Chances are you already know, but Jeremy Martin wasn't the only racer bearing the Martin family name to have a great season on two wheels, and we had a chance to catch up with CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha's Alex Martin after the 24-year-old finished off another solid year in the 250 class. Alex was constantly present among the top 10 this National season and recorded his season-best finish with a seventh overall in the mud at the Ironman MX National in Indiana. Recently recognized by MX Sports with the "Sportsperson of the Year” award, Martin enters the offseason with his eyes on MTB races, spending the winter training in California, and a booked ticket to Latvia to represent Puerto Rico at the 2014 Motocross of Nations.
Well that's it for the 2014 season. How do you feel about the year now that it's behind you?
I think we had a very solid year. I was eighth overall in Supercross and then followed that up with 12th overall in motocross. We were inside the top 10 in almost every race this year, so essentially with it being a first year team with a full effort, I think it went exceptionally well.
We saw the 55 up front quite a bit this year. Did you change anything up coming into the season?
Coming into the 2014 season I did have a few changes in my program. I still trained at the Club MX training facility, but the biggest thing for me was that I was finally on a team that was able to keep my week-to-week program going without any bike issues or lack of parts. This was by far the most consistent I was able to train in a season since I moved up to the pro level, and I think that really helped me out midway through the outdoor season when things kind of start to become a grind.
This was the second year you were able to compete with your brother Jeremy at the pro level, and although he was able to win the championship, MX Sports recognized your season with the "Sportperson of the Year" award at the MX Awards Banquet. Were you surprised?
I was very surprised to be awarded the “Sportsperson of the Year” award! But it's also easy to be proud of what my younger brother has accomplished this year, and I’m happy that I can be out there racing with him every weekend—although I still plan on kicking his butt every time we race! He had a stellar year, and it was cool to see that the racing community saw our relationship or friendly rivalry for what it is and recognized me for it.
Your 250 class debut was back in 2008. Do you view yourself as a veteran of the class at this point?
My professional debut was in 2008, but I only did Millville and Steel City that year. I feel I've really made a lot of progress in all areas of my program since moving up to the pro level, and one thing I love about this sport is that you're always learning new things. I'm 24, so I'm sure that some people view me as a veteran, especially in this sport! But I would like to think I could still be considered young for at least a few more years [laughs]!
Any funny travel stories from the year on the road?
[Laughs] Well I wasn’t actually there for this story, but it has to do with my team, so it still counts! Apparently my mechanic Billy and our truck driver Ben were passengers in a rental car, which our crew chief Scott Rabon was driving back in Detroit for SX. Scott took a turn down a one-way street and instead of turning around just pinned it down the one way! He was swerving around all the oncoming traffic! Definitely no cares were given. Wish I could have been there for that one!
Your helmet sponsor deal with Never Summer Industries is pretty unique. How did a deal with the snowboard company come about? Any plans to hit the slopes with those guys this winter?
Yeah, I was very fortunate to have Never Summer come onboard as a personal sponsor. They're a snowboard company based out of Colorado, and a family friend from Colorado knows the owner of Never Summer really well, so he introduced us at the Colorado National back in 2013. It turned out he's also a big motocross enthusiast! [Laughs] You probably won’t see me on the slopes this winter though. Training for Supercross makes it pretty tough to do stuff like that!
What was your favorite race of the year?
My favorite race of the year is definitely my home race at Spring Creek. I really enjoy coming back to Minnesota and seeing all of my friends and family. All of the fans are always so great to me, and I also think it's one of the best tracks on the circuit.
What are your plans for the offseason and goals for 2015?
My plans for the offseason include going back to Minnesota to spend some time with my girlfriend and my family. I'll be able to ride at our track, and I'll continue my training program by doing some MTB races, a Duathalon, and a half marathon. I'll also be racing the Motocross of Nations and the Monster Energy Cup. For 2015, my main goal is to be a frontrunner in whatever series I’m competing in. I want to be up front battling for wins and podiums. I think that with some better equipment, upping my training program, and spending some time in California during the winter months, all of this is very realistic.
The big announcement was just made that you'll be representing Puerto Rico at the Motocross of Nations for the second year in a row. How did that deal come about? What are your goals for that event?
Yeah, I’m very excited about getting another opportunity to race in the Motocross of Nations. I met Gabriel, the team manager of Team Puerto Rico last year, through Phil Nicoletti. Mostly, I just want to go there and race to the best of my ability and have fun racing in a different country. I'm really looking forward to it!
Who would you like to thank for supporting you this year? The whole CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha team, we had a great year and the whole crew is awesome to work with. CycleTrader.com, Rock River Powersports, Yamaha Motor USA, Roost MX, Club MX, Never Summer Industries, 100% Yamalube, DX1, GYTR, JGR MX Shop, FMF Racing, K&N Filters, Fly Racing & WPS, Matrix Concepts, Arc Levers, Technical Touch USA & X-Trig, Bell Powersports, Vertex, The Factory Metal Works, Guts Racing, Dunlop, Renegade Fuels, EVS Sports, Dubya USA, Streamline Brakes, Hammerhead Designs, Pivot Works, Cycra, Hot Rods, CV4, Works Connection, Vortex, and Odi Grips.