Catching Up with…Tyler Medaglia
By Billy Rainford
I pulled this one out of this week’s Frid’Eh Update #5 in case it got overlooked.
It’s Week #5 here at the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by the Toronto Supercross. If you either made it out to any of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals last year, you know just how tight the racing was in the MX1 class up near the front. Tyler Medaglia finished 5th in the series and was the rider who was always there to capitalize if any of the other top 4 riders faltered.
He started the season off with a 3rd place podium finish at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC with 4-2 motos behind eventual champion #101 Matt Goerke and past champion #123 Brett Metcalfe. With #1 Colton Facciotti and #148 Cole Thompson finishing 4th and 5th at the season opener, everyone knew this was setting up to be one of the best seasons ever in Canadian moto. It didn’t disappoint.
3-5-7-5-3-5-5-4-5-5 = 438 points (-89)
Keep in mind, #761 Cade Clason and #7 Bobby Kiniry tied for 6th behind Tyler and were 189 points behind! The top 5 put on an amazing show in 2015.
Tyler also proved in 2015 that he has the skill and speed to compete at the highest level in offroad racing. He tested himself in a few rounds of the Amsoil GNCC series. He also raced the final round of the AMA Outdoor schedule at Ironman in Indiana–he’s not one to sit idle for long.
We got in touch with the Brookfield, Nova Scotia, rider to get his thoughts on all of these things and find out what the future holds for the likable rider originally from Kemptville, Ontario (near Ottawa).
Direct Motocross: Hello, Tyler. You finished 2015 with the #5 in what looked like the most competitive season we’ve ever seen in Canada. You grabbed 3rd at round 1. How did you feel after that and did you realize just how competitive last summer was going to be?
Tyler Medaglia: I felt really good about that ride. Second in moto 2 and leading a bunch of laps at the opener is always a plus. I knew going in it was going to be very deep class so it was important for me to come out swinging.
You got on the podium twice. I know you’re not happy not challenging for wins. Can you describe how your season went?
Even without being on the podium as much as normal, I was still happy with my season. It was new program for me with Husqvarna so we had a bunch of things to learn but had zero DNF’s, led laps, and had a lot of holeshots. Also, I used one suspension setting all season at every different track, so I think there were some areas where there could have been improvements. Safe and happy overall and I can’t really complain.
What was your best or favourite race of the Canadian season?
I think River Glade was my favourite. To put in a great ride in front of my friends and family after sucking there the previous year was good redemption. I also passed Metty (Brett Metcalfe) there and if you look at all the laps from the season he only got passed 2 other times, and both were by (Matt) Georke at Gopher.
All 5 of the top riders will be back again in 2016. Will you do anything differently to battle for wins? What do you think it will take?
I think this year coming in my bike will be better switching to the 350. I’ll be able to ride faster longer and from the time I’ve recently spent on it I’m pretty pumped on my decision. Every year it’s tough competition so you have to make changes to give yourself a chance at doing better.
You also raced a handful of GNCCs. Is that where you see yourself after moto? Are those races fun?
Well, it’s a lot more physically demanding, so after moto doing something harder seems kinda strange? But, I’m going to do some more this season again and try to better my 5th place finish.
So, you’re saying it’s even tougher! What would you say is the biggest difference between moto and GNCC-style racing?
Well, at the top end of the XC1 class it’s close to moto pace as far as effort goes, only it’s for 3 hours. So, go out and do 6 30-minute motos back to back and see how it feels (Laughs).
You also raced the final AMA outdoor round in Indiana. Can you describe that day for us? Were you happy with the results?
I was happy with qualifying 5th and coming through the pack in moto 2 to 13th. I think moto 1 could have gone a bit better but that sort of racing takes some time to adapt to; it’s hard just jumping in and pinning it with the fastest guys.
A lot of people seem to forget that you had a great season of Arenacross a few years back. Who were you riding for and how did that series go for you?
Yes, in ’09 I won the Lites West Coast title. That was pretty cool, I rode for GPF on Kawis. Josh Woods helped me a lot when we were teammates on Suzuki and that carried into Areacross. After that year, I went to Blackfoot so my indoor riding basically stopped to focus solely on outdoors.
I have to ask you about the Toronto Supercross coming up. Are you racing it? Would you race it? Are you still interested in Supercross (I mean racing it)?
Ya, I am interested in it and would totally race if had a bike properly set up. Right now, I’m focused on the first GNCC, March 5th, and it takes a lot of dedication to prepare your body for riding competitively for 3 hours. I think it would be easier to show up for Toronto with no preparation than the 1st GNCC, so that’s my primary focus.
The series will have two stops out in your neck of the woods in 2016. Are you excited to race at Pleasant Valley? What’s the track like to race?
It’s really exciting. The track is a unique dirt and it takes finesse to ride it really fast. I can hear the bikes from my bedroom and ride there a couple times a week, so I’m pumped the Nationals are coming to Brookfield. Also, having one less flight is nice too and gives the people traveling out here for River Glade more of a purposeful trip. There are a lot of awesome things to do on the east coast and now the racers have some time to check things out.
What are your winter plans?
I’m actually down in Tallahassee now starting my training. My trainer, Katie from KMF Athletic Therapy, has me on a great program and I’m staying with Josh Cartwright until Jeremy decides to come down. I’m typing this at Carmichael’s Farm as we are headed to the AX Tour in Tennessee this weekend and are piking up Josh’s bike.
Is Heidi riding these days or is she going to concentrate on cycling and triathlons?
She will be riding a bit more now that I’m riding 350’s and she can actually enjoy riding one of my bikes. I think she wants to race Ulverton so that will be exciting as well. Of coarse, she is focused on her running and trying to look after me and the kids too (Laughs).
Are your kids going to be racing soon? Are they showing an interest yet?
Ya I think Talon will be riding this summer. It’s up to him if he wants to race. He enjoys the bicycle races we take him to so I can’t see why he wouldn’t. As far as Millie goes, well, she’s a little diva and likely will be happy just hanging out eating anything she gets her paws on.
Well, have fun this weekend at the races, Happy birthday, and thanks for chatting with us today. Who would you like to thank?
Thank you very much. Thanks to Husqvarna Canada for having my back and believing in me, Parts Canada, 100%, HAF Skate and Tattoo, Brookfiled Bakery and all my friends, family and fans who continue to support.
Good luck this weekend, this winter, and next season, Tyler.