Alex Martin - Minnesota Motorcycle Hall of Fame Member

Alex Martin - Motocross

Updated October 2021

Alex Martin has had almost two different pro careers. He started in 2008, riding on smaller teams or as a privateer, working hard for the occasional top ten, while hampered by a few injuries along the way. He did that for 6 seasons showing glimpses of what he could do, like when he lead many laps and finished 3rd in a wet Southwick moto in 2011. By 2014, he was starting to be a regular part of the top 10, but then finally on a good team in 2015, he turned into a regular winner of motos and overalls.

2021 - With the demise of the JGR Suzuki, Alex joined the Manluk / Rock River Yamaha / Merge Racing team. At the first round of 250 West Supercross, Alex sustained a concussion shortly after the start of the Main. He and his injured brother Jeremy, as well as a few other downed riders, brought out the red flag. Alex rode the next two rounds, but was injured again and missed the rest of the Supercross season.

Coming into the 250 Motocross season still not fully healed from Supercross, he struggled at the first round, then broke his arm during qualifying at the second round in Colorado. He came back for his home race and for a few rounds after it. Riding on the back fringes of the top 20, he was clearly far from 100%. Unadilla would be the final straw.

On 8/18/2021, he announced:
Had a small crash at Unadilla in the 2nd moto last weekend and reinjured the wrist I hurt in Supercross. I’ve been working very hard to come back from numerous injury’s this year, but the reality is I’ve missed a lot of seat time and have been more focused on rehab and physical therapy this summer than actual training and riding. It’s a tough decision as I want to be at the races doing what I love and representing my sponsors, but at this point I’ve decided to be done racing for the summer and let all of my injuries heal properly.

During the off-season, it was announced that Alex would ride for The FXR/Club MX IAMACOMEBACK Yamaha team in 2022, racing the 450 class in Supercross and Motocross.


Photo by MNRacing.com

Yearly Recap

Before he was known nationally, he was a District 23, competitor well known for his great performances at his “home” track of Millville. He was showing good form elsewhere, like in the hills of Mankato in 2005.

In 2008, he made his pro debut at Millville, ending up 14th in the second moto. He also qualified in Southwick and Steel City, but did not finish in the points.

In 2009, he entered the West Coast Supercross series. Despite a very deep field and some tough luck in his heats, Alex qualified for two main events, with his best posting being a 14th. In the 250 Nationals, he qualified for every round and ended up 20th in the overall standings, his best placing being an 8th in a moto at Millville.

In 2010, Alex was hurt early in the West Lites season, qualifying in two of the first three rounds. He came back in the 250 nationals, finishing in the top ten in motos at Red Bud and Millville on his way to 18th for the season.

Alex took it up a notch in 2011. Riding on one of the smaller teams, he missed a few rounds in the 250 East, still notching a career best 9th twice, and a 10th, ending the series 14th Overall. After a slow start in the 250 Outdoors, scoring no points in three of the first four motos, he rode to 12 top-ten finishes, including leading laps on his way to a career best 3rd place moto finish in the wet second race of Southwick. He ended the year 8th overall and Privateer of the Year.

In 2012, still riding for a small team, Alex rode the 250 East class. Hs best finish, of the year, and his career, was a 6th twice. He finished 11th in the championship. In the very stacked 250 Motocross class, he didn’t quite get the results he had the previous year, His best moto finish was an 8th, 3 times, and he ended the championship in 13th.

2013 – Alex was injured prior to the Supercross season and was unable to complete in that series. Competing on one of the smaller teams, and recovering from a severe wrist injury early in the season, Alex did not do as well as he has done in the past. He was consistently in the points, but his season-best was an 11th at Southwick and finished 19th in the points.

2014 - Alex was finally able to compete in a full season of Supercross, showing some consistency that had been missing in previous years, with a best finish of 7th (3 times). Despite not being on a big buck team, he still finished eigth in the 250 East Supercross championship.

Alex had a solid year outdoors. On one of the lesser funded teams in a very deep field, he came close to finishing in the top ten overall. With a season-best 6th place in the first moto of Red Bud, he ended in 12th, only 10 points behind 10th place.

2015 - Whether it was hanging around with his brother’s championship-winning entourage, or that he was finally on a well-funded team, or combination of both, Alex had the best Supercross season of his career. A costly DNF in Phoenix cost him 3rd place, but he still rode his Yamaha to a career-high 6th in the always competitive 250 West series, including two podiums in the series, and 3rd place in the now pointless East / West shootout.

Alex continued to have a breakout season, regularly finishing on the podium and winning a moto at Budds Creek. Although it looked like he could finish fourth in the championship, a few bad motos, including not scoring any points at the last round, lead to a seventh overall in the 250 championship, still a career high. More importantly, his speed caught the eye of team managers and for 2016, he will be on the same premier Yamaha team as his brother, Jeremy.

2016 – Now on the high-powered Star Racing Yamaha team, expectations were high coming into his 250 West Supercross campaign. Unfortunately, he had more than his fair share of crashes and inconsistency, and did not match his performance of the previous year. He finished 6th at two races for 10th overall. He did make it out of the series healthy and headed into the outdoor riding on what many consider to be the top team.

Following a SX season that was a step back from the previous year, there were some questions about if he could return the outdoor form he had in 2015. The answer was no. Instead he exceeded it, becoming a contender for moto wins, and the 250 championship. For someone who had been on the circuit for 8 years, to go from a rider who would be at the bottom of the top ten on a good day, to being one of the fastest riders nearly every race was a transformation almost unheard of in the history of the sport.

After a mistake-filled first moto, that still saw him finish 8th, he rattled off three straight second place finishes, taking the points lead after Round 2. He lost the points lead in the following round, but was still close, when disaster struck, his bike coming to a halt in the first moto at High Point. He was on or near the podium for the rest of the series, with a few tough motos costing him valuable points. It was still his best season, by far, with two overall wins and second in the 250 championship.

With his strong national performance, Alex was picked to represent the US at the Motocross des Nations. Riding in the MX2 class, he finished 9th in both motos, a strong performance for that class, but with an injury to Jason Anderson, the team couldn’t hold their small points lead, and finished 2nd. He is likely to be the only rider to compete for Team Puerto Rico (2013) and Team USA.

2017– Now riding a TLD KTM, Alex competed in the 250 East SX Series. After a DNF in the first round, he rebounded with a 2nd place at Atlanta, but then struggled for a few rounds. He looked to be turning it around with a 4th, but was then blind-sided by Christian Craig in practice, getting pushed off the berm, and landing hard on the floor of the stadium. Although it was hoped he’d return for the last few rounds, he was out for the rest of the SX season.

Alex came into the nationals with high expectations. About halfway through the series, he was in second in the championship, primarily by being consistently towards the front, and avoiding the big mistakes that seemed quite frequent in this class this year. Alex was injured in a practice crash prior to Washougal, and was out for the season. Despite missing the last four rounds, he still finished 8th in the championship.

2018 - Alex remained on the Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull KTM team going into the 2018 season. Originally slated to run the 250 East region, he was switched to the West after an injury to another team member. The series was one he’d just as soon forget. He finished only one of the three races he competed in, a 4th at Oakland. After the season was over he disclosed, “I had a crash and I actually had a small fracture to my collarbone two weeks before Anaheim 1. Then I overshot the triple in practice at A1 and that really hurt it. Then I crashed in the main, then I definitely broke it again”

Alex left the SX series early and concentrated on preparing for the 250 Motocross series. He came into the series as a veteran championship contender. He hung in the points chase with frequent podium finishes, but other riders were getting the wins. He had a rough stretch in the middle rounds where he lost touch with eventual champion, Aaron Plessinger, but he still finished second in the championship quite comfortably.

2019 - In the off-season, Alex signed with JGR Suzuki, a brand that has seen a lull in the results in the 250 class. JGR was hoping that adding a rider of Alex’s caliber will get them some wins, and a contender for the Motocross championship.

Alex rode the 250 West in Supercross. He started well, getting a fourth in the first round, but as the season went on, he never found the podium. He finished a solid fifth in the points, but was never a contender for the championship. The good news is that unlike many of his past seasons, he was healthy coming into the opening round of the Motocross series.

In the 250 Motocross series, Alex had a very up and down season with the unproven Suzuki. After a DNF-2 score to start the season, he did not finish in the top 5 in a moto again until the second moto of Round 6 where he finished 5th. After a heartbreaking mechanical problem while running 2nd in the first moto of the next round at Red Bud, he rolled off 3 consecutive podiums, nearly taking the overall at Millville with a 2-3 score. After that podium run, he found the podium only once more, a 3rd in the 2nd moto of Budds Creek. He ended the season 6th, still the highest placing a Suzuki had seen outdoors in the 250 class for many years.

2020 - Alex returned to the JGR Suzuki team, racing in 250 West Supercross. He was originally going to ride a 450 in select East Region rounds, but that did not work out. He had a tough season on what many considered a slightly outdated motorcycle. His best finish was a 4th at Saint Louis and Oakland. Mainly through consistency, he still finished 5th in the championship.

Once the 250 Motocross season was finally underway, Alex rode great in the first two muddy rounds at Loretta Lynn’s. He won the second moto at Loretta Lynn’s 2, his first moto win since July 2016.

It was also Suzuki’s first moto win in the 250 class since 2009. The rider to deliver that win; Ryan Dungey. The last non-Minnesotan to win the 250 class on a Suzuki is Broc Hepler in 2006. That streak remains.

Alex was in and or near third place in the championship early on. At Thunder Valley, the second to last round, he had his worse day of the season, 12 -12, which dropped him out of the top 3 conversation. It went even worse when he crashed before the last race, breaking his leg. He still finished 6th in the championship.

Early in November 2020, the JGR Suzuki team announced that they were shutting down. A few weeks later, a press release came out saying that Alex had joined the Manluk / Rock River Yamaha / Merge Racing team. The three teams came together to form one team where he would first race the 250 West Supercross series.