Roam the pits of any particular national motocross event, and you’re sure to find many competitors in a like-minded scenario. Many are solely dedicated to this genre of racing, and have been within a single train of thought since their initial attraction to the game. However, there’s always an exception, and digging a little deeper, you’ll most certainly spot a rarity. Meet Brian Marty, a young man who doesn’t only possess elite-level speed on a motorcycle, but has the raw talent to help propel his high school’s athletic teams to credible recognition; very admirable. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Brian, to receive his story, and his plans for the rest of his career.
First off, how did you get involved with motocross?
I got involved in motocross from my cousin, Mitchell. I looked up to my cousin like a big brother and I did whatever he did. I went and watched my cousin at a local track when I was 4 years old and once I saw him race I knew that I wanted a dirt bike. I ended up getting my first dirt bike, which was an XR 50, and then started riding around my yard just for fun. I then realized I wanted to race!
How’d your first race go?
There was this local track by my house that my family and I had never heard of until my cousin told us about it. The track was called Mudsingers. When I was 5 years old I went to my first race there. The track was really muddy and poorly prepared but it would draw crowds of people. I rode the 50 class and with the track drawing such a big crowd, the 50 class was a full gate of 40+ riders. I was on the line for my first race and when I was lining up I realized that I was the only kid with an XR 50. Everyone else had either a KTM or a Cobra. The 30-second board was up and my dad told me when the gate in front of me drops, then I go. The gate dropped and I was last into the first corner because I was very underpowered. Since the track was muddy and slippery a lot of the kids couldn't handle the power of their bikes and over half of the class wound up down and stuck in the mud. I ended up passing all of them because I took the safe and conservative route and because my bike only allowed me to go so fast. Due to all the kids falling I ended up finishing 10th out of a full gate. After we got all loaded up, my cousin told me to go get my trophy and I was like "no way we get trophies?!". So I went up to the main tower with my cousin and my mom. It was 10th place so it wasn't very big but I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Any symbolism behind the number 74?
It's my first two number combined together. When I was 4 years old I wanted to be #4 and when I was 7 years old I decided I wanted to be #7 and that number stuck especially the year after when James Stewart changed his number to #7.
You are very unique, in the fact that you have athleticism both on and off the motorcycle; what all sports do you play, and what are some of your accomplishments off the bike, in other sports?
I started playing basketball in 1st grade and started playing football in 3rd grade. My football team from 3rd-8th grade had 8 games a season including the championship game. Through all those years we only lost two games. We were a dominant little team because we just loved to play together. In high school, I continued playing basketball and football until my senior year. After my freshman year of basketball was over my coach offered me a chance to play for this fully sponsored AAU team. It ran from February through July each year so I didn't get much time to ride, but we did collect a couple of championships in Oregon and California. In high school basketball we placed 5th in state my junior year and my current senior year I earned MVP honors, all area first team honors and all state honorable mention first team honors. We placed second in state for football my junior year too. Throughout each year I would play football from August till November, basketball from November till February, AAU basketball from February till July and I had to squeeze in riding between February till school started in September. I'm so happy that I can now dedicate 100% of my time to riding finally.
Do other kids at school know the extent of your racing? How is it juggling a so-called “normal” life for someone your age, and then going to race on the weekends?
All my friends know that I'm very competitive and committed to motocross but I don't think they understand how much work goes in it and the level that I'm at.
It's definitely hard to make plans with friends because I was always gone, so I really relied on my team sports. It's also hard to find time to do homework because when I'm not doing sports or competing in sporting events I am training for them.
You’ve recently had an awesome showing at the Washougal regional; tell us about the weekend and how things went down.
I was heading into the weekend with just two months of training and preparation after being off the bike since May of 2016 because of a shoulder injury and basketball season. So I just told myself to do my best and whatever happens happens.
On Saturday I went 1-1 for 1st overall in the 250 b stock class and 3-7 for 5th place overall in 450 b stock. I rode my 250 in both classes and that probably didn't benefit me too much in the 450 class. There are always consequences when you show up to a regional with only two months of training and preparation. Halfway through the day on Saturday I had terrible blisters on both of my hands. I had to ride with lots of tape and bandages for the second half of the day. I got one ticket on Saturday for 250 stock.
I woke up Sunday morning with hands throbbing and bleeding from blisters. I rode practice and my hands would consistently hurt and lose the handle of the grips. My parents told me to do the best I can and I agreed with them. I was on the line for 250 b mod and my adrenaline started to kick in. I got an 8th place start and worked my way up to 2nd by the end of the 1st lap. I was trying to pass the leader and my hands slipped off the grip and I made a mistake which resulted in me getting passed and I dropped back to 3rd. When I made the mistake I started to think about my hands more and more and the pain started to come back. I came in contact with a rider and I was the one that got the short end of the stick. I ended up finishing 11th. I came off the track and my blisters were bleeding through my gloves. A few motos later, I lined for 450 b mod and my adrenaline kicked in once again. I got a 5th place start on my 250 and worked my way up to second and was all by myself. With 2 laps to go my bike stalled and took about 10 kicks to start. When I got it started I was 10th place. I ended up finishing 7th place. I ended up racing the second 450 b Moto and my hands just couldn't handle anymore. I was also getting very sketchy so I decided to play it safe and just heal up for Hangtown the following weekend.
How are you feeling coming into Loretta’s this year?
I feel pretty confident because I'll finally have a summer completely dedicated to just training and riding and that's something I've never had the chance to do.
What type of training do you do off the bike? The athleticism has to carry over to some extent, but the training regimens are different.
Basketball really carried my cardio over to motocross and I do personal training for strength and cardio in Tumwater at Wimberley training. When I'm not playing basketball or doing personal training, I do strength training at home and go running on my own to keep my cardio up. I'm also keeping track of my nutrition so that I lose weight because I bulked up a lot for basketball and got up to 195 pounds. I have been on my diet and exercise plan for the 2 months I have been riding and since then I'm down to 175 pounds.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Job? College? Pro Career?
I'm going to go to Washington State University online starting this September, so I can continue my motocross career. In 5 years I expect to have my bachelors degree in business and to be racing Supercross and the outdoor nationals.
Where do you do the majority of your practicing throughout the year?
Washougal, horn rapids, pretty much wherever the weather is nice in Washington. If the weather is bad everywhere in Washington then I'll make a trip down to California once a year to go practice.
Did you look up to any professionals while growing up?
I looked up to Ryan Villopoto a lot because for one he's from Washington and because I loved his determination and competitiveness and I believe I'm the same way. James Stewart because he is the fastest racer on the planet, and just gnarly on a dirt bike. Ryan Dungey as well because of his humbleness and his consistency. I thought Ryan Dungey represented the exact way a motocross racer should be.
What do you do to get away from the stress of racing? What do you like to do in your down time?
I play fantasy football with all my friends, play basketball, watch sports on tv, read a book or play clash of clans on my phone.
Any sponsor’s you’d like to thank?
My mom, dad, sister Kristine, Chris Howell, and my best friend Sebastian Lave. Also I would like to thank EVO suspension, Motorsport.com, South Sound Honda, Wimberly training, Fusion graphix, JMC Motorsports, and Chrishowellracing
DAILY BREAD BY / LOGAN MATTINGLY
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