Frid’Eh Update #35 | Preston Masciangelo | Brought to You by GasGas Canada

By Billy Rainford

GasGas logo
Brought to you by GasGas Canada
Week #35 belongs to Preston Masciangelo from Waterford, Ontario. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #35 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by GasGas Canada. It’s a long weekend away from racing for me this week. My sister and mom will be in town from Kamloops, BC all weekend, so I will spend my time soing things with my mom while my sister gets some well-deserved time in her old home city for a few days, visiting and catching up with old friends. My mom can be a handful these days, so it’s going to be a bit of a stressful weekend, I’m guessing.

The weather is supposed to be pretty steamy in Southwestern Ontario with it getting north of 30C with the return of humidity. If you’re hitting some tracks in the area, be sure to stay hydrated!

Preston Masciangelo is the rider running #35 this season. I’ve known Preston and his family for a long time now. Whenever I’d be down south at a big American Amateur National event, I was always sure to see the #22 ripping his Suzuki up near the front of the action.

He’s had an interesting 2023 to say the least. He was all set to race the Supercross Futures and then broke both his wrists on the first lap of practice at South of the Border. He raced one round of Futures, he left a team, he raced a few Canadian Triple Crown Series MX Nationals, he raced both Moto Combines, he raced Pro Sport at Loretta Lynn’s, and now he’ll race the SX/AX portion of our series.

He only raced 3 rounds of our MX series this summer. Here’s a look at the numbers:

Here’s what Preston had to say when we spoke with him this week. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross:  Hello, Preston. We just saw each other at the Moto Combine at Ironman MX, so we won’t talk about that race today. Let’s back up and talk about some other stuff, shall we? You came up through the ranks focusing on the big races in the USA. Can you take us through that decision?

Preston Masciangelo: I started racing in the US from as far back as I can remember. We’ve always lived in Canada and made sure to hit some of the major Canadian amateur nationals like Walton TransCan growing up, but from day one I always had big dreams of being able to make something of myself in the US and race with the best in the world. As I raced more and more down there, and continued to better myself, being able to run with guys at the top of my class, that’s what ultimately made my decision to primarily base most of my racing in the US.

You were gaining attention and support down there from like Cernics Suzuki. How close would you say you came to moving to the next level down there when you were still an amateur?

Cernics provided a lot of help for me and my early days of racing in the US. That later evolved into the factory Suzuki ride I had going for a few years up until 2019. Those years with Suzuki provided a lot of growth in the sport for me and showed me what it took to take racing seriously. I would have loved to go all the way with Suzuki but unfortunately the amateur team was shut down which made things difficult, so we moved on. We are still currently looking to move towards the next level! 

Preston on his Cernics Suzuki at the Mini O’s back in 2016. | Bigwave photo

You were supposed to race the SX Futures this past winter but got injured early and that definitely held you back Can you take us through that tough winter last year?

My original goal was to race all of SX Futures with the PRMX team. Unfortunately, due to my wrist injuries and a few other setbacks, I wasn’t able to get to all of them. I was able to make it to the Arlington Supercross Futures round in early February, and ended up not doing too bad there with limited time on the bike. [Preston finished 11th in the SX Futures Main] Not exactly how I wanted my winter to go, but I’m happy with the progress I was able to make on a Supercross track, which will be a necessary step in me being the best I can be for next year’s Supercross Futures.

Were you originally planning to race the Canadian series with Partzilla PRMX?

The original plan was to race the full Triple Crown series with the Partzilla PRMX team. In the end, I decided to go my own way, making it a little easier for me to pursue some more racing in the states during the summer as well as race select Canadian Triple Crown series rounds. A big thank you goes out to the whole PRMX team for what they did for me last winter. I feel that experience pushed me to another level within my career.

As you said, you decided to go out on your own. Can you take us through that decision and what you ended up doing?

I decided to go out on my own simply to broaden the amount of races I am able to do in North America. Racing in both America and Canada has always been a pretty big thing to me and I was happy I was able to do that again this year. Racing the three Triple Crown series rounds I was able to get to, as well as races like Loretta Lynn’s and the Moto Combines, were big for me.

This is what held Preston back as he headed into the 2023 Supercross Futures season. | Masciangelo photo

You didn’t head west to start the series. How come?

It has always been a dream of mine to start off the season with the boys out west, but this year it just wasn’t in my cards to do so. A lot of things had to go right in order for me to get there and I just wasn’t able to get everything aligned.

I thought you had some standout rides this summer. You were the next fastest guy not pitted out of one of the rigs! How did your summer go from your perspective?

This summer I feel went pretty good. I definitely had some stand out rides that I was pretty proud of. I definitely felt like the speed was there for most of the summer, especially towards the end, but I couldn’t really put everything together within a moto. I know where I need to be for next year and definitely feel that I am capable of being towards the front!

