At today’s Honda 2018 racing team press launch, GEICO Honda and factory Honda HRC announced Jeremy Martin will race 250SX East Region, which opens the door for 450SX rides in the West. When Martin signed a two-year deal with Honda in 2016, he was supposed to move up full-time to the 450 in 2018, but he will instead return to the 250 Class next year.
Martin will race a full-factory CRF450R for the first three rounds of the season: Anaheim 1, Houston and Anaheim 2. Martin has raced a 450 in supercross once, at last year’s Daytona Supercross by Honda, where he led the main event early and finished a strong second.
"I'm extremely excited to be lining up on the gate at Anaheim 1 on a factory Honda,” Martin said in a Honda Racing statement. “I really enjoyed riding in the 450SX class at Daytona last year and having some success with the team, so I'm looking forward to building on that at the first three rounds of supercross. I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity and show what I'm capable of. It will also be a good chance to get some gate drops in before I start the 250SX East Region series in Arlington."
At Daytona last year, Martin subbed for the injured Ken Roczen. This time, he will ride his 450 out of the GEICO Honda truck.
"We're looking forward to seeing Jeremy on the CRF450R for the first three rounds of the season,” says Erik Kehoe, the Honda HRC Team Manager. “He's a very determined racer, and he did such a good job filling in on a 450 last year that when he asked if he could get his feet wet on the big bike, we were proud to be able to honor that request. GEICO Honda's program is an extension of Team Honda HRC, and the fact that we work together so closely facilitates taking advantage of opportunities like this."
Martin will switch to the 250SX class for the East Region opener in Arlington, Texas. RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo will also race 250SX East for GEICO Honda, with Christian Craig and Chase Sexton racing West.
"We're excited about Jeremy's potential this year, and based on his performance during the off-season, we expect him to be a contender for the 250SX East Region Championship,” added Dan Betley, the new GEICO Honda Team Manager. “He approached us about getting in some races on the 450, and we agreed that competing in a few 450SX rounds would be a good way for him to be as prepared as possible ahead of Arlington, especially considering the chassis similarities between the two bikes."