In a sibling rivalry between two brothers, there can be a symbolic moment when the younger of the two eclipses the older one — even if it’s something as simple as a game of 1-on-1 in the driveway.
When that moment arrived for motocross riders Alex Martin, 26, and his younger brother Jeremy, 23, the elder Martin admits he wasn’t ready.
“Growing up I was always faster and stronger. Then it was about three years ago when the roles kind of reversed, and he was faster than me,” Alex Martin said. “He caught me off-guard. And that was a tough transition for me, when you’re always the faster, stronger one and then suddenly your little brother starts beating you.”
Jeremy Martin dominated to the point that he won the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 Class championship in both 2014 and 2015.
This year, though, Alex Martin has started to catch up. He won his first 250 Class race earlier this year, an event in which he and Jeremy finished 1-2. Both brothers are in the top five overall in the class this year, separated by just a few points as they head into this weekend’s La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National in Millville, Minn. — located about 85 miles southeast of the Twin Cities.
It’s an event near and dear to both of their hearts. Their parents, John and Greta, own the track and they both grew up racing there virtually every day.
“I started riding when I was 4,” Alex Martin said. “My parents bought Spring Creek in 1988, and I was born in 1989. So from the time I was born, I had the track out my back door. It was kind of hard not to get involved in motocross.”
Of course, so did Jeremy Martin. It led to intertwining careers and lives for the brothers.
“It’s an ever-evolving relationship. But we do a lot of training together and spend a lot of time together,” Alex Martin said. “We book all our flights together so we’re traveling and always around each other.”
This weekend, though, they’ll both be home. They should have a fair share of the spotlight, particularly considering that Belle Plaine’s Ryan Dungey — a series star who on Wednesday won an ESPY award as the Best Male Action Sports Athlete — is out indefinitely after suffering a cracked vertebrae in a race earlier this season.
“In a sense it’s the same as every other race, and it’s easy to get distracted by all the other people who want to come and see it,” Alex Martin said. “But it’s fun to come back and see friends and family.”