2021 Points Leader Profile: Drew Weber Proving that Hard Work Does Pay Off in Pursuit of Amateur Sportbike Championship
For as long as Drew Weber can remember, he has wanted to be a professional rider. Since graduating from Novice to AM Sportbike for 2021, Weber has begun the path to achieve his lifelong dream.
Ever since he watched his first biking race as a kid, Weber caught the racing bug that so many of us have caught already. When he graduated from racing school and entered the Super Series, Weber came out of nowhere and shot right to the top of the Super Series’ “Ones to Watch”.
“When I was a little kid, my dad was big into car racing.” Weber began. “I remember seeing my first bike race on TV and the rider was coming up over the crest of a hill and his knee was just barely touching the ground. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, and from that point on the first thing I had ever wanted to be was a motorcycle racer.”
Claiming top honours in the Novice class last season, Weber’s year has been near perfect. Logging two wins, four pole positions and recovering from a fiery qualifying wreck, Weber’s hard work and determination have been something to admire.
Despite only starting his career in 2020, Weber hit the ground running. Climbing the ladder fast, Weber’s natural talent mixed well with his attitude to do whatever it takes to be better.
“I train really, really hard,” Weber said. “I only started racing last year and I got my knee down for the first time in racing school. It’s all happened very fast but I’ve been able to learn from a lot of other riders and it’s helped me get better so quickly.”
A personal trainer by day, Weber is always in the gym challenging himself both physically and mentally. Being a rider is no easy task, and Weber credits his strict training regiment as one of the things that’s helped him be so competitive.
Weber committed himself to his passion. After his work days are done, you can usually find him in the garage working on bikes or watching footage of bikes. Bikes are Weber’s everything, and his on-track results are just a culmination of everything that happens behind the scenes.
“I eat, sleep and breathe racing,” Weber continued. “In the off season, as well as during the season, I’ve trained really hard. I find that it helps you get an edge, and you feel less tired. I watch racing every single weekend. I watch onboard footage. I listen to interviews and when I went out there for my first qualifying weekend, I outqualified all the pros.”
During the first week of the 2021 season, Weber and a few other riders were forced to start from pit lane. Weber rolled with the challenge and managed to come from behind and win the race. He credits that exact moment as the turning point in the season where it was clear that the hard work was paying off. The spark had been lit and now he wanted more. With more experience and overall knowledge, the only down point of the near-perfect season was the high-speed incident during qualifying for race two on the Nelson Circuit. Despite hopping on the backup bike, a bike set up for the rain, Weber went out there and finished in the top five.
“I set pole position and then, unfortunately, crashed right after,” Weber said. “I hopped on the backup bike, one that was set up for rain and also was a different type of bike. The suspension was softer, it didn’t have racing brake pads and the gearing wasn’t set aggressively. I salvaged a top five. They say a championship isn’t decided by your best days but by your worst days; I feel like I was able to overcome and persevere.”
Despite the inner racer in him being frustrated by the fifth-place finish, it is clear that the recovery shown that day had major implications on the points standings. Keeping Weber on top of the charts and 50 points clear of Eric Quinton. A short season means any DNFs are critical and Weber wouldn’t let anything stop him.
Winning the AM Sportbike Championship would mean the world to Drew Weber as it would be his second Super Series title in two years.
“It would mean everything, really,” Weber continued. “It’s the mindset of crashing your bike in the morning, immediately hopping on the backup bike because you know you’re in a tight points fight. It’s the goal and I try not to think of it too much but focus more on all the small things needed to achieve that goal.”
Despite being a rookie last year, Weber certainly doesn’t race like one. Winning in his second race ever, Weber himself has now seen himself becoming somewhat of a mentor for the now crop of Novice riders. With over 15 riders in that beginners’ class, Weber remembers where he came from and wants to inspire others to chase their dreams as well.
“I’ve competed in many different types of sport, but I find you don’t always have the same level of respect for your fellow competitors.” Weber said. “In racing, even somebody who I might not see eye to eye with, I still respect the fact that that guy is a racer.”
The Super Series family gave Weber a warm welcome and helped cement the idea that this was the place for him to be.
“I remember last year, I caught a false neutral and crashed during a Friday test day,” Weber reminisced. “Once the bike came back, I had two or three of my friends asking me what I needed to fix to get the bike on the track again. Even when I wrecked last time out, I had people come up over the next hour to help out.”
For 2022, Weber’s plan is to go Pro and join the Pro Sportbike class. The move would finally put the icing on his childhood dream cake since becoming a Pro rider was all Weber ever wanted to be.
“From winning my first race last year to winning my first championship, I spent all last off season preparing and thinking about what I would have to do to be better at a higher level. It’s not every day that someone gets to go after their childhood dreams and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do this.”