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Alex Martin- Moving to the 450 Class and His Troll Training Program

Veteran rider Alex Martin discusses his next step in joining the 450 class with FXR/Club MX IAMCOMEBACK Yamaha team for 2022, and his Troll Training Program with John Wessling. He also shares his secret to riding in his 30’s, and how blood testing helps make you a stronger athlete.

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Pit Pass Moto is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson, Chris Bishop, Producer Leah Longbrake and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow.

[00:00:15.230] - Dave Sulecki

Welcome to Pit Pass Moto, the show that keeps you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings the biggest names in motorcycle racing right to you. I'm Dave Suleki. And this week we have as our guest, Alex Martin. We had some big racing in MXGP at Pietra Marata in Tarantino, Italy. I'll tell you in the 450 class MXGP class, it was a Jeff Hurling show. He was on fire this week and wins his 185th GP Moto. So in his long career he's looking strong and he's riding steady and consistent, wants to win the title.



[00:00:48.530] - Dave Sulecki

In Moto one, Jeremy Sewer took the whole shopper hurlings, passed him for the lead and was gone. And in Moto Two was more of the same. But this time it was Romaine Fabra taking the lead, but halfway through Herlings took it home and he's just really looking like the Championship contender we expected him to be and he's riding conservative and safe and not trying to win everything in front of him. So we're really excited in this MXGP class and MX Two racing, it continues to be the Renault Show.

[00:01:18.230] - Dave Sulecki

Tom Vial is getting every whole shot and leading every race and making a small comeback in points, but he still sits a distant third but really Reno with his 92 point lead over his teammate Jago Geerts. It just looks solid all year. So we'll watch the rest of the series unfold and see how things turn out by the end of the season. Exciting race results in Moto GP of Italy at the Masano circuit. We do have a world champion in MotoGP now. Fabio Carterra clinches the title at this race with a 67 point lead over Bagnaya.

[00:01:55.970] - Dave Sulecki

It was disappointing weekend for Bagnaya, who crashed out of the lead, who really would have contented until the end of the series. But here we are, two rounds left and Querro has taken the title. So Congratulations to that young man in his future career. Really a lot of emotions in this race between Bagnaya and Corro congratulating each other after the race. But the big news was Valentino Rossi and his swansong retirement race. He finished 10th on the day, but you couldn't tell. The stands were just filled with high vis yellow and number 46 is flashing because you're in Italy and you're at his final race.

[00:02:33.470] - Dave Sulecki

So it's pretty exciting to watch Rossi leave the track for his last time. And also big news of the day. Mark Marquez takes the win over Pole Esparago. So we had a Honda one two finish. So really one of the greatest events of the weekend. And we look forward to the last couple of rounds. But we do have a world champion, some exciting results from the GNCC final at Ironman Raceway. Really, folks, this one came down to the end. It was a narrow points gap going into the round.

[00:03:04.250] - Dave Sulecki

It was eight points between Ben Kelly and Stuylor, but really the big news were the conditions. It rained an awful lot this last weekend, and I'll tell you what you could tell. It was just a muddy mess. A lot of the lead racers in the XC One class were actually stuck in the Creek crossing at the start of the first part of the race. But by the end of the race, it Shaked out and Thad Duval wins his first race of the year. Good to see him back after all his injuries, followed by Josh Strange.

[00:03:31.910] - Dave Sulecki

But really, the title came down to Ben Kelly winning it. He is your GNCC XC One champion with 304 points over Stew Baylor, who fought back hard. We fought through a lot of injuries this year but didn't bring it home. But we're pretty excited for him. And next year. So we'll watch this series closely this week's. Industry Spotlight Kawasaki brand has announced that the motorcycle segment will be all electric by the year 2035. This is big news for this company, who's really known for a lot more than motorcycles, are actually building ships at the Kawasaki manufacturing facility.

[00:04:19.650] - Dave Sulecki

But in addition to releasing the ten new models in the next four years to set the tone in the industry towards that electric platform, the plan is to roll out these models in developing countries first and then introduce them to the main markets, which are United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan by 2035. So pretty aggressive move by Kawasaki to announce an all EV platform. And I think it's pretty significant because they have yet to release an EV motorcycle or a vehicle. So they've got some work ahead of them.

[00:04:51.570] - Dave Sulecki

But we're pretty excited to see how that develops. This week's moment in Moto history is Yamaha in 2021. Honestly, they're winning every major Championship this year. It's just been unbelievable for the brand. They're actually leading some of the series that haven't finished this year, such as World Super Bike and MXGP. All Things Considered. Definitely one of the strongest brands. They've just sealed the MotoGP title with Fabio Cortraro. They have the AMA 450 Outdoor title with Dylan Fernandez and Moto America Superbike title with Jake Garnier. They won the AMA Flattrack Singles with Dallas Daniels and the AMA 250 Supercross West and east with Justin Cooper and Colt Nichols.

