Jeremy was sixth at Daytona.
In his second full season of professional racing, Jeremy Martin was among the presumed favorites for the 2014 250cc East Supercross Championship. However, the season didn’t start off for Martin like anyone thought it would. After surviving the trials and tribulations he faced during the first three rounds, Jeremy came to Daytona ready to turn things around. We caught up with Martin to talk about the season so far.
TALK ABOUT HOW FRUSTRATING IT WAS TO FAIL TO MAKE THE MAIN AT THE FIRST TWO 250 EAST ROUNDS.
I think with the way the beginning of the season has gone was rough. And I’m just kind of now starting to dig myself out of the hole that I was in and now I’m making progress. At Indy, I qualified third out of the heat race. I struggled in the main and went down in the whoops, but I got into the main event. And then last weekend, at Daytona, I qualified third again in the heat race. In the main, I was up there with those guys, in the top five, and I went off the track and almost crashed on the first lap. I had to work my way from about 14th up to sixth. So, I’m slowly making progress. It’s been frustrating, that’s for sure, but I had a great season last year and I have good people around me, so we’re able to help dig me out of the hole and keep pushing forward.
WHAT DOES IT DO TO A RACER’S CONFIDENCE TO MISS A MAIN EVENT TWO WEEKS IN A ROW LIKE THAT?
When you don’t make a main, that’s not good. And then you don’t make a main the second weekend, it’s even worse. I didn’t make the main as a rookie my first year at Dallas, and I was able to rebound at Atlanta with a top-five finish. And this year I didn’t make Atlanta either, so it was really hard to come back and be ready for Indy. But, like I said, the people that are around me during the week, they were really able to help lift my head up and say basically, “You were rookie of the year last year in the outdoor series. You are strong and you are fit. You’ve just got to keep pushing forward and you can’t give up.”
YOU WERE FAST IN DAYTONA, AND CAME FROM THE BACK. HOW MUCH OF THAT WAS THE TRACK, AND HOW MUCH OF IT WAS YOUR OWN IMPROVEMENT.
I think the difference from Daytona to the other three races before that you’ve got to get a good start and you’ve got to put yourself in a good position. The competition on the east coast is a lot stronger this year than last year, I think. And I was just struggling with a few things. I was able to go back during the week and you just work on them and just try to improve and go into the next weekend knowing that you worked on that weakness and then see how you’re going to do on Saturday night.
COMING INTO THE EAST PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT DAVALOS, BAGGETT, CIANCIARULO, AND YOU. DID THAT PUT ADDED PRESSURE ON YOU?
I didn’t really feel any pressure from anyone on the team or anyone else. I had pretty high expectations for myself because I had a pretty good rookie season in Supercross and then I really came on strong at the end of the outdoor season. So, I definitely was going for a Championship and I had some pretty high expectations. I made a few mistakes this year in the off-season, and unfortunately, right now, I’m just battling them and working through it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR PROSPECTS AS THIS SERIES GOES OUTDOORS?
I’m excited for what’s to come. I can only get better. The bike is really great. Compared to the 2013, my 2014 race bike is much more consistent with handling. It turns better than last year’s by far, but it’s still stable. And the throttle response, especially out of corners into rhythm sections, is way better than it used to be. I have the right bike to put it together. I was at rock bottom after Atlanta, so there’s only one way up. You can’t go any lower than that. So, with that being said, I’m excited. Every weekend it’s a new challenge. And even after Saturday night’s over, we’ve got a new thing that we need to work on. With that being said, I’m just excited. I’ve got a few more Supercross races left to just try to finish the season off strong. I definitely think that if I put things together right, and ride like I know how, I can be up front with those guys battling. So, for right now, that’s just the goal.