Yesterday, GEICO Honda announced that Jeremy Martin would miss the entire 2019 season after it was revealed during a checkup that the burst fracture in his back had not yet healed, and he would need to undergo a second surgery. The injury was initially sustained in a crash at the Tennessee National earlier this year.
The news came as a surprise to Martin and the team, as he had recently been cleared to do some light training and had moved back to Eli Tomac’s place in Colorado to start road cycling.
“To get this news was a complete kick in the gut,” said Martin in a statement. “Racing is all I know and to sit out the entire 2019 season is going to be one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced.”
Martin is set for surgery in January at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. It’s the same clinic that performed Ken Roczen’s surgeries.
If there is a silver lining in all of this, it’s that the team has decided to stick by Martin and signed him to an extension through the 2021 season. Martin’s deal was set to expire at the end of 2019.
Martin turned pro at the Unadilla National in 2012 with Star Racing Yamaha and spent the next five years with the team, earning two 250 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross titles. He moved to GEICO Honda in 2017 and then signed a two-year extension prior to the start of the 2018 season.
“To have [team owners] Jeff [Majkrzak] and Ziggy [Rick Zielfelder] commit to me long-term proves they believe in me, and that motivates me to come back and overcome adversity,” said Martin. “That’s been the story of my career, though. Nothing has been given to me, I have worked and earned everything I’ve won. This will be no different.”