Rider Spotlight: Mikey Martin
NEWS February 2, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
AMAPro: So where are you from?
MM: I’m from Lodi, California. Born and raised, It’s about a half hour south of Sacramento.
AMAPro: What was your first motorcycle?
MM: My first motorcycle was a Yamaha PW50. I got it on my fifth birthday. I couldn’t reach the ground for about a year, which is when I started racing.
AMAPro: How did you get into motorcycle racing?
MM: My grandfather owned Martin’s Cycles in Fairfield, CA and was a Triumph distributor. On top of selling Triumphs, he also sponsored some great racers Like Frank Gillespie and Ralph Waldman . He is the one who kind of got me started in it, and I’ve stuck to it since.
AMAPro: Next year, you’ll be riding a Triumph for Factory Triumph Bonneville Performance…
MM: Exactly! I will have the honor of riding for Factory Triumph. Triumph has not been involved in Flat Track in over 38 years. This is a pretty big deal to me. My grandpa passed away a few years ago, I really wish he was here to see me ride! The Bonneville Performance Team came to me to have me ride for them, and I can’t thank them enough. We have a fantastic team and I get along with everyone great.
AMAPro: What can you tell us about riding the Triumph?
MM: I rode it in Savannah, Georgia, both during a test and race. It was my first time racing the twin. I haven’t had much time on a big bike. The Triumph is completely different from riding a 450 Pro Singles bike. It felt really good, and I think I’ll be able to get some great finishes in the upcoming season.
AMAPro: Can you compare riding a twin to a pro singles bike?
MM: The power and weight are the biggest difference. The chassis is totally different too.. On a Pro Singles bike, you sit on top of the bike, whereas with a twins bike, you sit further down in the frame. I haven’t ridden many framers, but I like it and think I can catch on quickly. I really enjoy riding it.
AMAPro: You’re going on your third year in AMA Pro Flat Track… How did you get started in Flat Track.
MM: There’s a racetrack here called Lodi Cycle Bowl, and I grew up racing and riding there since I was six years old, I call it my home track. On top of it being a fun track, I learned a lot of my riding skills there. Plus, two of my favorite racers, Chris Carr and Kenny Roberts call Lodi there home track as well.
AMAPro: Out of all the motorcycles you’ve ridden, which one is your favorite?
MM: The Triumph is my favorite bike. We learned a lot at Savanna and have made some changes over the winter, I am excited to get back on the bike sometime in late February for further testing
AMAPro: What’s your favorite racetrack?
MM: Hagerstown, MD is my favorite racetrack. I’ve always liked it. I hope to do really well on the Triumph there. I met a couple fans there, and they wanted to see me on a big bike.
AMAPro: What draws you to the sport? The thrill, competition or the speed?
MM: It’s something I love and have been doing my whole life. You can’t get any better than going 100 plus mph on a mile track, with 17 other racers that you trust only inches away from you. it’s something I’m never going to give up.
AMAPro: What’s a typical day like for you?
MM: Lately my whole day has been consumed with preparation for Daytona. A typical day would include working on the bikes, ordering parts, talking with sponsors and trying to get some training in.
AMAPro: What are your expectations going into next year with Bonneville Performance Team?
MM: My goals are to finish top 10 in the championship. I know it’s going to be tough, but I know I can do it, and it’s a goal that I have to stick to. I’m excited to see what I can do. Making every main event and winning the “Rookie of the Year” are two of my ultimate goals.
AMAPro: Who's your racing hero?
MM: My all-time favorite racing hero would be Scotty Parker. I’ve never seen him race, but have seen videos, researched him and would have to say he’s my favorite. I feel that there are some heroes in our current class too. They’re some impressive riders.
Watch Mikey claim his first AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Championship at Pomona (compliments of The Fast and Dirty). http://vimeo.com/30961786.
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