Catching Up with…Preston Masciangelo

By Billy Rainford

It takes a lot to make it to the big leagues in this sport. It’s not just what the rider is capable of doing on the track, no, it takes an entire family’s effort. Brantford, Ontario, racer, #22 Preston Masciangelo and his family are further proof of this.

If you were to attend a major amateur national anywhere across North America, you’d likely find them all working together to achieve the goal of making it to the top of the sport.

They were at one of the final Loretta Lynn’s Area Qualifiers in Michigan over the weekend, so we wanted to grab the young hotshot for a chat…while we could!

We caught up with one of the busiest young racers in the country, Preston Masciangelo, to see how he’s been doing and what he has planned for the future | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Preston. You looked really fast this past weekend at the LLAQ in Michigan. Let’s go back a bit first. Can you tell us what the highlight of your 2016 season was?

Preston Masciangelo: Well, I think it would have been winning the 65 championship at Junior Moto X, a championship at the Baja Brawl, holding on to a top ten at Loretta Lynn’s and of course, signing with Suzuki Motors USA.

What classes did you race last season?

65cc (7-9), 65cc (7-11), 85cc (9-11) Mini O’s only, 85cc (9-12) Mini O’s only.What were the big races you attended?

I had the opportunity to go to a bunch of great events last year! But a few of the big ones were: Cincinnati AX, Oak Hill national, Freestone nationals, LL regionals, Junior Moto X, Loretta Lynn’s, Walton TransCan, Baja Brawl, Ponca City MX championship, and Mini O’s.What is your favourite track?

I have lots but my favourites are Red Bud and Gopher Dunes.

Preston’s ultimate goal is to be one of the racers lined up at A1, someday | Bigwave photo

What did you get up to this past winter?

I actually had a bit of an off winter season, some things didn’t work out with our schedules so we didn’t get to do much until we left for Daytona in March. I did a few days at GPF before Spring Nationals. I did get a chance to do one AX and a few days at Ram Jam in Ohio.

So, now you’re getting ready for Loretta Lynn’s. This past weekend was a LLAQ and you looked good. You cleaned up in the younger class. How did that go for you? What were you working on?

This year has been challenging so far. I’ve given up the 65 class and am focusing on the 85’s. There are some really great kids up in the 85 classes, so area qualifiers have not been easy. However, I’m learning a lot and getting the hang of my Suzuki RM85. It’s an amazing bike and love riding it!

I’m really just working on getting comfortable in the 85 national classes and set up for a great year in 2018.

Then you were in pretty tough against #411 Nick Romano in your other class. I could tell you REALLY wanted to stay with him and grab the holeshot. Can you take us through your battle with him?

Yes, I tried so hard to grab that holeshot and stay with him as best I could. I have raced Nick a few times in the past and been close, but he’s an amazing rider and tough competition. Staying with him for a whole moto is a challenge, at this point.

Preston was in tough against New Yorker, #411 Nick Romano, at last weekend’s LLAQ, but he gave it his all to grab a holeshot and stay with the Loretta’s champion hopeful | Bigwave photo

You went 2-1 in that class because Nick went down hard in the final moto. Did you know he went down? Do you know how he’s doing?

Yes, as I came over the tunnel jump, I saw him hit a kicker in the rollers and go down. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Nick after the moto, but he’s pretty tough. I’m sure he’s fine.

Will he be your toughest competition at Loretta’s in that class?

Yes, for the 9-11 class he’s looking like the one to beat.

Who’s your competition in the other class? You looked pretty dominant in Michigan!

The 9-12 is stacked this year.. some of the best are in there. It’s pretty cool to race that class with such a great line up. But I’d say Jett Reynolds, Matt LeBlanc, Hunter Yoder, Chance Hymus, and Caden Braswell are just a few of the beasts in the class.

What’s your next race?

Regional championships.

Preston’s favourite subject in school? Science | Bigwave photo

Will you race some Walton TransCan qualifiers? Do you plan on racing Walton?

Unfortunately, we had to miss the Gopher’s ANQ and a few others got rescheduled, so I’m hoping to catch one of those. We’ll definitely be at the TransCan.

What classes will you run?
85cc (7-11) and Supermini.

You’ve got some really solid support for your racing now. Is your goal to one day make it to full-time Supercross racing in the USA?

Yes, that’s the goal, at this point. I think it’s a dream that we all share, to one day be on the gate at A1. Hopefully, with the help of Suzuki Factory Racing and Cernics Racing we can make that happen.

Who is your favourite rider and why?

Ken Roczen, because he came from another country to the USA and became on of the most dominant riders in the AMA.

Do you have a favourite Canadian rider?

Colton Facciotti and Cole Thompson for both their achievements in Canada and the USA.

What other sports do you enjoy?

Basketball, track and field, and soccer.

What’s your favourite subject at school?

Science, for sure!

Preston will race 85 (7-11) and Supermini at the Walton TransCan this year | Bigwave photo

You had planned on going to the Lucas Oil Indoor Junior Moto X event in Oklahoma but didn’t end up going. Can you tell us what happened?

Sure, the weekend before Junior Moto X I was racing in Illinois at a Loretta’s qualifier. I had a 3rd overall on Saturday, but on Sunday in moto 1 I got last gate pick, a terrible start, and found myself buried in the pack. Trying to make my way through to the front, I cross-rutted and had a pretty big crash – burned/hurt my left arm. We thought it was broken, so we decided not to go to Oklahoma because we didn’t have the X-rays back in time. Turns out it was just sprained and felt good enough by the weekend to head to Baja.

So, you’re 100% now?

Still some burns to heal, but I’m good.

Well, best of luck this summer. Thanks for chatting with us today. Who would you like to thank?

No problem, anytime! I would like to thank Suzuki/Ecstar Factory Racing,, Cernic’s, Pro Circuit, PR2, Atlas brace, Marin bikes, 100 %, Pod knee braces, Forma boots, Matrix concepts, Defiance Lifestyle, The Moving Box, 6d helmets, Good to Go Tire, Dunlop USA, Tama Farm Grown Solutions, Mika Metals, MD Distribution, Hinson clutches, Nihilo Concepts, Pro X Parts, Sports Live decals, N Style, Thor, and Acerbis.