All kids dream of being world champion in some sport or other, and I was no exception. With the smell of two-stroke, the rasp of revving engines, and the thrills of race day, I spent hours watching my father fettling his bike, warming-up at the track, and hole-shotting starts. Seeing his racing career blossom shaped my future, and when the time came to jump on a bike, I was more than ready. I must have looked a sight, with my oversize AGV helmet, wobbling around the pits on my pee-wee bike.
I have always been competitive, and so in no time at all, I began racing. Riding from four-years-old is the best start anyone can have in motocross racing. With a young, eager mind and a headstrong attitude, I rode harder and faster.
I lived, ate, and breathed motocross, and so did my peers, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Blake Wharton, and many more. I won my first junior world-championship at seven-years-old. Another world championship title followed, along with six junior nationals in my home country of Estonia.
Martin and his father at the Estonian National Championships in the Summer of 1998
My Motocross Career Had Some Bumps On The Road
It is no exaggeration to say I expected to go all the way. My father was one hundred percent behind me; despite having a beat-up, old Kawasaki with no spare bike, I kept winning. All my peers were riding with two or three dirt bikes, but dad and I continuously worked to keep that single green machine going. With finances stretched and very little outside help, we were bootstrapping from race to race.
With wins totting up, my dad went to the USA and hustled with the teams. The news came back that he had found me a team that would give me a ride with two 85cc KTM’s. I was overjoyed. Naturally, I had to go and prove myself, and as I packed, I could see those gleaming bikes in my mind. Racing in the USA and with the proper gear, that is the dream.
I still hear the sound of my collarbone breaking. How many times my father had told me not to set up jumps for my bicycle! “Martin, the only thing you will learn is how hard tarmac is when you hit it”…I should have listened. My flight for the USA may have been waiting, but I had just crash-landed by bicycle into the tarmac.
The break was too complicated to fix well, and the surgeon told me continuing racing would be demanding. I carried on. I felt another world championship in me. Racing with a long-term injury is challenging, motocross is tough enough, right? I battled on, moving up to bigger bikes, and still in the mix at the finish line. There was another world championship there; I felt it with all my heart. By the time I was 16; however, it was apparent that I could no longer ride competitively.
Martin on his 50cc in Estonia, Autumn of 1998
My Passion For Motocross Continues And Has Never Been Stronger
I may not be riding to win anymore, but I still love the sport which dominated my childhood. I still eat, live and breathe motocross. I would be lying if I said giving up racing wasn’t tricky at first. At times it was painful to acknowledge a future with no racing. However, I am a positive person, and so I set about building Motocross Advice.
Over the last few years, I have worked tirelessly, and mainly at my own expense, to build the best Motocross Advice website on the internet. Motocross Advice offers honest reviews, tips and techniques, and video content; we have an exciting new course for beginners to advanced riders. I say we because Motocross Advice is now a team of dedicated reviewers and riders. TeamMA is growing fast.
Motocross Advice provides three main categories of content. Reviews, opinions, and techniques. There is always so much to do! I recently started publishing “The Roost” which is a twice-monthly motocross newsletter. We look at new bikes, exciting products, tips, and tricks and even get into heated debates. Two-stroke V Four-stroke, What is the difference between a trail bike, dirt bike, and a motocross bike are some of our recent discussions. The newsletter is light-hearted, informative, and honest.
The First Ultimate Motocross Rider’s Handbook
I am never one to stand still. Despite my competitive setbacks, I still want to be the best at what I do. 2020 was a challenging year for us all. I used the time to write a series of Motocross Ebooks. The complete dirt bike handbook is an entry-level guide for anyone who is starting out riding. The book covers everything from choosing and buying a bike, to the gear you need, practice drills, and maintenance. We cover up as far as intermediate tips for competition riding.
The future is promising. I am continually looking for new and exciting ways to provide riders with resources. The course is the big focus for 2021, and I am open to ideas and feedback. TeamMA is a community thing. I see it as a growing family of passionate individuals, each looking to improve their skills and advance their riding. The Team has even started looking for guest contributors. It would be great to find a female voice for some of our reviews! We need more female riders opinions on gear, racing and the sport in general. If you are a rider who loves to write, make videos or generally has ideas, TeamMA is always open to hearing from you.
I was super excited to be asked by BTO Sports to share information about my book. We love BTO Sports for its outstanding stock, great prices, and easy to navigate website. If you are reading this, you already know what an incredible resource the BTO Sports site is. We look forward to connecting with you at Motocross Advice soon.
Stay safe, ride hard, and have fun out there!