￼Drew Weber: The Fast Track from Novice to Pro
Ever since Drew Weber was little, he wanted to be a professional motorcycle rider. Never having the money or resources to chase his dream initially, Weber got the opportunity in 2020 to finally pursue his goal in the midst of a global pandemic.
From the time when he watched his first bike 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, he was coming out of nowhere and soared 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 the Novice title in 2020 along with the AM Sportbike and Heavyweight Sportsman titles in 2021, Weber’s past two seasons have been near perfect. The Toronto, Ontario rider has been making unprecedented strides up the Super Series ladder over the course of 18 months, however, winning a championship does not come without challenges.
In the middle of a tight points battle during the 2021 season, Weber suffered a fiery crash during qualifying on the Nelson circuit. With his primary bike needing repair, Weber, with no time to spare, jumped on his rain motorcycle to salvage a top five finish. Arguably a championship saving move, Weber didn’t even think about the crash until after his initial race later in the day. At the end of the season, Weber was awarded the True Grit and Determination award for his efforts during that day.
“I could’ve given up right then, but I had come so far I refused to throw in the towel.” Weber continued. “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.”
In his day job, Weber is a personal trainer and takes his health very seriously. In order to achieve his goals, Weber went on a strict diet and workout regimen to make sure he was in peak condition come season start. With the elevation to a Pro status, Weber knew he needed to train extra hard in order to keep up with his new competitors.
“Going Pro means that I have a huge mountain to climb and I’m ready to do that.” Weber said. “In the off season, not being on a bike was really difficult. However, I stayed motivated and I began training in October. It’s a lot of discipline and it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I did things like not going out on new year’s, getting up early to train while other stay home and sleep, and being in the mindset for racing 24/7. It was a really good test of motivation because I knew I couldn’t do this halfway, it had to be 1001%.”
At the end of season, Weber was awarded not just two championships but his Pro competition license. To finally have the one thing he’s wanted for nearly 30 years, the emotions for Weber didn’t really sink in until he finally got hold his Pro license in the mail room of his Condo. A culmination of years and years of hard work, and a journey that saw him start from nothing back in 2020 has now finally bubbled to the top.
“You feel a lot of emotions, but I feel the nerves keep you sharp.” Weber continued. “It didn’t really sink in until Dominque [Bondar] sent me my official Pro license in the mail and sitting there in the mail room of my condo holding that little piece of plastic in my hand it was like all the emotions from the past two season really hit me. It gave me so much more motivation because I knew this is it, this is what I’ve been working for all my life. It was really a surreal experience and it still is wild to think that I did that, that 18 months ago I graduated Race school and got my Novice licence and now I’m sitting here as a Pro.”
Weber hasn’t been going at this journey alone, his family has been a growing force in supporting Weber and keeping the motivation there. Everyone from his girlfriend to his parents and uncles have supported him in his quest for triumph. Knowing that Weber was motorcycle mad ever since he was a kid, seeing their son succeed meant the world to them.
It takes a village to raise a child they say, but even as an adult the support from your family is always appreciated. Going out and racing at high speeds isn’t easy, having a support system on both good and bad days have been instrumental in helping Weber attain his goal.
“They have been incredibly supportive,” Weber said. “Everyone from my mom and dad, Shannon, my uncle Anton and his girlfriend, even my buddy Scotty has come from the army base in Kingston to come see my race. It’s surreal to know that people come to see me, but I don’t think it surprised them. My dad was a big racing fan, so I think he was pumped to know his son was a Pro racer. Though they know the danger, they play it off really cool but my mom doesn’t bat an eyelash when I’m out on track.”
Despite being the “future” only two years ago, Weber is now the “present”. No longer the wide-eyed rookie, Weber is now a force to be reckoned with on the track. His knowledge and experience have trickled down the line as now some of the upcoming riders who seek him out for support and guidance. Having been in their shoes not too long ago, Weber is eager to help out where he can to repay the favour that the Pros extended him as he was coming up the ranks.
“It makes me very happy to do it, and I feel really humbled.” Weber concluded. “People would come over and ask me questions about things like racing line and tire pressure and it was surreal to think that I was in their shoes a few years ago. I remember Michel Mercier from the FAST school gave me a lot of good advice as a Novice and it helped me gain a little edge in turn one. The fact that people were willing to help me during my journey made me want to repay the favour if I ever got the chance. We are all a big racing family here at the Super Series, people are always so friendly and helpful and are always there for you in times of need, I think that’s what make the Super Series so special.”
Story by Alex Gallacher
Photo by Christopher Hrenczuk
Story featured in the June 2022 edition of Inside Motorcycles