Defeated but not defeatist.
Defeated but not defeatist.
You just knew it was gonna happen. It was too good to be true. With the 450 title wrapped up early, all the excitement was left to the 250 series and it had delivered unrelenting unpredictability for 22 moto’s. Well there was one aspect that had been pretty consistent up to Ironman MX, Jeremy Martin and Marvin Musquin had been the class of the class from one round to the next despite Jeremy Martin starting himself out of a hole on multiple occasions.
As you certainly read last week, Jeremy had passed 71 guys up until Ironman MX and Marvin had lost 4 positions leading into Ironman. You could glean two introspections from this stat, firstly Jeremy Martin really needs to double-down on his start technique execution and he suffers none of the years old criticisms of failure to make passes quickly like his Minnesotan brethren, Ryan Dungey.
Judging from Martin’s ability to make things happen despite his terrible starting positions, I was leaning toward Jeremy as the favorite to come out on top in this dogfight. It really says a lot about Jeremy’s ability to move forward when Marvin is a perennial good starter yet you know Jeremy is just going to make his way forward and usually have Marvin in his sights by moto’s end.
As Moto one began, the stage was set for that head to head battle we drew up on the dry-erase board of the super-Fan conference room. Well that lasted about 2.5 minutes when suddenly Marvin was out of frame and unaccounted for. Moments later he was pushing his bike and obviously disheveled. It was the second worst way we could imagine this season long battle coming to an end, the absolute worst would be a catastrophic crash with serious injury.
With Marvin winning the 250 SX title in his final year in the class, it would have been such a great Cinderella-story for Marvin to snatch the 250MX title in his farewell ride as well. It just wasn’t to be though. There’s no competitor out there who balances honest to goodness “good guy-ness” with a ferocious fire in his belly to win at all costs, than Marvin Musquin. His laid back, casual demeanor flies in the face of all that we have come to know as the racer’s edgy public persona. In this sport where we see plenty of posturing and mean-muggin’, Marvin smiles and lets his skills between the gate drop and checkered flag do all his intimidating.
Looking back at the 250 series as a whole, Jeremy Martin has backed up his 2014 title in impressive fashion and he is absolutely deserving of the rewards but we as fans really cashed in the most. We not only enjoyed a season-long battle of wills between the quiet warrior and the charismatic World Champion French transplant; we saw the absolute pinnacle of sportsmanship displayed by Marvin as his series-long campaign to bid adieu to the 250 class with a title ended with him bitterly pushing his KTM back to the truck. Chin held high and though disappointed and technically defeated, not the slightest bit emotionally or mentally defeated.
Although Jeremy took home the hardware, Marvin finished the series with as much grace and candor as any Champion I’ve ever seen.