East Coast Contender: Jeremy Martin
When round seven of Monster Energy Supercross heads east this weekend to Arlington, Texas, a new season will kick off as the 250 East Coast series gets underway. After a successful rookie year in 2013, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha's Jeremy Martin looks to break into the new year on the right track by being a contender for the series title. The Minnesota native, who now trains and resides in Tallahassee, Florida, was able to reach the podium last season after taking third in Daytona. With the experience he gained and the confidence he earned--plus an all-new and vastly improved Yamaha--you can expect to see Martin at the front of the pack. We caught up with Jeremy to find out how he was feeling before heading to Dallas.
How's preparation for the new season?
Preparation has been good so far. We got a whole new bike from Yamaha, it's fuel injected, and it's completely new from the chassis up. I really like the bike, and I'm really excited to race it and show everyone what it can do.
How much better do you feel heading into this season with the new bike, plus having a full year under your belt?
Honestly, I feel night and day better going into this year's season. Last year I was able to get a full year under my belt, and I learned a lot about what I did wrong. I'm a lot more comfortable with it now, and I know what to expect.
Who have you been training and riding with in Florida?
My riding coach and mechanic, Dillon Turner, came back east with me, and we came up with our own program. During the winter, I was riding and training pretty much every day out at Ricky Carmichael's place. My brother came out to visit about two weeks ago, and we were able to ride together, but since the West Coast season started I've mainly just been riding by myself.
What's it like riding at Carmichael's?
I really like training at the Carmichael farm. They treat me like family, and they've helped me out a lot. I really enjoy it there.
You were in Southern California for a week not long ago to get some testing done, but is it difficult preparing for the season mostly on the east coast when the team is on the other side of the country for the West Coast series?
With the West Coast series going on and Cooper [Webb] racing, for me to come out for a week and test was pretty easy. They got Cooper pretty much dialed in before the season. When I flew out, they were able to work one-on-one with me and it really helped me out. They came up with some pretty good settings that they tested with Cooper, and I was able to try those and then pick what I liked and didn't like. It worked really well, and the time I spent out there was really good.
Coming into Dallas this weekend, what do you think your strengths will be?
Coming into Dallas, I just feel like a new rider. I'm a lot more comfortable on a Supercross track with the experience I gained last year. That's probably going to be my biggest strength. Plus this new Yamaha is really good!
The East Coast series has two new rounds this year, but out of all of the rounds which are you looking forward to the most?
I'd say I'm really looking forward to Datyona. It's the one race that's a mix of Supercross and outdoors. I liked that event a lot last year, and I was able to podium there, so I'm really looking forward to Daytona again. I'm also excited about Detroit this year where the track is going to go up into the stands.
What have you thought about the racing so far this year in the West Coast 250 series?
I think the West Coast racing has been really good. I've been watching it on TV here, and it's been really exciting. Everyone is going really fast and they're all pretty close in speed. They've definitely been putting on a good show for the fans and everyone out there, and that goes to the 450 class, too
What's it like watching their season unfold while waiting for your own season to start
When your waiting for your season to start and you're watching the West Coast series unfold, you get pretty anxious. You put in a lot of work during the offseason, and you want to get going and get racing. I'm ready to get out there and see where I'm at.
Who do you think will be tough this year in the east?
There are a lot of good guys racing the East Coast series this year. I think everyone is going to be fast, so the biggest thing for me to do is go out there and focus on myself and try to ride like I do at the practice track.
You had a great rookie year and landed on the podium. What are your expectations for 2014?
I think it's pretty realistic for me to say I want to win races and be in contention for the championship. I just want to run up front with those guys and be battling every weekend, and try to be a force to be reckoned with. It's always been a dream of mine to win a championship. If I can do it this year than that would be great. I know the competition is going to be really tough, but I think it's possible.