[00:05:55.630] - Dave Sulecki

Yamaha, they've always invested in racing and it shows and it's really exciting to see them succeed, and we're going to watch them closely in 2022. Welcome back to Pit Pass. Moto Alex Martin, pro racer, veteran racer. We want to say now because he's been in the professional ranks for quite a while. Alex, welcome to the show, man. How's it going?

[00:06:25.370] - Speaker 3

Yes, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

[00:06:27.710] - Alex Martin

It's always fun time coming on the pit pass radio show.

[00:06:30.410] - Dave Sulecki

Yeah, we appreciate that. And you've got big news. You've got a new situation to talk about and I'll let you take that and go ahead and fill in the blanks.



[00:06:38.930] - Alex Martin

So after the outdoor season. I was actually on the Pulp show, and I announced that I was going to be doing the 4ft class, definitely wanted to be on Yamaha, but I was kind of just searching for a 4ft right at that point. And Brandon Hoss called me from Club Max and said that they were going to be doing east and west and during the whole season outdoors and basically offered me a four Vidi ride. And obviously with the kind of the crappier that I had and stuff, I basically just jumped on the opportunity.

[00:07:06.710] - Alex Martin

I was like, absolutely, just to have beanie Omaha and have a good quality support that Club Max has. I was all about it so pretty self done, the opportunity to do four or 50 full time next year.

[00:07:17.330] - Dave Sulecki

Yeah, absolutely. And we're excited to see it sold out for you for next year. And it looks like to me that Club MX has really expanded their program. They were originally a 250 program, but now they're moving into the 450s with yourself. And I see they brought Phil Nicoletti on, and they put him on a 250 for next year, which I kind of thought was interesting. Yeah.

[00:07:38.990] - Alex Martin

I think it's hilarious. He's a good friend of mine. If you would have told me when you're in your 30s, you're going to be in a 450 until steps down to 250 class, I would have been like, you're crazy. But I guess stepping back when I turned pro in 2009, I definitely never imagined that I would be a 250 career guy or have spent, like, twelve plus years in the two city class. But I just think with my height and weight and it's easier to there's just more job opportunities really in the 250 class and kind of more or less been a career 250 guy.

[00:08:14.030] - Alex Martin

But now that I'm kind of getting a little bit older, I was like, if I never get an opportunity to do 450 in my career, I feel like I'm going to really regret it when it's all said and done so definitely taking this opportunity to the club very seriously and looking to kick some ass. And I'm excited to be teammates with Phil and all the guys. And like I said, the club next team has come a long way. They have a lot of funding and support from different sponsors.

[00:08:37.490] - Alex Martin

It seems like they're kind of on the up and up and seems to be a good team to be on going into next year. So I'm excited for sure.

[00:08:44.030] - Dave Sulecki

And I think their success last year. I say last year, but this season 2021 was a good indicator because Nicoletti was pretty strong all year. But now for you big change. It's going to the 450, which is quite a bit more horsepower, larger motorcycle. How's that going for you? How much testing have you done? And has that been going well?

[00:09:05.630] - Alex Martin

Yeah, it's good.

[00:09:06.410] - Alex Martin

So I'm enjoying it.

[00:09:07.550] - Alex Martin

I guess I took eight weeks off after unidilla just because I injured my wrist there in the second Moto. So I didn't ride for two months. And when I signed the club deal, I actually rode for a couple of weeks outdoors. And then now I've been on two weeks on Supercross. It's definitely the Yamaha 450. It's a big bike, definitely a lot heavier than the 250. So I think the key thing there is going to be lightning it up and obviously just being smart, you have to respect the 450 and be careful.

[00:09:37.010] - Alex Martin

There's things you can get away with on a 250 or a 450. You're just going to get thrown to the ground. So yeah, just respecting that thing. And I think testing there's going to be some testing days coming up with angel suspension that we have scheduled beginning of November, just making sure the bike is set up and comfortable and that sort of thing. So it should be fun.

[00:09:55.670] - Dave Sulecki

I really got to ask, because has there really been any o shit moments on the 450 for you?

[00:10:02.510] - Alex Martin


[00:10:03.530] - Alex Martin

Almost every day. I feel like I said, you got to respect that thing. And the Supercross track at Club Max is pretty technical so far, so right now they kind of built like it's more of a rhythm track. There's no Supercross triples and no finish line. It's just all rhythms. And then there's one set of whoops. And I was like, first couple of times riding, and I felt like I had no fitness whatsoever. Yeah, it's definitely going to be tricky, but it's good training for sure.