Preston at the Moto Combine at Red Bud this summer. | Bigwave photo

Looking at the points right now, I don’t think I realized you only did 3 rounds and still cracked the top 20! How did that happen?

I think I’m 17th in points? [He is] Pretty cool to see me in the top 20 after only running three rounds. I’m hoping to bring that number down a little bit after running some Supercross rounds as well.

You finished strong in the final Open Pro Sport moto at Loretta Lynn’s with a 5th. How did your week go there?

My week at Lorettas started out pretty mediocre, having a few finishes between the 10th and 15th place mark. I definitely was not afraid to play in the rain, as I feel like I’m a pretty good mud rider! As the week went on, I was able to lower my finishes, eventually, getting the fifth in the last moto of Open Pro Sport. That one was big for me and definitely showed me what I am capable of doing!

Give us the goods on just how bad the weather was from a racer’s perspective. It looked pretty rough on the broadcast. Humid too, I assume?

Definitely had a bit of everything throughout the week at Loretta’s. Haha. Went from having crazy heat at the beginning of the week to torrential rain towards the end. Mud conditions were by far some of the worst I have ever seen, and I can confidently say that I have never raced in conditions like that in my life!

You just raced the Combine so now I assume you’ll race the Gopher Dunes Supercross round?

Yes, I hope to start riding some Supercross at the beginning of September, and be ready for the first round of Supercross at the end of the month! 

Preston will race some Canadian Supercross rounds and then set his sights on the 2024 AMA SX Futures season. | Bigwave photo

What are your plans for the rest of the series? Will you head west? 

As of now I do have full plans to do the complete Supercross series, so I am pretty pumped on that!

You mentioned 2024 earlier. So, you have full SX Futures plans for the upcoming Supercross season?

As of now I will try my best to get to as many as I possibly can. If I am able to find some support, then I would love to do them all! 

Awesome! OK, thanks for taking some time with us this week. See you somewhere soon, I’m sure, and who would you like to thank?

For sure! I would like to thank, Five Star, GasGas, MxTire, 6D helmets, OG optics, FXR, Mobius braces, Forma boots.

Videos from Ironman MX

I put together a few videos to recap the Canadian riders’ days at the Ironman MX National in Indian last weekend. Check them out:

Preston Masciangelo – Moto Combine:

Devyn Smith – 250 (first-ever AMA Pro National):

Dylan Wright and Jess Pettis – 450 (Pettis’s first-ever AMA Pro National):

Also, check out this slow motion video of #238 Haiden Deegan blowing everyone’s minds over the finish line jump. He was the only one doing this jump:

Next Up, Gopher Dunes Supercross

Round 1 – Supercross – Gopher Dunes

Gopher Dunes, Courtland, ON

Saturday, Sep 23 at 12:00pm EDT

All ages

Doors open at 11:00AM

More info

Adult Pass

$ 20 CAD

More info

Kids Pass (6-12 years old)

$ 13 CAD

Saskatchewan Lost a Beauty

Levi Gilchrist passed away after a crash at a race in Unity, Saskatchewan.

Obituary for Levi:

Levi Taylor Gilchrist passed away at Unity & District Health Centre, Unity, Saskatchewan on August 27, 2023 at the age of 38 years.

Levi is survived by: his loving wife, Kendra; daughters, Charlie and Rylie; parents, Graham and Heather; brother, Luke (Shannon) and their children, Gunner, Case, Winnie and Range; grandparents, Gordon (Jean) Gilchrist and Martin (Velma) Leys; parents-in-law, Robin and Gale Willis; sister in law, Megan (Brent) Elliott and their children Matthew, Emily, Ethan; sister-in-law, Sabrina (Shaun) Schneider and their children, Dylan, Zachary, and Tye; sister-in-law, Amber (Matt) Fisher and their children Logan and Lauren.

Levi is predeceased by: his sister, Emma.

The Celebration of Life for Levi will be conducted from Lloydminster Gospel Fellowship, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan on Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 11:00 AM. If you are unable to attend in person, you may view the live streaming of the service posted on McCaw Funeral Service website under Levi’s obituary at the time of service.

In lieu of donations, funds in memory of Levi may be directed to his girls by e-transfer to .

A fundraiser to help support his girls can be found HERE.

Supermotocross Playoffs Round 1 – Charlotte, NC

Next up on my race calendar is Round 1 of the 2023 Supermotocross Playoffs at Z Max Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina on September 9th. Full info HERE.

Mammoth Mountain Motocross

Mammoth Mountain is taking place this long weekend out in California. You can check out the Live Timing HERE.

Full schedule HERE.

OK, it’s time for us all to go enjoy the final long weekend of the summer of 2023. That hurt to type. Have a great weekend, everyone.

It’s nice to see some smiles at the AMA Nationals. We’ll let them say it this week: “See you at the races...” | Bigwave photo