Next year will be Jeremy Martin’s second year with GEICO Honda, and he will be racing the 450 and 250 Class in Monster Energy Supercross. He had an impressive second-place finish in his 450 debut at Daytona this year, and has the fans excited to see what else he can do in the first three rounds of supercross.
For those first three rounds, he will be on a factory CRF450R with GEICO Honda graphics, before switching back to the 250 for the East Coast. Jeremy was originally contracted to ride the 450 full-time in 2018, but re-signed with the team this off-season and will stay in the 250 Class. In another big change, he spent the off-season in Colorado working alongside Eli Tomac. We caught up with him at the Honda team intro last week to see how his off-season is going and how his hybrid 250/450 supercross season came about.
Racer X: Hey, Jeremy, good seeing you here at the Honda team intros. How’s everything going?
Jeremy Martin: It’s good. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It’s actually a really cool way to bring all the new riders into the season and for the manufacturer, Honda, to get everyone together and get all the media out here, I think it’s a beneficial, professional thing to do.
What’s your training program like right now? I hear you’ve been over at Eli Tomac’s in Colorado?
Yup. I’ve been over at Eli’s, and it’s been really fun actually. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve spent a lot of time in Colorado and I’ve always kind of wanted to live there. Now I can kind of say I’m there experiencing that. It’s been really neat. He’s going really, really fast. It’s been really a good experience.
How did that all come about?
I was down in Florida and I ended up going back to Minnesota halfway through the summer. I was just grooving in Minnesota a little bit more and digging it back up there. I was kind of struggling and I was like, “Why not go home to Minnesota to figure out what was going on and ride a track that I know I can ride really well?” I was able to find some answers that I was searching for. Then I called the Tomacs and I was just like, “I’ve got to reach out.” Maybe it would be a good idea for me to moto. It would be good for me to moto with someone. If there was ever anyone that was maybe kind of close [to me] personality-wise, I’d say maybe it was Eli a little bit. I reached out and they were interested in it. I haven’t looked back since.
Eli has pretty much been doing his own thing over there. Are you guys training, riding together? What’s the deal?
So back there we would train and ride together every day, and then here [when in California] we just train in the gym together and do everything [off the bike]. I’d get in trouble if I’m with him at the test track or if he rode over here with me [the Honda test tracks in Corona, California].
So, do you guys get along pretty well?
I think so. We both push each other pretty well. I think it’s a good, beneficial relationship.
It seems like the past couple years, you’ve been searching a little bit with your training program. You were working with Johnny O’Mara for a while, then you were with John Wessling. You’ve kind of been bouncing a little bit.
Yeah, I’ve definitely been bouncing around the last couple years, pretty much from 2016 on and up until this year. I wasn’t happy at Star. I needed a change, so I came to the Honda guys. I decided to work with the team. I worked with John [Wessling], the team trainer, and I did that deal. I really wanted to go to a place where I could feel like it was family, and GEICO was it. Now, this year, we’re here. We’re kind of going back to what I am and kind of what made me. I’ve always worked well just kind of being a little bit of a lone wolf and kind of being away. I’ve never been kind of like a groupie or someone to kind of hang out and be around. I don’t need a lot of people around. It’s low-key for Eli and me. We just put in the work and then show up at the race.
In the off-season, there was a lot of talk of you jumping up to the 450s full-time next year. Instead you’re going to be racing 250 East and the first three rounds on a 450. How did that come about?
I was contracted to go (450). I could have definitely gone, but I felt like I have unfinished business in the 250 Class. I couldn’t walk away. I didn’t feel like I was solid enough. Like you said earlier, you mentioned that I’ve kind of been bouncing around the last couple years. When you go race the 450 guys, 17 supercross rounds and 12 outdoors, you’ve got to have your program dialed and you’ve got to be pretty solid. With that being said, Honda was coming out with a new 250, so I wanted to help develop it and be a part of the family. My time will come.
Jeremy is riding well. See for yourself: