Jeremy Martin - Minnesota Motorcycle Hall of Fame Member

Jeremy Martin - Motocross

Updated October 2021

Jeremy is the third member of the Martin clan to enter the hall and also the third Minnesota-born rider to win a national or world championship in Motocross, following the late, multi-time World and 125 West SX champion, Donny Schmit, and Ryan Dungey.

Career Highlights:
Won 2 Major AMA Championships, 20 Overall Wins
2014 250 Motocross Champion
2015 250 Motocross Champion
(5) 250 Supercross Wins
(17) 250 Motocross Wins
(2) Motocross des Nations Team appearance, 2014, 2015.

2021 - Shortly after the 2020 Motocross season concluded, it was announced that Jeremy had signed with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team for 2021. At the first round of 250 West Supercross, Jeremy won his heat race and looked to be in good form. Unfortunately, his championship run ended before one official lap was recorded.

Jeremy was mid-pack out of the first turn of the Main, had to check up in the following rhythm section, and was landed on. He was out for the night with an injured shoulder. He missed the rest of the Supercross season. While preparing for the 250 Motocross championship, where he was considered a strong favorite, Jeremy broke his wrist in a practice crash and also aggravated his shoulder injury.

Jeremy fought through injuries during the Motocross season, winning six motos and three overalls, before one injury too many finally ended his season for good. For a full description of his season, and the other Minnesota-born riders, check out the 2021 Year in Review.

Jeremy will again race for Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team in 2022.

Yearly Recaps:

2012 - Coming off a stellar amateur career, he rode the last 3 nationals of 2012, showing his potential in the deep field, with a season best 8th and enough points to finish the season in 22nd.

2013 – Jeremy had a rough start to the 250 East Supercross season, failing to qualify at the first round. From that point on he was a podium threat, earning a third at the tough Daytona round. He was injured a few rounds later and missed the rest of that season. Jeremy continued his breakout season outdoors, scoring several podiums, in motos and overall, and finishing seventh overall in a stacked 250 championship class, and Rookie of the Year.

2014 - Going into the 250 East SX class as one of the favorites, he inexplicbly failed to qualify for the first two main events. From there he steadily improved, capping it off with his first-ever win, showing the fast way around Las Vegas.

With the way his Supercross season went, expectations for the nationals were mixed. Optimists, or someone from Minnesota, were saying that he won the last round of SX, and at the end of the outdoors last year, the only riders to finish in front of him regularly were Tomac and Roczen. The “bottle is half-empty” crowd pointed to his inconsistency and some of his poor results in 2014 SX.

Many were expecting Jeremy to be a strong championship contender, but winning the first four motos of the year by 15 – 20 seconds was quite a shock. That initial “head start” may have worn off, but he kept riding up front all season, winning five total nationals, and clinching the 250 Championship with three motos to spare. He was the first Yamaha rider to win a 125/Lites/250 championship since Jeff Emig on a YZ125.

Jeremy was picked for the MXdN, making 2 MN riders on the team, but injured his foot in qualifying. He soldiered on for solid results, but the team came up short once again.

2015 - Jeremy had a much better start to his 250 East Supercross season than the last two years, including a stirring come-from-behind win at Atlanta. A tough-luck DNQ in Indianapolis ended his championship hopes, as the class veteran, Marvin Musquin, rolled over the competition. Jeremy still finished a career-best third in the championship, and entered the outdoors healthy and ready to defend his championship.

It was quite a fight with the French veteran Marvin Musquin, but Jeremy was able to defend his 250 Championship, winning five nationals along the way. He again participated in the Motocross Des Nations, but the team came up just a bit short, with the French needing every bit of their considerable home-field advantage to take the title. Jeremy still beat all but 3 of the 450 in both of his motos. A few weeks later, he raced the final round of the Japanese Nationals, taking the win over a field that included the 2015 FIM MX2 champion.

2016 – In what was his thought to be last chance at a 250 East Supercross title (either region actually), Jeremy had a few bad races that knocked him out of championship contention. He recorded 2 wins on his way to 3rd in the championship.

From the start, Jeremy did not ever look quite look like himself, later revealing that he had probably over-trained in the pre-season and was unable to recover to his previous fitness level. There were also some issues with the team, the exact details he chose not to divulge in interviews. Through three and half rounds, he was still in championship contention when his bike went up in smoke in the second moto at High Point. He was losing points here and there to eventual champion, Cooper Webb, but was still within striking distance, when he was injured at Washougal, missing the last three rounds. He had won one overall, and dropped down to 7th in the 250 championship with the injury.

Going into 2017, Jeremy was staying in the 250 class. He signed with Geico Honda, 250 for 2017, 450 for 2018.

2017 – Jeremy had a 250 Supercross season that went poorly by his high standards. He showed good speed on the (new to him) West region tracks, seemed to be gelling well with his new team, often did well in qualifying and heats, but something always seemed to happen, getting hit by someone else’s bike for instance. Competing in only four Mains, his best finish was a 6th.

The highlight of his Supercross season was a one-off 450 Factory Honda ride at Daytona. Jeremy got a great start, battled with eventual winner Eli Tomac for a while, and finished second in his first 450 race. After missing the last half of the SX series, he entered the 250 Motocross series ready to compete for a title.

