Jeremy Martin Exclusive Interview
Ultimate MotorCycling Online Associate Editor caught up with reigning back-to-back Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 Class Champion, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin for a quick interview at Yamaha Motor’s headquarters in Cypress, Calif. Coming off an injury and some international racing from Japan to the Motocross of Nations, the 22-year-old Martin looks ahead to the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series.
Ultimate MotorCycling’s Andrew Oldar: First off, how was your off-season?
Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin: My off-season has been good. We did the Motocross des Nations and unfortunately came up just shy of winning that, which was a bummer. I also went to Japan and got to race against the MX2 World Champion, Tim Gajser, which was pretty neat. That was a whole different culture over there. I was pretty much blown away by that trip. My eyes were wide open the whole time. Aside from that, we’ve just been training for Supercross.
UMC: Did you get any time off? If so, what did you do with that time?
JM: Yes, I did get some time off. Unfortunately, I broke my foot right before Halloween, so I’ve been off the bike for about the last five weeks. Because of that, I had a lot of time to hang out and catch up on some things that I set aside such as business, reorganizing stuff, and coming up with a new plan. It was a forced vacation, but we’re ready to go.
UMC: What were your thoughts on the Motocross des Nations race? Would you like to do it again?
JM: I definitely want to do the Motocross des Nations again. I haven’t won and I want to be able to say that I have won it and put that on the résumé. It’s definitely a hard task. I think it is a lot harder than what some people may think. The tracks are a lot different over there along with bike setup and how you ride the track. The last two years has been an eye-opening experience and I have learned a lot from it.
UMC: You have been riding Yamaha YZ250Fs since the previous generation carbureted model. What are your thoughts on the newest generation models from 2014 until now?
JM: The bike is just night and day better. I think everyone saw really just how dominant the YZ250F has been since they brought the new model out in 2014. 2013 was a pretty good year for us. We got some good results and podiums. Then in 2014, Yamaha really just kind of blew up. We won the outdoor championship and a few supercross races as well. All of that has carried over into now.
UMC: Aside from Millville, what would you say your favorite outdoor national track on the circuit is?
JM: Probably Red Bud. Not only is the track good, but the atmosphere is good as well. The crowd is into it and it’s the Fourth of July weekend, so that makes the track better and more enjoyable for us. We have good fans here in America, but if you go overseas and see some of the European fans and what they have at the Motocross des Nations, it’s truly mind blowing. I wish some of the fans here were a little more like that.
UMC: As far as the supercross series goes, is there anything you would like to see changed?
JM: I think supercross is good the way it is. Obviously, it’s more of a show, so the race is not as long or as many laps. I like longer races, which is why I like the outdoors. It’s more of who is in shape and who is up for the challenge of the grind and the heat of the summer. I like supercross and it’s a totally different deal. I am excited to tackle that challenge this season.
UMC: As far as Supercross goes, do you have a particular venue that you like most on the East Coast?
JM: No, I do not have a particular venue that I like most. All of the stadiums are the same and the tracks are different every weekend.
UMC: You improved a lot from the 2014 Supercross season to the 2015 Supercross season. What do you attribute that to?
JM: Just more time on the bike. I never really rode Supercross much growing up. I am a little bit older and wiser now. I know how to set the bike up better and have just been practicing more. As they say, practice to become perfect. Every year I just get a little bit better and it makes it easier to ride supercross.
UMC: Aside from your injury before Halloween, are you 100-percent healed up and ready for the season to get underway?
JM: Yes, I am all healed up and ready to go for Anaheim 1. I love riding my bike. We have made a lot of improvements this year for supercross that I wish I would have had last year.