GEICO / Honda’s Jeremy Martin won back-to-back 250 AMA Motocross Championships in 2014 and 2015, but over the last two seasons the red plate and a third title has eluded him. The national #6 has been fast here and there and added some overall wins to his career resume over the last two seasons, but the last time he held the red plate was at the 2015 Ironman National–until Saturday at the 2018 Thunder Valley National.
From the drop of the gate on the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown, Jeremy has looked like his old confident self on the bike and that has translated into three straight podiums, an overall win last weekend at the Thunder Valley National and now an eight point lead in his quest for a third title.
After the podium celebration was over, we tracked down the younger Martin brother–his older brother Alex Martin finished 2nd–at the GEICO rig to talk about his round three win, getting the red plate back and his two hard-fought moto battles with his brother–“I had to show him who the boss was.”
Welcome back to being the points leader and owning the red plate. First time since 2015 and it’s got to feel good.
Yeah, it’s been a long time. A lot of stuff has happened since 2015: changing teams, got really run down and stuff like that. It’s taken a long time to get back to where I think I should be outdoors. I’m proud to be here. I’m enjoying the moment and it feels good to be able to get the red plate and to get the overall for the GEICO / Honda team. They feel like family and they’ve really been patient with me. They work well.
You said you were feeling the butterflies when they handed you the red plate on the podium, is that true? Even with two titles to your name you still get those feelings when you get the red plate?
For sure! It’s, like you said, been three years. I mean, imagine being a Champion and then accepting for the next three years getting beat every season. And not even having a chance to have the red plate. To have the red plate is pretty badass.
What did you think of this track today? You and I talked at Hangtown about how the track was more hard pack than normal and today was similar. It didn’t look like it was disced as deep as it usually is here.
I’m pretty disappointed that they’re not digging the tracks as deep. I mean this is outdoor motocross. Thank god it’s getting more rough and it’s getting better, but I don’t understand it. I think the rougher the track gets, the safer it is. It would be nice to have the track rougher. Like I said, when it gets that rough it slows you down.
Talk a little bit about the battles with your brother. You two battled hard in both motos, but you two battled really hard in that second moto.
Yeah, we battled hard for sure. Seeing him there I knew I needed to get him for the overall. Yeah, it was my day and I was like, “you need to make the move.” He was riding good. He was riding his ass off–riding really hard. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, you know. (laughs) I had to show him who the boss was.
You can tell watching you, that you really know how to set him up for the pass from all your time riding together as kids.
It’s kind of funny because I used to never race with him a whole lot, you know. Even when I first came into the pro ranks I was quite a bit faster than him, but now I’m really really proud of him for coming on strong. It;s pretty cool to see both the Martin brothers up front battling. I don’t know if there’s ever been any brothers that have been that competitive in the circuit like this.
Week off from going to the races now, what do you do?
It’s back to work. I had those goose bumps–that feeling of winning for twenty-minutes–and lived on that high but now it’s over. It’s time to move on.