[00:10:30.650] - Dave Sulecki

Yeah, definitely. And yourself, your guy has been pro for, I think, twelve years, if my math is correct. And one of the guys in his 30s who's making a strong goal of it, and no doubt you have the capability we've seen it. A lot of the big pro racers are retiring in their late 20s. I've always looked and seen that 27 is the magic number. So what's the secret to racing in your 30s and what's in your program to get you there?

[00:10:57.890] - Alex Martin

Yeah. No.

[00:10:58.610] - Alex Martin

It's a good point if you think about Ricky and Stewart and those guys, they're all retired around 27, I guess for myself, I figured by the time I got the 30, I'd be done here. I am going to be 32 this week, and I'm still going strong. And so I've been riding a little bit with Justin Braden. He's been at Club Max for quite a long time now, living in Charlotte, and I think there's a lot of factors that kind of attributed to that longevity with just the balance and the family life.

[00:11:29.330] - Alex Martin

A lot of racers are married now. That wasn't the case, like 1015 years ago. I think on the training side, just like there's technology and things coming up that helps racers with recovery and being a little bit smarter about that and not necessarily knowing when to back it down and when to train hard is key. And I think the testing and the bikes have gotten safer as well and just better in general. But I think there's a lot of things that kind of attribute to, and I don't think it's just like me or Justin Bright, and there's a lot of people that are racing later and later into their 30s.

[00:12:04.020] - Alex Martin

I think it's cool to see you see people like Tom Brady playing football, like he's 42 or whatever. I think it's cool from a brand perspective to keeping the same number. And these guys, like racing longer, near career. I think it's good for the fans and it's good for the racers obviously, too.

[00:12:21.110] - Dave Sulecki

Yes, I would agree with that. I mean, that brings brand recognition for your number 26 out there, and people see that they see the longevity and they become associated to it. Now I know you've got a strong training program with the troll training program with John Wessling kind of talk about his program and what he's done for you. As far as contributing to that longevity.

[00:12:41.810] - Alex Martin

John has been a huge part of my program for about four years now. He actually trained my brother. He was a Geico trainer for quite a few years and trained my brother. And then after basically, he hopped on board about four years ago with me. And it's cool because he's worked with me long enough now to where he knows my strengths and weaknesses and kind of when to push me, when to tell me to chill out and relax. I think a lot of high level athletes usually it's more about, like telling us to chill out than to do the extra mile.

[00:13:12.830] - Alex Martin

It's cool. And last year we started this troll training thing and that's kind of taken off, and it's been really fun, too. We're just working with there's a lot of things that John and I have learned these last 1015 years of kind of being at the top level of our sport, nutrition, training, all that on and off the bike and being able to kind of have a platform to give to the general public, the vets and the amateurs just for training. I know there's a lot of stuff that I always questioned when I was racing growing up, and now I feel like it's kind of settled my mind a little bit.

[00:13:45.410] - Alex Martin

The more knowledge I've gained. It's kind of cool to have a platform to give that to the average consumer. So that's been fun. And yeah, just for my own personal career, John has been huge.

[00:13:57.110] - Alex Martin


[00:13:58.910] - Alex Martin

Being that I'm going to be going up to the 450 class next year, putting on a little bit of weight, a little bit of upper body mass, like being a 250 career guy. I was always focused on being lighter because it was a power to weight ratio things in the 250 class, whereas a 450, it's a big bike and a lot of horsepower, and you don't necessarily have to worry about the weight so much. So bulking up a little bit so that I have the strength is going to be key for next year.

[00:14:22.550] - Alex Martin

And then being that I'm on Colemax. Also, when I'm up there, I'm training with Brandon and those guys and they're doing a lot of the riding program for me. So I'm excited about the program I have for next year and looking forward to it.

[00:14:36.830] - Dave Sulecki

Yeah, for sure. And it's a strong program because you're definitely one of the strongest riders we've seen. And one of the interesting things I saw on the Troll training site is blood testing as a way to identify, let's say, maybe deficiencies in your blood system to help tweak your program and make you stronger. Talk about that and how that's helped you as far as becoming a stronger, more endurance, reliable athlete. Yeah.

[00:15:03.410] - Alex Martin

So basically, Troll training teams up with the athlete blood test company. For me, that's been something that's been very important in my career for the last six years. I've done blood tests from two to four times a year, just being able to keep tabs on certain markers in my body, whether it's testosterone, thyroid, magnesium, electrolyte levels, red blood, cell health, all that sort of thing. I think it's important, especially if you're a high level athlete and you're asking a lot out of your body, day in and day out, you have to keep tabs on it and make sure you're feeling right.

