Testing and training for the upcoming MX Nationals is in full swing, and guys like Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin are out pounding weekday motos on outdoor tracks, even though they still have two rounds of Supercross racing left to complete. We caught up with the two-time 250 Champion in between motos at Pala Raceway earlier this week…
You’ve had some bad luck and some really good wins this year in Supercross. How are you feeling about the season thus far?
My Supercross season has had some ups and downs, but I believe there is a night and day difference compared to years past, and I think everyone would agree with me. I feel like I’ve developed so much more in Supercross and I’m doing things that I’ve never done before, and it feels good. All in all, I think the season has been good to me.
Leading up to Daytona, most people already credited you with the win since that race is so rough and demanding. Did you believe that you had it in the bag, too?
Oh yeah! I knew that everyone expected me to win that one. I could just sense it. Throughout practice, everyone was looking at me, so I knew it was coming.
What about your most recent win? St. Louis was a “traditional” SX…
The win in St. Louis was nice because I was pretty upset with myself at how the two previous rounds went. I finally got a good start and I had a good clear track ahead of me. I was able to ride my own laps without anyone else dictating the way I rode. If you don’t get a good start and you’re around those top guys, chances are you’ll all end up bottling each other up as you try to get through the rhythm sections safely. Those kinds of situations can be a little nerve-racking from time to time.
The Nationals are right around the corner, so you have to be looking forward to stretching your legs a little bit, right?
Yeah, I look forward to outdoors every year because by the time Supercross begins to come to an end we are typically ready for a little bit of change. I’m doing about half as many races as the 450 class guys, so I have to imagine they’re ready for something new too. They have to be looking forward to outdoors. The fitness aspect of dirt bike racing shows a little more outdoors, and you have a little bit more time on your hands in the case of a mistake or a bad start. It just gives you a little bit more time to correct any kind of mistake.
This year will be your chance to get a third championship before you move up to the premier class. Do you feel pretty good about that?
Yeah, I feel really good about it! Like you said, I’ve won the 250 outdoor championship two times now, and both years have been an absolute battle. I battled with Cooper in 2014 and I battled with Marvin and 2015, so I’m expecting another hard-fought battle with Cooper again and of course everyone else on the starting line. I mean everyone from Pro Circuit to the GEICO Honda guys will be battling for wins, but I’m really looking forward to it!
Would you say that your fitness is better now than it ever has been?
Yeah, absolutely! I feel like my base is really good right now, but I don’t think it’s quite what it was leading up to the MXoN because I got a little sick and then I got hurt. We are climbing back up and like I said my base is solid right now.
You and Johnny O'Mara do some pretty ridiculous stuff on Strava…
Yeah, but a lot of the reason I do so much ridiculous stuff is because of Johnny (laughs).
Johnny O’ has always been known for being the guy that was in the best shape possible throughout his career, and chances are he’s the gnarliest 50 year old out there, still. Talk about what it’s like working alongside Johnny.
I’m 22 and I guess you can say that I’m in the prime of my career, but then you look at Johnny who is 55 years old who can still hand it to me any given day. Honestly, some of the stuff we do is pretty gnarly and Johnny seemingly racks up 1,000,000 miles of climbing each year. The guy is just unbelievable!
You seem to be pretty interested and passionate about mountain biking right now. Is that something that you might consider pursuing after your motocross racing career?
Yeah, it’s definitely something that I would consider. I just enjoy being outside and I believe that has a lot to do with it. It’s a good time, it’s a great sport and you have the chance to meet a lot of cool people with incredible stories. I mean you just hop on a bike, ride some trails and have a good time. It’s such a good way to clear your mind. At the end of the day, we all have bills to pay and normal stresses to worry about, but when I hop on my dirt bike or mountain bike-even though it is my job-it’s a great time to think. If you’re frustrated with something going on in your life, it’s the perfect excuse to go hard on your bike and blow off some steam.