Modern-day hero of Australian motocross speaks about hanging up the helmet.
The announcement from Jay Marmont that he’s retiring at the close of this season came as no major surprise at Conondale, but the fact that it officially gives fans three times to see him in action one final time is great for the sport. The 31-year-old multiple-time Australian champion starred in moto one directly before he confirmed his decision, leading to the halfway point before scoring third behind Matt Moss and Kirk Gibbs. MotoOnline.com.au spoke to him post-race about his news and the future. For more regarding Marmont’s career highlights and memories, make sure you watch our film below.
First of all, congratulations on announcing your retirement after such a decorated career. How did it feel to actually announce it at Conondale?
It felt good. It was a massive weight off my shoulders after I announced it. I’ve been looking for a right and wrong answer for the last couple of years now and retiring is not something I wanted to do. I had troubles coming to terms with making the announcement, but this year we have definitely confirmed that with CDR Yamaha. Dacka has mentored me through the decision to get me to announce it at the right time, which was a big part of me doing it at Conondale. It just seemed to be the right time to do it. It felt good, and went well.
It’s been a difficult couple of seasons for you. This year hasn’t been a great season for you in terms of outright results, but personally for you does it sort of help you announce your retirement on your terms considering you got that chance to be back in the environment of CDR for one more final season?
I guess the pressure of not knowing what the future holds, as well as I was not sure if I wanted to retire or keep racing, weighed on me a lot. So making my announcement on the weekend just confirmed this is my last year of racing professionally and it takes the pressure off my shoulders to know this is my last year. Whatever happens next year and years to come, things will just fall into place. It just makes things a lot more clearer for me, which was putting a lot of doubt in my mind before I made the announcement that I was going to retire. There was a lot going on in my head and I could never find the answer, so I was looking for the wrongs and the rights too much. As confusing as that may sound, it was jumbling up my head way too much. Now that I have made the announcement, it just makes me want to knuckle down for the rest of the year and enjoy my days out racing with CDR, which was the team I probably had most of my fun on throughout my whole career. It gives myself the time to go out there racing with that team with the people who have been there for me along the way. It should be fun!
Conondale is not a local round for you, but directly after your announcement there were a lot of kids and people coming up to you and acknowledging the career you have had. That must have been a pretty special feeling for you as well…
You know, I hurt my wrist in practice pretty bad. I over jumped the big leap and I jarred it pretty bad. I went to RACESAFE and they pretty much numbed me up full of needles and pain killers. I wasn’t going to race, but I knew I owed it to myself and I’m glad I did! I holeshotted moto one and just felt like everyone was behind me and the crowd was cheering for me. It was such a warm feeling even though I was in a lot of pain. Even though I didn’t win, I put everything into that race and to be leading a bit over halfway and drift back to third with a lap to go was a pretty cool feeling. So I was definitely glad it all happened at Conondale. To me it is a special place and it will go down in my record book as a special place that I have to keep going back and making sure I’m there every year. It’s pretty close to my heart.
I guess that result in moto one, you sort of surprised a lot of people, including your competitors. I know a few of them were like, ‘wow, is that Marmont right up the front again and leading?’. The crowd were really excited, the commentators were behind you – it was just a really cool deal. Was that an inspired ride because the announcement was coming? Where did that performance come from?
I don’t really know. I just felt like I owed it to myself to do well there. I was really determined and I guess I have been missing that spark a lot through the last year or so in motocross. Motocross takes a lot of grit and confidence. I haven’t had it. To be honest I holeshotted there and I have to think back to 2012 when I holeshotted on the Kawasaki and was not able to pull through the good result because I busted my knee and preparation was down and it was very similar. I just sat there on the line and I knew I had the sore wrist and I knew I had the announcement coming up and I thought ‘I can’t go out like this’. I have been a fighter my whole life, so I wanted to at least try and get the holeshot and sprint off for a few laps. That’s what I did, I got the holeshot, put my ears back and sprinted off as hard as I could. It wasn’t to be for the victory, but I really put in as much as I could in the race to lead as many laps as I could. I do know how to ride a motorbike, I have been racing for a lot of years and when I look back I had the quickest times in the race and was leading more than half the race, but didn’t pull through with the end result. I felt good while I was up there.
What about in terms of what’s next; do you have any real indication of what you would like to do come 2015?
I sit back and I think of America a lot… I really like the way Ricky Carmichael conducts himself after racing. He gives back to the sport in the right way. His off-road academy schools and also being an ambassador for the sport/team manager, he basically makes the sport better. I think that would be a good role for me. I have been around the sport for a long time now as probably one of the youngest riders who have been on both sides of the fence coming off the track and stepping into that role in life. I think I can bring a lot of experience, so who knows, hopefully a few doors will open after the end of this year and I can help out as many people as I can. Hopefully I can find that same fuel that fired me to win all my championships in Australia.