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Rookie Reflections: Jeremy Martin

I first met Jeremy Martin back in 2001 when he was just a little kid running around his parents' property in Minnesota. That property is more commonly known as Spring Creek Motocross Park. At the time, Jeremy, (I actually only knew him by his nickname back then, "Bullfrog") and his older brother, Alex, were just regular kids who seemed to like riding dirt bikes. Of course, they had one of the premier motocross facilities in world as their backyard, but that doesn't always transfer into top talent. A few years later, when I returned to Millville, MN, Alex had already begun to make a name for himself in the amateur scene, and Jeremy seemed to be getting into the swing of things as well, flying through the infamous Spring Creek sand whoops on a mini bike like like a seasoned rider. So, when Jeremy finally made his pro debut at Unadilla, I made sure I kept an eye out for the kid I once knew as Bullfrog.

Following Jeremy's first foray into the pro ranks, freelance photographer/journalist, Matt Rice, got the Minnesota native on the phone for some feedback on racing with the big boys. -Bayo

Photo: Matt Rice

Matt Rice: We have Jeremy Martin here, Star/Valli/Yamaha rider, who recently had his pro debut at Unadilla. So, Jeremy, what’s up?

Jeremy Martin: Not much. Just here in South Carolina right now doing a little bit of training with my brother getting ready for Steel City and looking forward to racing next weekend, and mixing it up with all those guys again, so it should be fun.

MR: How do you feel your weekend went at Unadilla?

JM: The weekend was ok, I mean I wasn’t 100 percent coming in and I knew it, but I really wanted to get out there and I had a blast. I learned so much. Those guys are really fast especially right out of the gate my brother and Ryan Sipes blew by me and I was like “Woah! I think I need to pin it a little bit”. I had a really good time and learned a lot so with this two-week break it’s helped me out a lot already.

Photo: Matt Rice

MR: You weren’t able to compete at Loretta Lynn’s. What was the deal with the injury?

JM: Well, unfortunately I dislocated my shoulder a week and half before Loretta’s; I had a little practice crash. It wasn’t quite ready for Loretta’s so I took some time off to let it heal properly and then came back for Unadilla and rode about five days before, then got ready to go mix it up with those guys.

MR: So, coming into Unadilla would you feel you were 100 percent or behind the curve a little bit?

JM: No, I was behind the curve but I went in with a positive attitude and the team was really good about it. The decision was up to me and I told them “I think I could learn a lot.” and I did and had a blast. I mean both motos I had a big smile thinking about how this has been a dream of mine to compete in a professional race. To be able to do it, and then also line up with my brother, I think it was the second time we’ve ever lined up with each other so it’s pretty cool.

MR: Having Alex on the line with you, do you have a little bit of a sibling rivalry going?

JM: There’s a little bit of smack talk every once in awhile but for the most part its really good between us. We both train together on and off the bike. Actually on the line for the first moto I was thinking what are the chance that Alex and I being next to each other on the first lap and then next thing you know he’s seventh and I’m eighth. I just started laughing and smiling, and saying “I’m gonna get’em!” Unfortunately he ran into someone at the bottom of Screw-U, so I ended up going around the outside of him.

Photo: Matt Rice

MR: Does having your brother out there make you feel more comfortable?

JM: It’s nice to see him there. I guess you can say having him there makes me more comfortable. When it comes to race day it’s all business for me and I’m there to do a job and I want to do as good as I can and I want to try to win.

MR: What is the transition like going from amateur to pro?

JM: Well it’s definitely quite a bit different. The whole format is different; with an amateur national you wake up in the morning and you might ride once or twice in a day and do ten laps. At a pro race, you wake up on a Saturday then practice, qualify, and you have the 30 plus two lap motos. You’re getting roosted and everyone is really fast. Its just all different.

MR: What about your bike? Is it different from your amateur bike to your pro bike?

JM: Yeah, my pro bike is different from the amateur bike. I love my pro bike, its really fast, Star did a great job and I’m really happy to be with them and I’ll be riding with them next year. I’m really looking forward to bringing those guys a championship.

Photo: Matt Rice

MR: Talk about your off weekend and what your doing to get ready for Steel City.

JM: I’ve already been training quite a bit with my brother, Phil Nicoletti, and Justin Brayton. We’ve been at it all this week. I’m getting a little tired but you have to push through it. Just looking forward to Steel City.

MR: What are your expectations for the last two nationals?

JM: Well, to finish out the nationals I just want to keep learning, gaining experience, and just produce solid rides. Being able to race these two up coming nationals is just a bonus before going into the offseason. I will be able to apply what I’ve learned from these last three races to me 2013 program so I can try to come out swinging.

MR: Obviously you have a lot of support, so who do you want to thank?

JM: I’d like to thank my Mom and Dad, they’ve been there from the beginning; Bobby Regan and the whole Star/Valli/Yamaha team, they have done a lot for me; and my brother, the man up above and anyone else I forgot. Thanks!

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