Martin Davalos is a survivor. Competing in the 250 class for nearly ten years, he looked to have the East Coast Supercross Championship in the bag for 2014, sitting at the top of the table and favourite for the title he'd worked so long for. But fate had a different idea, and with only two round to go in the series, Davalos had a horrific crash while practicing in California, smashing up the bones and tendons in his right foot, his title disappearing in an instant. Now signed with the Rockstar Husqvarna Factory team to ride in the 250 class again, he's keen to take the championship that he so cruelly missed.

It looks good to be back out on the bike again Martin - last year must have been frustrating for you.

Definitely - it was really really shocking, especially being on the championship hunt and something so freaky happened. It was really traumatic for me because I had been searching for a title for so long. Coming to the Factory Husqvarna team - they've given me the opportunity so that I can win the championship I missed out on. It's been made all the more difficult this year as I ran into another problem getting the Epstein Barr virus, so it's been a struggle for me. But I believe everything happens for a reason - the man upstairs puts us in these situations to overcome them and make you a better person.

So I've dealt with it as it comes, but I think the injury took a lot out of my body - I had two major surgeries, so to try and be prepared and to be as good as I was last year I think that maybe I put too much pressure on my body and that's perhaps why I went down hill. But I'm excited to be back and getting back into shape - I've been sitting on the couch for two months doing nothing, so now it's a question of riding myself into shape. Hopefully I can come back for the last six rounds of the Nationals, get my feet wet again and get ready for next year.

So in your mind this year is done and the focus is getting yourself out there and ready for 2016?

There's nothing I can do right now as regards the Outdoor series as we are already three rounds in and I'm not even near in shape and my speed is not where it should be, so this year will be just about getting back healthy again. Racing the last few will be good as there is no better practice than actually getting out and racing. Hopefully I'll be 100% ready when it comes to the Monster Energy Cup in October, and that will lead into the new Supercross season.

Compared to many in the 250 class you're pretty much the veteran. How many years have you been riding?

Ten years now - I started a little on the late side! I came here from Ecuador, did the amateur scene in the US for two years and then hopped straight into the Supercross series - it was quite a learning process for me so I'm thankful I've always had people around me that believe in me.

Getting the Rockstar Husqvarna ride must have been a great boost, considering they were signing you on the basis of your potential rather than actual results at the time.

Oh yes for sure, it's great that Husqvarna believes I'm capable of representing them well and am capable of winning the championship. And to be honest I proved that last year - I was at 100% and well placed and then the accident happened. I took a lot out me mentally so it's taken time to get my confidence back and believe in myself again, and getting the Epstein Barr has just made that more difficult - I mean I hadn't even heard of it before! I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Is it important to have the rest of the team around you?

I believe having a good connection with your team mates is always a great thing. Even in terms of things like developing the bike - getting feedback from the other riders, what they think, how they set up their bikes compared to you - it just makes the team better and stronger. Of course there will be rivalry when it comes to racing, but off the track we can be friends and use each other to push for the best results we can get. It's all about teamwork.

Just things like coming to the practice track - you can have a chat, do a few little motos with each other, hang out and maybe even mess about a bit. Of course at the moment Zach Osborne, Jason Anderson and Christophe Pourcel are training for the Nationals each week, but they all need that support off the track.

Sitting at home on Saturday's watching them racing just sucks though - I haven't been racing for months now, but I know I have to be careful not to rush to come back - I don't want to take one step forward and three back. Next year is critical for me - I have the title in mind and I want to win it for Husqvarna. I want to retire in a few years and what better way of doing that than to have taken the title for the brand.

Does returning to the 250 class for another year feel like you have unfinished business to attend to?

Definitely - I want it. Obviously this career pays and that's all well and good but it's not about that, this is just for pride. I came from Ecuador with nothing, I came as a nobody to America so to have come from there to where I am now and hopefully retire as a somebody - that's what's important. It's what I want to do and what I want to tell my kids about some day.



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