MENTOR, Ohio (June 4, 2018) - Jeremy Martin, rider of the Wiseco-sponsored No. 6 Honda CRF250R, continues to turn heads in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. In doing so, Martin put together a strong 2-1 outing Saturday afternoon to pick up his first overall win of the 2018 Pro Motocross campaign.
At the same time, the Millville, Minn. native scored his third consecutive podium finish in as many races and assumed the 250 Class point lead heading into the first off weekend of the 12-race outdoor season.
Despite being able to only muster the seventh-best time in both of his qualifying sessions, Martin turned up the wick when the starting gate dropped for the first 250 Class moto of the day. The two-time Pro Motocross 250 Class champion rounded the first corner sixth in the running order and steadily worked his way toward the front. Over the course of the 30-minute, plus two laps, opening moto, Martin picked up four positions, to earn a solid runner-up finish and insert himself in the conversation for the overall win.
When the gate dropped for the second 250 Class moto, Martin was scored second at the holeshot line to his brother Alex, and it was brother-versus-brother for the first six laps. Time ran out on Alex with 10 laps left, as Jeremy took over the lead and never looked back. In the end, Jeremy rode away as the laps wound down and eventually won by nearly nine seconds, to become the third rider of the season to display to coveted red number plate, showcasing the series point leader.
"It's a pretty cool feeling," said Martin. "It's been three years since I had the red plate. Kind of had goosebumps after that. Really enjoying the moment for having it. It's a lot of struggles since I won my title in 2015. I was in a pretty big hole in 2016 and last year. We were able to dig ourselves out of it and get back to where I belong.
"We (Alex and himself) battled in the second moto at Glen Helen last weekend and made some contact. I called him mid-week, like, 'Dude, you gave me a bruise on my arm!' Then we battled again today. He said I couldn't pass very well, but I blew his doors off on the outside. I was really proud of him. He was riding really fast. It's pretty cool that you have two brothers from the same family battling like that. It's really cool. Out of everyone that I like to battle with, he's probably my favorite. I got him to look over at me a couple times. It was a good day."
Martin's fellow Wiseco-supported GEICO Honda teammates Chase Sexton and RJ Hampshire had solid days of their own, finishing seventh and 10th overall, respectively. Sexton and Hampshire's position in points after Round 3 reflect their respective Thunder Valley finishes.
Meanwhile, in the premier 450 Class paddock, Team Honda HRC's Ken Roczen looks to be closing in on his competitive standard. The German-born rider of the Wiseco-sponsored No. 94 Honda CRF450R raced at the front of the field in both premier 450 Class motos and logged a stout 2-2 finish to be scored second overall at day's end.
Roczen suffered a well-publicized injury at the San Diego Supercross in February, but the 24-year-old, two-time Pro Motocross champion looks to be working the kinks out and close to winning form.
"Being in the battle up front and being in the mix was awesome," explained Roczen who sits fifth in points. "We got good starts and rode up front. It's great to have the racing butterflies again and to be doing good. It's just amazing and the greatest feeling ever ... so much better than sitting on the couch. I could have one day or six months of preparation and I'm still going to want to go out there and do what I did today. I want to be up front, I want to battle, and if I don't win, that's fine. I can't expect myself to go out there right away and go 1-1, but to be up front, go 2-2, and be on the podium is beyond amazing. I'm having a blast right now."
The riders and teams of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship enjoy a weekend off before the series heads to the legendary High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pa., in two weeks.
The first moto from Round 4 of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship from the High Point Red Bull National will be televised live on MAVTV Sat., June 16 beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 10 a.m. Pacific. Coverage for the second moto for the premiere 450 Class shifts to network television on NBC at 3 p.m. EDT, noon Pacific. The second moto for the 250 Class will be broadcast live on NBCSN beginning at 4 p.m. EDT.