A number of industry experts speak out on Jay Marmont's progress at Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Four-time motocross champion Jay Marmont made the highly publicised switch from the CDR Yamaha team to Monster Energy Kawasaki for the 2012 season. However the marriage hasn’t worked out as either party would’ve liked as Jay battled a knee injury and a reinvigorated MX1 field that smelt blood in the water and went for the kill.
Now seventh in the points, and his title defence is over for 2012, MotoOnline called up a selection of the industry characters to get their take on Jay’s reign, his 2012 result, and whether they believe he’ll return to the top of the rostrum.
Troy Carroll – Monster Energy Kawasaki team manager
I spent a few years racing against Jay and he’s one of the toughest competitors I’ve had to line up against. When he gets that look in his eye you know he’ll do everything in his power to win, and that’s why he won so many titles and will continue to do so.
He’s had a rough patch this year, getting used to a new bike and injury. Along with his knee injury he also experienced a lot of arm-pump when he arrived at Monster Kawasaki. That’s not uncommon, as the added pressure of wanting to succeed on a bike you haven’t spent as much time on can tighten you up. However, he underwent forearm operations during the mid-season break and he ended up getting a golden staph infection. What should’ve been a two-week recovery blew out to five weeks, and that was the reason he missed Hervey Bay.
2012 has been hard on our team – Jay was the number one guy, but we’ve had a lot of bad luck this year. A lot of people are pointing the finger at us, but we’re working hard to make him happy and when the supercross series rolls around Jay will be the man to beat. He still to plenty of fight left in him and he didn’t come here to get second. This is a new chapter in his career and he wants to prove to himself, as well as everyone else, that he still has what it takes to win.
Damien Ashenhurst – Dirt Action Magazine editor
Up until now Jay has been one of the most impressive champions Australia has seen. He’s been really good for the sport, as he’s always been accessible and great with both the media and fans. I don’t think we’ve had a champion like him during his reign. I believe he is one of the greats, not just for the number of wins but for the way he carries himself.
No-one could be more disappointed with how 2012 has panned out than Jay himself. As well as switching teams he’s battled a knee injury, which proved to be enough to end his run at the top of the tree. Injuries are a part of life for motocross racers, but you should never count Jay out: his run hasn’t ended and he’s got plenty more titles left in him. People have a short memory and I have to laugh when I hear them say he’s past it. When everything comes together for him again, he’ll be running at the front. The guy has a phenomenal will to win and to be the best.
Craig Dack – CDR Yamaha team manager
Jay and I spent four of the best years of our professional careers together. There were so many highs and lows, but one that really sticks out to me was having to share his pain and grief when his baby daughter Lila passed away. That weekend was the Canberra round of the Super X and he came out and won the night at a time we didn’t even think he could ride. To see his character and determination was inspiring.
We’ll forever be close friends, but on a professional level Jay demanded a lot of the team and we had to work our butts off to meet his needs. But then he gave it back to us on the track – that’s what made us so strong and successful.
Now I think of him as a mate, and I’m disappointed to see his turn of results this year. However, after four years with only minor injuries it was only a matter of time before he sustained a more serious one like his knee this year. That’s just the reality of our sport.
I’m not one to have a huge opinion on his future and if he can return to his past form. I know he’s capable with the right professional support around him, but I don’t know how his new team operates – it’s yet to be seen if they can help carry him back to the top.
Kevin Williams – Monster Energy MX Nationals promoter
Anyone who thinks Jay’s on his way out, or that his reign coming to an end has blinkers on. In all the years I’ve been dealing with motocross, Jay has to rate as one of the toughest guys to ever grace the pits. One year, one bad season with injuries doesn’t spell the end of a champion of Jay Marmont’s caliber.
His championship total isn’t done yet and he’ll return to the top step again. As a domestic competitor, regardless of what happens, he’ll always be in the history books as one of the best racers Australia has produced. One supercross and four motocross titles is a record that is going to take a lot to beat.
Mick Sinclair – Fox and Oakley marketing
Jay had a very good run at CDR and had a great relationship with Craig Dack. He went to Kawasaki knowing a season like this could happen, but he needed a change of scenery. I don’t think his performance this season is a big surprise to him, but it is to everyone else. He told me ‘if I go to Kawasaki and it doesn’t work out, I can always look at something else’, so who knows where he’ll end up next year.
He won’t be regretting his decision at all, he left CDR on great terms, but he’s had bad luck with injuries in 2012, which has definitely affected his results this year. Everything comes to an end eventually though, and I think the CDR Yamaha team will build around Coppins and Bopping and swing the momentum back their way as this championship enters its final legs.