurt, and the team was still up in the air about
what they were doing with their other rider. They
asked if I would be interested in riding for them
during the outdoor Nationals. My own program
was becoming very expensive. I was losing money
every single weekend that I raced. I didn’t have to
think about it, because it was the obvious financial
choice for me to go with RCH, but it was also a
great opportunity to ride a factory bike and step up
to the next level in my career. Signing with them
was the next step for me. It was a good decision.
HOW DID YOUR LIFE CHANGE AFTER
SIGNING WITH A FACTORY-BACKED
TEAM? It hasn’t changed too much. I noticed that
things became more consistent, both in my results
as well as in my life. I had a great foundation with
the team, and there was a lot of support. It was a
good atmosphere to be around.
WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG FOR YOU TO
FINALLY RECEIVE FACTORY SUPPORT?
That’s hard to say. Obviously I’ve been overlooked
for the past two years. My results have been a bit
inconsistent over those years, but that’s how it
goes when you’re a privateer and working within
your own budget. After signing with RCH, I believe
I showed that I could be more consistent.
WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHANGES
BETWEEN PRIVATEER LIFE AND BEING A
FACTORY RIDER? There was a whole crew at
RCH Racing that I could work with, whereas I was
mostly doing things on my own as a privateer. It
was awesome having that support. Of course, the
factory bike was awesome. It took time to adjust to
the suspension, but for the most part I didn’t have
any real difficulty switching over. I went from one
Suzuki to another, and the chassis was quite the
same. It wasn’t too hard of a transition.
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO BE A
PRIVATEER? Put it this way: I never want to
go back to being a privateer! After being on a
team with factory support, I realize that it’s a
game-changer. As a privateer, it’s so tough being
at each race every single weekend and getting
the things I needed to compete on my own. It’s so
expensive to do it on your own budget. You don’t
have the money and resources to get the best
equipment, and you never feel that you have your
bike dialed in.
WERE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR
OUTDOOR RESULTS? Yes, for the most part. I
wish that I could change a few of the races where
I had some crashes and did not score points, but
overall I’ve had a consistent season.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE
BEING ON A FACTORY-BACKED TEAM?
There’s so much more to the team than just showing up and racing. There’s personnel dedicated to
the engine, suspension, data collection, as well as
a race mechanic and practice mechanic. I learned
how much it helped to have seven different people
doing seven different things on the bike. It was a
privilege to work with the RCH guys.
WAS IT MORE STRESSFUL BEING ON RCH
RACING? It was more stressful in some ways, but
way less stressful in other areas. Of course there
was the pressure to perform and get good results,
but I didn’t have to stress out about anything
outside of improving myself. Since I was getting
good results when I had my own program, I
wasn’t too concerned about doing well.
DID YOUR STINT ON RCH SUZUKI HELP
WITH YOUR POPULARITY? I think so. I
enjoyed the social media aspect, as well as the
autograph signings. It’s nice to give the fans what
they want, so if they want a signed poster, then
I’m happy to provide it.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH
CAREY HART AND RICKY CARMICHAEL?
They’re both really good guys. When they were at
the races, they gave me as much input and feedback as they possibly could. It was good having
those guys at the races, because they have been
around for a long time. They are both very
motivational people. I learned quite a bit from
them, because they’ve been through it all.