Difficulties in the opening race cost JGRMX rider shot at the overall.
A tough opening moto cost JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki’s Alex Martin a chance of winning the 250MX overall at Loretta Lynn’s 2, falling on multiple occasions before rebounding to dominate the second encounter for the RM-Z250’s first moto win in a decade.
Martin had led on lap one of the first race before going down, then worked his way forward from well outside of the top 20 to fifth before another mishap – falling and getting caught in the mud – ended his hopes of a strong result.
In the end, Martin went 7-1 for third overall, just three points from the top step of the podium after claiming Suzuki’s first 250 Class moto win in over a decade when Ryan Dungey took the 2009 title. It was a remarkable result after leading every lap of moto two and winning by over a full minute.
“To be honest, it’s a little bittersweet, I guess, with the first moto,” Martin reflected. “I literally was in first right away there. Right after the Ten Commandments, I think I got around [Shane] McElrath, then I just kind of came into that corner sliding, sliding and I hooked up on the dozer berm and I almost looped out. My hand blew off the ‘bar and I tipped over. I was like, you got to be kidding me.
“I’ve literally crashed every moto at Loretta’s so far. The first Loretta’s, I went 5-5, but speed-wise, I was much better than that… That was a little frustrating. So, it was nice to get the holeshot, but then I crashed three more times. I think the nail in the coffin – they might have showed it on TV – but I tried to take a different line in the mechanics area and I just tipped over, but my bike was stuck in the mud.
“I think my lap-time that lap was like a 4m59s. Once I got going, honestly I can’t believe I got seventh in that first moto – I was on the ground so much. Then second moto, I just came out swinging. I got the holeshot, I didn’t really know that I had that big of a lead, I think I saw the final result and I won by a minute and three seconds. That’s just insane to me and I’m just thankful honestly that I kept it on two wheels.
“That track was absolutely very challenging and treacherous, so it feels really good to get the JGR Suzuki guys up on the podium – they work hard. Honestly, a lot of people say things about the Suzuki, but it’s a good bike. I’d like to think that we proved that today getting it up on the top step of the podium in the moto, definitely getting some much-needed championship points on those guys.”
After brother Jeremy took the overall with Geico Honda, Martin said it could have potentially been a 1-1 for the overall: “It’s hard to say… should have, could have, would have. Ultimately, I crashed three times and my bike was stuck in the mud and I needed help to get it going.
“But I do feel like if I hadn’t tipped over the first time, it could have potentially been a 1-1 day. Obviously the way the track was, that’s not normal conditions, and I think potentially I could have been in contention for the overall, but that’s on me – I messed up. At least I was able to come out with a moto win in the second moto.”