Published on September 3rd, 2014 | by Samantha Levine0
Up and Coming American Motocross Riders
American Motocross in growing in popularity not just across the United States, but around the world. Riders from Europe and elsewhere are coming to the states to compete in large numbers. A handful of those riders are distinguishing themselves from the pack and winning those most important titles. Who are those riders, what are they about, and how long will they be on top?
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is seen as one of the most career-defining competitions in Motocross, and this year’s events have certainly lived up to those expectations. For one rider, the young Jeremy Martin from Minnesota, the competition marks a career milestone.
The 21 year-old Martin, nicknamed “Bullfrog,” attracted attention in a number of amateur competitions before going pro in 2012. While not winning the Lucas Oil Pro series in 2013, he did come close to winning a few races, attracting even more attention. 2014 would be a different story.
After 11 of the 12 races, Martin had accumulated enough points to clinch the 250 class title. As Transworld Motocross reports, it should have been smooth sailing for Martin on the competition’s last week of races in Utah. However, that wouldn’t be the case.
Martin ended up beating out teammate Cooper Webb, who placed third (both race for Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha), and other riders for first place, proving just how ahead of the pack he really is. Something tells me this isn’t the last time we’re going to see Jeremy Martin’s name on the top of a score sheet.
The race for the 450 class title was not so much an open and shut case. Though German native Ken Roczen was ahead of his Red Bull KTM teammate Ryan Dungey going into the last moto at Utah, he still needed to place within the top ten in order to take the championship. An upset or a crash could take that away within seconds.
As it turns out, Roczen was able to finish in fourth place, taking his last lap at a relaxed, celebratory pace. He was certainly deserving. And what makes the victory so remarkable is that 2014 was Roczen’s first year competing in the 450 class, though he is no stranger to the competition.
After winning several MX2 titles before turning 18 years old, the young Roczen made the switch to American Motocross in 2012. That year he placed fourth in the 250 class, even winning one moto, something Jeremy Martin was not able to do in his first year at the competition.
2013 would see Roczen in a position to win the 250 class title, well ahead of the other competitors in points. A bad crash, however, would put him out of the winner’s circle. Perhaps for this reason, his 450 class victory the next year might have tasted even sweeter.
Dozens of riders from around the world will be looking to unseat these two champions in next year’s competition, which is already being planned, as well as others taking place between now and then. Will they be able to hold on, and perhaps win again?