2018 TEAM HONDA INTRODUCTION | COMPLETE COVERAGE

By Casey Davis | @air_d617

Anaheim One is just over a week away, and although Geico Honda’s Jeremy Martin is scheduled to head east for the East Coast portion of the 250 Supercross Championship, he will pilot a CRF450R in the premier class at the first three rounds of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series. This is exciting news for J-Mart who enjoyed a very strong second place finish at the 2017 Daytona SX aboard a Honda HRC 450. Following A1, Houston and A2, the two-time 250 outdoor motocross champ will immediately hop back on a 250 to prepare for his run in the East Coast SX Championship. We sat down with J-Mart at the 2018 Team Honda intro to discuss all that he’s looking forward to come 2018.

It was just announced that you're heading back to your home turf on the East Coast for 2018. That's obviously familiar territory for yourself, so are you excited about that?
Yeah, absolutely. Obviously I'm very familiar with the East Coast dirt, and to me it's a lot more fun riding in those conditions anyways, so I'm looking forward to next year. I'm looking forward to getting away from this hard-packed slick stuff out here in  SouthernCalifornia (laughs).

It was also announced that you will be riding a 450 at the first few West Coast rounds. After doing so well on it earlier this year, you have to be excited about that, as well; especially since your move up to the premier class is right around the corner…
Yeah, honestly I'm feeling pretty spoiled, right now. I will truly get to experience the best of both worlds in one season. I get to ride with the premier racers of the sport at the first three rounds when everyone is healthy and fit. I'm really looking forward to that experience! After that, I will jump back on a 250 for a couple of weeks to prepare for my run in the East Coast 250 Championship.

Since your first task at hand is racing the 450 at the first three rounds, You've obviously been spending the majority of your time on the bigger bike, right?
Yeah, exactly. The only thing that's been a real challenge, though, is the fact that we’ve been having trouble getting parts because the bike is so new, so I've actually just been riding a stock 450. I've been out here in California for a few weeks and I've also been consistently spending time on the 250 about once or twice a week to stay sharp for the 250 class. It's been a little bit of a tough transition at times because that 450 is so fast, but overall everything's going pretty well. It's been an enjoyable process.

Essentially, you're juggling two bikes right now, but that also has to be beneficial to your overall riding technique because they're two totally different machines…
Absolutely! I really appreciate this new bike. It's a huge improvement over last year's machine and even in stock form I was faster on it then I was on my 2017 race bike. I think jumping back-and-forth from one bike to the other may help me a little bit.

Since you were able to ride the 450 in stock form for so long, do you think you were able to grasp a better understanding of how the bike works and reacts under certain situations?
Yeah, absolutely. This is obviously a very fast bike and despite the fact that it's the same make as my current 250 race machine, this bike's handling characteristics are completely different. Again, it's been a bit of a process, but I've learned a lot and I'm excited to get to Anaheim.

After the first three rounds on a 450, will you immediately head back east to begin riding your 250?
Yeah, as soon as the first three rounds are over I am jumping back on to the 250 to get down to business. I'm not the kind of guy that really enjoys time off. I like the grind and I enjoy the process of getting better! I guess I'm kind of a hammerhead like that (laughs).

You'll be joined by RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo on the East Coast. Talk about riding with the young bucks on your team…
Yeah, it's cool! I got to spend some time with RJ last year at the races, but not so much Cameron, as he got hurt. The last few weeks, though, I've been able to get to know Cameron a lot more. It's a good relationship because we are not afraid to give each other crap. It's been a good deal, for sure.