[00:15:37.910] - Alex Martin

Your nutrition, your diets on par, rest and recovery is on par. And the best way to do that really is through analyzing the data that your blood gives you. So for us, like having a training program to I think it's really important because you don't necessarily know a lot of people's different background, right? With how much the training they did previously, where the nutrition status is at. So like, having kind of a baseline blood test helps us to kind of give them the best program and not maybe a little more rest for some people, a little more strength, because obviously, for us, being in the gym, strength and conditioning is helpful for bumping up testosterone.

[00:16:15.470] - Alex Martin

Where, like, if you're doing too much cardio that can usually deplete testosterone or essentially having more healthy fats in your diet is going to be good for hormone production and, like, testosterone and that sort of thing. So there's a lot of little nuances when it comes to health. And just I guess having a blood test is really important for giving us a better direction for our athletes and for myself personally.

[00:16:38.810] - Dave Sulecki


[00:16:38.930] - Dave Sulecki

And I can imagine for just general health for most people. I think that's a great idea. And it's one of those things that makes me wonder. There was always this rash of pro racers that pushed themselves too hard all season, and we saw Epstein Barr set in to where the point was they were just depleted and they couldn't do what they needed to do. And I just wonder if this is one of those things that would have identified it sooner, I guess.

[00:17:01.550] - Alex Martin


[00:17:02.270] - Alex Martin

It's funny you say that Epstein Bar is definitely something that I think is preventable, and there's plenty of telltale signs it really comes down to, I think, just being ignoring, ignoring what your body needs. And I think there are certain markers within blood tests they kind of can tell you like, okay, back. You need to back it down. Like you're going down a rabbit hole. It's not good to be getting Epsilon Bar when you're associated with, like, it's not a good look. I guess for the trainer, if your athlete does have Epstein Bar, it's definitely something that I think is preventable, but you have to pay attention to your body.



[00:17:35.870] - Dave Sulecki

And I 100% agree. And it just shows the commitment that professional racers have to provide in order to succeed in the sport. And you're one of those guys who's been able to do it. And honestly, Alex, we're very excited for you in 2022 with your new program. Looking forward to seeing you on the starting gate in the 450 class, man. So now is the time you could give a shout out to any new sponsors that came in with your new program that you want to talk about.

[00:18:02.510] - Alex Martin

Yeah, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on.

[00:18:04.490] - Alex Martin

It's always fun to come out here and talk Moto. I'm mostly just really grateful for the clemax guys giving me an opportunity in the 450 class. Like I said earlier, definitely would regret it if I get a chance to get the 450 goals for a full season called Next guys and FXR has really stepped up this year and they're going to be doing obviously gear. And then 60 FXR helmets and Yamaha stepped up big, and I'm a comeback. And ATVs and more. Scott, Jeffrey Holmes, Parley there's a lot of unique sponsors I guess that have contributed to Club Twisted development, Enzo, SMS, so there's a lot of Darnay.

[00:18:44.270] - Alex Martin

There's a lot of cool people involved, and hopefully we can do right by them and give them some good exposure and results next year.

[00:18:50.690] - Dave Sulecki


[00:18:50.990] - Dave Sulecki

And we look forward to it. Thanks again, Alex, for coming on the show.

[00:18:54.110] - Alex Martin


[00:18:54.350] - Alex Martin

Thanks for having me, guys.

[00:18:55.130] - Alex Martin

I appreciate it.

[00:18:58.430] - Dave Sulecki

Upcoming race events. We've got the MXGP of Italy still in Trentino, October 27. That's around 15 of 18. So their season is slowly coming to an end. Motogp of Portugal at the Algarvey International Circuit November 7. That's around 17 or 18. We've got World Superbike of Indonesia, around twelve or 13 coming up November 7. Thank you again to our guests for being with us today. And thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app so you can never miss an episode.

[00:19:53.970] - Dave Sulecki

If you have a moment please rate and review us. We really appreciate it. You're also following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit where you can check out our blog. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson, Chris Bishop, Producer Leah Longbrake and audio engineer Eric Koltnow. I'm Dave Sulecki. See you next week.

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The Team

Dave Sulecki

Dave Sulecki is a 37 year industry veteran, and a lifetime motorcycle rider, racer, builder, restorer, and enthusiast.

Dale Spangler

Dale Spangler is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, former racer, and powersports industry marketing specialist, writer, and content creator.

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