Pro Motocross: Millville's Alex Martin motivated to continue improving

From time to time, motocross fans will approach Millville native Alex Martin with a somewhat puzzled look on their faces and ask a question.

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Millville native Alex Martin finished seventh in the second 250 class moto during the AMA Pro National event at Spring Creek MX Park on July 19. He went on to finish 12th in the season points standings.

From time to time, motocross fans will approach Millville native Alex Martin with a somewhat puzzled look on their faces and ask a question.

"I didn't know you're from Puerto Rico?"

The 24-year-old, blond-haired, green-eyed Martin only passes for a Peurto Rican during one of the biggest events of the motocross season, the Motocross of Nations, where 16 countries roll out their top three riders for a two-day international competition.

This year, it's set for Sept. 27-28 in Kegums, Latvia. And for a second year in a row, Martin will ride for Team Puerto Rico.

"There's a loophole somewhere that, for a U.S. territory, two of their three riders can be from the United States," Martin said. "The Puerto Rico team manager wanted me to be their MX2 (250 class) rider. I had a great experience last year, so I thought I'd give it another shot."


The experience will be even more special this season as it has turned into somewhat of a Martin family vacation. Alex's younger brother Jeremy, 21, will also ride in the MX2 class, for the United States. Jeremy is coming off his first AMA pro national championship, in the 250 class, and will join multiple-time 450 class pro national champion Ryan Dungey and Eli Tomac on the U.S. team.

Alex and Jeremy's mother, Greta, will also join them on the trip, Alex said.

"It truly is the Olympics of our sport," Alex said. "The crowd is just amazing. There are estimates of 50,000-60,000 people there. And the fans are really into it. You'll see them with balloons and air horns and spray-painted in their country's colors."

Alex Martin is coming off his best season as a pro, too. He finished in the top 10 in 10 of 24 motos and was in the top 10 in the 250 class points standings until the final two weeks of the season. He finished 12th overall, but was just 10 points out of the top 10.

He said a couple of motos early in the season, where he didn't score any points, hurt him late in the season.

"The first moto of the year, I had a bent shift lever and didn't score," he said, "then a couple of rounds later we had more problems and didn't score.

"At the time you don't think it's a big deal, but at the end of the year, you think 'man, that really cost me.'"

Other than those two early motos, though, Martin was far more consistent in 2014 than in 2013. Last season, he didn't crack the top 10 in any motos, with an 11th-place effort his best finish of the season. This year, he had a sixth-place finish in a moto at RedBud in Buchanan, Mich., and three seventh-place finishes.


Alex even finished ahead of Jeremy in the season's second-to-last round. Alex finished seventh in both motos at Crawfordsville, Ind., for a seventh-place overall finish. Jeremy placed second in the first moto — which wrapped up his national championship — then placed 15th in the second moto for an eighth-place overall finish.

"I was really proud of him and the season he had," Jeremy said of his brother. "His season was night and day better than last year and I'm looking forward to racing against him again next year."

Alex agreed, saying he can build on this season and continue to work toward a top-10 finish next summer.

"I think, considering last year was rough for me, I just needed to get going in the right direction," he said. "I finished eighth in the indoor (supercross) season and 12th in the outdoor, and I was in the top 10 a lot of the season with a lot of top-10s in motos. I can't complain."

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