During a media event today at Honda’s private test track, American Honda announced that GEICO Honda rider Jeremy Martin will compete in the 450SX class aboard a CRF450R at the first three rounds of the 2018 AMA Supercross series. The arrangement is an example of the opportunities allowed by the close working relationship between Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda.
While competing in last year’s 250SX West Region Championship, Martin substituted for the then-injured Ken Roczen in the 450SX class at the Daytona Supercross, finishing an impressive second in the main event. The Minnesota native’s primary focus this season is the 250SX East Region Championship, which he will campaign alongside fellow GEICO Honda riders RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo, but Martin and Honda agreed that it would be beneficial for him to accumulate some racing experience before that series commences on February 17 in Arlington, Texas.
For the first three rounds (Anaheim 1 on January 6, Houston on January 13, and Anaheim 2 on January 20), Martin will race a factory 2018 CRF450R out of the GEICO Honda pit, alongside 250SX West Region riders Christian Craig and Chase Sexton. As usual, Roczen and Cole Seely will pit out of the Team Honda HRC truck.
Jeremy Martin: GEICO Honda
“I’m extremely excited to be lining up on the gate at Anaheim 1 on a factory Honda. I really enjoyed riding in the 450SX class at Daytona last year and having some success with the team, so I’m looking forward to building on that at the first three rounds of supercross. I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity and show what I’m capable of. It will also be a good chance to get some gate drops in before I start the 250SX East Region series in Arlington.”
Erik Kehoe: Manager, Team Honda HRC
“We’re looking forward to seeing Jeremy on the CRF450R for the first three rounds of the season. He’s a very determined racer, and he did such a good job filling in on a 450 last year that when he asked if he could get his feet wet on the big bike, we were proud to be able to honor that request. GEICO Honda’s program is an extension of Team Honda HRC, and the fact that we work together so closely facilitates taking advantage of opportunities like this.”
Dan Betley: Manager, GEICO Honda
“We’re excited about Jeremy’s potential this year, and based on his performance during the off-season, we expect him to be a contender for the 250SX East Region Championship. He approached us about getting in some races on the 450, and we agreed that competing in a few 450SX rounds would be a good way for him to be as prepared as possible ahead of Arlington, especially considering the chassis similarities between the two bikes.”