The fastest rider to ever come out of Ecuador is 19-year-old
Martin Davalos, who races a YZ250F for the Star Racing/Lucas Oil Yamaha
team. Martin first gained attention last year when he scored a pair of
amateur national championships at Lake Whitney in the super-competitive
A classes as a Suzuki support rider. He has been living at the Millsaps
Training Facility in Cairo, GA, over the past two years and it has been
a worthy sacrifice, as he scored a remarkable third-place finish in
only his second professional race of his career at the Atlanta
Supercross. The remainder of his rookie supercross season has been
filled with inconsistencies, but Martin still has a very bright future.
We caught up with him following the final round of the Eastern Regional
250F series in Houston for this week’s Sponsorhouse.com Privateer
Racer X: Martin, the first chapter of your professional career has come to a close, but unfortunately, it didn’t end quite like it began, did it?
Martin Davalos: Yeah, I know. I mean, it’s been a long season for me. First of all, I got through my podium, and I wanted to keep riding consistent and be up there, but it just got a little worse and then I kept crashing. I consider it an inconsistent season for me.
But on the bright side, you probably learned a lot, right?
Oh, yeah, for sure. I got a lot of good experience and I know what I have to do. I've just got to train harder and just be consistent. That’s all I wanted to do this year, but I just couldn’t put it together. I had bike problems in one race and then just crashed. I got to stay off the ground.
That podium you had in Atlanta, it was only in your second race as a professional, and not only did it surprise everyone in the industry, but I’m pretty sure it shocked you, too. Take us through that evening.
That night was crazy for me! I got an awesome start and some people in front of me crashed and Josh Hansen had a problem with his bike. So I just rode smart and with a good start that I had and everything went perfect. I didn’t make mistakes and it just went great. On the last lap I was running second, but Davi passed me after he crashed. But I was just trying to hold on to third. But it was awesome. I was really happy after that night, and I just want to be up there again, because I was so excited, and the feeling was unbelievable.
Are you nervous or intimidated riding with all of those top guys?
At the first race, I kind of was because I didn’t know what to expect. But after that, I got used to it and it was just like riding at home.
You finished ninth overall in points, so that has to be pretty rewarding. What was your goal prior to the season?
I was shooting for top 10, for sure. I knew it was going to be a really hard season for me, and I got ninth, so I’m really happy about it. But like I told you, I just wanted to be consistent and not crash and DNF any races. I’m just kind of upset about that, but I’m also really happy about it because I learned a lot and I know what to do for next year.
For our online readers who aren’t familiar with you, how old are you and where are you from?
I turned 19 on January 15, and I’m originally from Ecuador, in South America.
How did you get into motocross racing?
Well, my dad used to have this street bike, and he got me a 50 one day and I just started riding. He then took me to a motocross track and we both liked it. He was always behind me, just trying to get me to practice and get better. I went to school and everything and was just a weekend guy, but I moved up here about two and a half years ago, and I just put all my time in to it.
It’s pretty well-known that you live at the Millsaps Training Facility, but what first brought you to the United States?
Pretty much Davi. I met him at the World Cup and they told us to come up here and do some racing. I came up here and trained with him, and I tried to qualify for Loretta’s on 80s. I went home for a little bit and then came back.
And you’ve been there ever since. Do you stay at Davi’s house?
They have a little cabin right next to Davi’s house and I stay there by myself.
How often do you see your parents?
Not very often. They were here for Orlando, Detroit, and Atlanta, but besides that, I don’t get to see them at all.
That’s awesome that they were here for your podium!
Yeah, it was awesome! My dad and brother were here and I podiumed. It was like my dream come true with my family there. It was really great.
You’re very fortunate being able to ride and train with Davi.
Oh, yeah, for sure. Riding with him is perfect. He’s a really nice guy, and he helps me a lot and I learn a lot from him.
You looking forward to the outdoors?
Yes, I’m really excited. I know it’s going to be hard racing 30-plus-two, but I’m going to do my best.
Who do you want to thank, Martin?
First of all, I want to thank my parents for bringing me up here. I want to thank the Star Racing/Lucas Oil Yamaha team, and especially Colleen and Davi Millsaps for being so nice to me.
Good deal. Thanks for your time, Martin.
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