Jeremy’s outdoor debut on the Geico Honda went about as poorly as it could, taking a DNF in the first moto at Hangtown. He then put together a string of podium finishes, but Zack Osborne was winning, and with the opening DNF, Jeremy was in a points hole all year. He had a stretch mid-season where he was off his usual form, and although he was very comfortably in second, the championship slipped away.

Originally, Jeremy was to go to the 450 class for 2018, but with a new Honda 250 coming out, Geico Honda instead had him ride the 250 class another year.

2018 - Jeremy raced the first three rounds of 2018 in the 450 class. While he was unable duplicate his great start and second place finish at Daytona in 2017, he did have solid results despite his mediocre starts. He finished 11-10-12, the 10th coming at Houston. He then went back to work in preparation for the 250 East Region.

In that championship, he started a bit slow, by his standards, finishing off the podium in the first three races. He then clicked off a few podium finishes, including a win in Minneapolis, but was unable to catch the multi-race-winning, eventual-champion, Zach Osborne, finishing third in the championship.

In the 250 Nationals, Jeremy started the year with the solid results most expected of him despite a mechanical DNF in the 2nd moto at High Point. In the next round in Tennessee, he won the first moto and looked ready to take control of the championship. Jeremy was in the lead pack lap in the first lap of the second moto when a rider moved over into him over a jump. They both landed hard with Jeremy getting the worst of it, a burst fracture that knocked him out for the season.

2019 - After his devastating back injury in the 2018 Motocross series, Jeremy had the surgery and was going through the recovery process. Despite an early infection that was causing him a great deal of pain, it looked like he was progressing. He had started off the bike training, when what should have been a routine check-up revealed bad news; the burst fracture in his back had not yet healed, and he would need to undergo another surgery, basically starting all over. It was announced on December 17th by GEICO Honda that Jeremy would miss the entire 2019 season.

Said Martin in a Racer-X interview, “Now I have to take the steps to go back in and get it done right so I can be 100 percent,” said Martin. “They tried to do a fusion of five vertebrae, but it wasn’t successful. They’ll use less hardware, which should get the bone to heal 100 percent. It’s unfortunate because I was already six months into training, I was just ready to start some impact stuff. Now I have to start it all over again.”

In an impressive show of commitment, the team 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. Jeremy expressed his gratitude that Geico extended his contract:

“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.”

Jeremy has a tough 2019 in front of him. Recovering from this is going to take all the determination he’s shown while going from the candy-loving little kid that us old guys in District 23 remember, to the national winning, two-time National Champion that he is today. Whatever his future holds, back-to-back AMA National Champion is an exclusive club of which Ryan Dungey is the only other Minnesota-born member.

I think I speak for anyone who knows Jeremy or his family that we’re all pulling for him, and we know he’ll be successful at whatever is next. If it’s riding dirt bikes, his competition better watch out. That’s just how he rolls.

2020
Jeremy returned from his lost 2019 season, ready to put his Geico Honda up front. Despite being on the bike for a relatively short time, Jeremy decided to get gate drops in a few off-season races on a 450. His starts were on point and his form looked good.

When the real races began, he competed in 250 East Supercross and looked good early, finishing 3rd in his first race back. Unfortunately, big problems at Atlanta, when a tough block swerved in front of him, set him back in the points. He finished 3rd at Daytona, but then after only 4 races, he and everyone else had to pause again, as the series was suspended due to the ongoing pandemic.

When it picked up again many months later, he was 3rd and 4th in the first 2 rounds of the “bubble league”. After that round, he left the series so as not to point out of the 250 class. Unlike riders in the past, he and the Geico team were honest about his situation, instead of feigning an injury. His contract was for a 250 in 2021, so moving to 450 would have meant losing his ride. Even with the missed rounds, he still finished 6th in the series.

After a nearly a 25-month absence, Jeremy finally returned to the 250 Motocross series. He didn’t heroically win both motos at Loretta Lynn’s 1, he wasn’t even the fastest, but he looked really solid, comfortably finishing on the podium both times.

Then, it got even better, as he won 3 overalls in a row, including a 1 -1 at Red Bud 1. There were times in the last two years that it was far from certain that he would return to this level. I knew he had the drive to do what it takes, but sometimes an injury can be too much, even with sheer determination.

At Millville, Ferrandis started getting good starts, and minimizing mistakes, going on a streak of his own. He won 5 straight motos, and even though Jeremy was consistently finishing near the front, and was far in front of third place, the gap continued to grow. Jeremy took it to the last moto, and won it convincingly, but it was not enough to overcome a 20+ point deficit, and he ended 2nd in the championship.

Towards the end of the season, Geico Honda announced Geico was removing sponsorship and the team was shutting down. This left all the riders as free agents. The team has Minnesota roots. One of the original owners was from there, and when it first started back in 1998, Amsoil, a family business based out of Duluth, was one of the title sponsors.

Commented Jeremy, “It’s a bummer to see them leave. They’re like a family to me. They’re definitely going to always stay in my heart for the rest of my career.”


Three Minnesota Hall of Famers in this photo; John Martin, holding the #1 plate, Jeremy Martin, and Alex Martin.