The Kurt Caselli Ride Day attracts a whole host of professional riders, from motocross to off-road and even freestyle, who knew Caselli and want to honor his memory. Among them was Kacy Martinez, who is arguably one of the winningest women to race a dirt bike. In her 10 years as a professional racer, she has competed in multiple series and disciplines. As of this year, she added two more titles to her list of accomplishments. While in attendance at the ride day, we took the opportunity to talk with Martinez about her impressive accomplishments, as well as her thoughts on the Kurt Caselli Ride Day.
First things first, you just won an Endurocross championship this year, take me through the season.
The Endurocross series is actually the last series that I wanted to win a championship in. Now, I can say that I've won every major off-road championship in the United States, so I'm really stoked about that. I also raced the AMA Big 6 this past year and I won the championship in that too. It was cool to top it off with the Endurocross win. This Endurocross championship was the toughest series that I've had to go through so far. It's so challenging with the terrain and you never know what's going to happen. The other girls are really good riders and you have to think of all of the lappers out there. I'm really happy to come home with the championship.
Something that's interesting is that in motocross, women's competition doesn't seem to be getting a lot of support, but in the off-road scene there's a ton of it. Do you feel like that's the case?
Yeah, it's crazy because when I turned pro in 2008, the women's motocross was booming. It was the same circuit as the outdoor Nationals. Now, it seems like they've totally gone downhill. The off-road scene has really stepped it up to support our women. It's a bummer to see things in motocross, but I've seen a lot of motocross girls switching over to off-road because of it and that's cool. It's good to get more women out there racing and it's helping to have KTM supporting me and some other girls that are coming up. It's good to see it grow.
Switching gears, we're here at the Kurt Caselli ride day, and this is the sixth one. How many of these have you been to?
I think I've been to every one except one, so I've been to five. The first year was very emotional for everyone and it was the biggest turnout, but I think this year with the new venue here at Fox Raceway was a really good idea and there was a really good turnout today.
Yeah, I was just going to ask about the new venue. It seems like it's been a big hit with the off-road loop and everything else they're offering here.
It has a lot to offer with the multiple motocross tracks. They're not all stuck on one course and they get to choose which track they want to go out on. They also put together an awesome off-road loop that's a lot of fun to ride, and I'm so glad it rained because it would've been a little miserable with the dust. With that rain, it's the best it could be out there right now.
So as far as the foundation itself goes, it raises quite a bit of money and they take a lot of initiative with implementing safety measures. As someone who participates in the different series that the foundation is aimed towards, how much does their work have an impact on what you do?
It impacts us quite a lot. Once they started stepping in, I noticed it, especially in the National Hare & Hound series. They have a guy that goes out and preruns the course and makes sure that everything is safe. He then writes notes and takes them back to the promoters and tells them that they need more arrows here or caution tape there, or maybe change this section because it's dangerous. It's cool to see them step up and take charge to make the off-road community safer. They've done a lot.
With you coming off these two championships and having now accomplished your goal of winning every major off-road championship, what does 2019 look like?
It's still in the works. I've been talking to my boss. I've won everything that I wanted to accomplish, so I can't really say [laughs]. It'll be let out here pretty soon and you'll see it soon enough.
Shortly after this interview, Kacy announced via her Instagram that she would be retiring from professional racing.
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This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but after sitting down with my mom, dad and husband multiple times and talking with my boss Antti Kallonen a couple times I have made the decision to retire from racing. I turned pro in 2008 and now 10 years later I feel theres no better time to end my career while on top. I have accomplished everything I set out to do with very minimal injuries, which looking back now I am amazed and so beyond happy with my career. With my long term goal of winning a championship in every major off road series in the United States has now been accomplished, I feel that I have fulfilled my work out on the race course. I have traveled around the world, made so many great memories and have met life long friends along with my husband. I am so grateful of what this sport has brought to me. My passion for dirt bike's and racing is so big that this won't be the last you see of me. I will never quit riding my KTM. I still plan on being out at the local tracks and riding parks and enjoying everything riding brings to me. You might even see me at some local races so make sure you come up and say hi! There our so many great people I'd like to thank but first and foremost my parents, Mark & Cindy Martinez. They never once doubted my abilities and were my biggest cheerleaders my whole career. Eddie Benson at Fremont Honda & Kawasaki for being the first person to give me my first sponsorship. Mike Hurlbert at RPM Racing Team for bringing me over to the Orange Bleeders. Antti Kallonen for always believing in me and pushing me to be the best racer I can be. The whole Factory FMF KTM Racing Team crew & all my mechanics along the way, Bryan Cirallo, Cody Richelderfer, Allen Gravitt, Robbie Goolsby, Ty Renshaw, Jon Mitcheff, and can't forget our crew chief Tony Hall. To my husband Travis Coy, thank you for being my best friend, best training partner & helping me achieve my goals in every way possible. Thank you, hope to see you out on the trails!