Char•ac•ter - noun
1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
You'll find it in every professional motocross racer. From one extreme to another this sport comes down to one man for himself once the gate drops.
Walking through the pits of a Monster Energy Supercross it doesn't take long to see the true character of a privateer. Work ethic, determination and drive. Many privateers make the long drives from round to round either solo or with another racer. They often don't get any practice time between rounds and instead use the down time for travel, bike maintenance, work and school.
From the stands you never really know what goes on in any given riders day. Dealing with family issues, delayed flights, bike problems or any number of personal issues we just expect riders to put on the show. There is so much we don't see that happens before the fireworks of the opening ceremonies.
I have constantly crossed paths with a rider who never really stood out due to his humble ways. A never give up attitude and a guy who has a full plate, but not one complaint. Belleville, Illinois' Mark Weishaar.
|Photo: Kyle Pesci|
The number 619 has spent a majority of the season following the series, but he's done something only few have done. Mark has qualified in both classes this season. Using the west coast rounds to compete in the 450 class and making the switch to the 250 for the east coast championship.
23 years old and having fun racing his dirt bike. His title sponsor is 2DIAT which stands for Two Dudes in a Tundra. "It all started as a joke when I was racing Arenacross in 2010." A team name that signifies a privateer on the road. It relates to the everyday struggles a privateer like Mark faces while juggling everything from finances to how your even getting to the track.
In Toronto we spotted Mark headed to the line, pushing his Yamaha and with a backpack on. His plans of having a buddy mechanic for him fell apart at the border and Mark took on a do it all weekend. He'd head to the line, drop off his backpack, set his own holeshot device and race in front of a packed stadium before returning to grab his bag and head back to the pits to make any tweaks his machine needed. The kid has the motivation and heart to do what it takes to go racing.
This season Mark's best result came from that Toronto race where he'd fail to make the main event but it was an impressive heat race from last to 13th that even he considers his most impressive ride of the season. When it comes to career highlights Mark reflects on the Houston round in 2014. The stop on the series where He'd make his first career main event.
Watching Mark ride you can see his natural talent. He has never used a training facility but credits some time he spent with former factory rider Billy Laninovich out in California as a good learning curve. Mark feels his style makes him a better supercross rider. "Supercross is something that I've always enjoyed." He feels that it just comes easier to him than the outdoors. Admittedly lacking some intensity, he knows he could go faster if he ride on the edge. "I'm always riding in my comfort zone."
In his down time...who am I kidding, there is no down time. When he's off the bike Mark is a student at Southern Illinois University, where he is studying kinesiology. A major that may have him around the sport even when his racing days are over. He used his internship time working at ICHOR Sports Medicine with Eddie who is also a key part in the Asterisk Medical Crew.
Mark couldn't do it without a list of great sponsors: 2 Dudes In A Tundra Racing, Big St. Charles Motorsports, Contegra Construction, Dover Dave, St. Louis Tattoo Company, Mom, Dad, Motor Medic Racing, The Sign Source, Archview MX Park, Scott, Ryno Power, Vortex, Mika Metals, Moto Seat, Maxima, Dunlop, Moto-Hose, Hinson, Boyesen, DT-1 Filters, Works Connection, Shift, Fox and Razor Image.
|Photo: Jenny Ludowese | JL Photography|
His eyes are set on putting himself in some main events before this season is over and he is a rider we know is capable. Keep your eye out for the 619 and #cheerprivateer for Mark Weishaar.
"Just a college student who is trying to race supercross."
For more info on Mark's program check out:
Or follow him on Instagram @markw619