Frid’Eh Update #5 Presented by Race Tech
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #5 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Race Tech. We’re in a deep freeze in the DMX HQ area so we’re really looking forward to some warmer weather when we can actually start thinking about getting to the tracks again. Seriously, it’s bee -22 Celsius lately!
I spent the past month out in California, so this has been a severe change in temperature. Week #5 belongs to the very popular rider from Kemptville, Ontario, who now calls Brookfield, Nova Scotia, home. We’re talking about Tyler Medaglia, of course.
Tyler and Heidi Cooke make up the fastest parents anyone can think of. You’re not going to find a faster couple…anywhere. They now have 3 children and it won’t be long before we see the next generation ripping up the tracks across the country at the front of the pack.
Last week, it was Tyler’s younger brother Jeremy Medaglia‘s week at #4. These are the two fastest brothers west of Latvia, no doubt!
Here’s a quick look at his 2018 season in Canada:
There is some pretty exciting news for the 2-time MX2 champion, so we’ll let him tell us about it for himself in our Intro Interview.
Here’s what Tyler had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Tyler. OK, let’s start at the beginning. Where are you from? How old are you? And how did you get into Motocross in the first place?
Tyler Medaglia: I am from Kemptville, Ontario, but have lived in Brookfield, N.S for the past 9 years. I am 31 years old, and I got into MX through my dad who raced Superbike and gave me a z50 when I was 5.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
I picked 7 like most 6 year olds would. But 204 was my first real number as it’s my birthday 2/04.
What was your first race, and how did it go?
My first race was in 1993 at Sand Del Lee. I got 2nd against a kid named David Sanders. It was the battle between the pw50 and Z50.
What was the highlight of your amateur career?
In 2003 winning 8/9 Intermediate races at Walton (was leading the race I didn’t win but my bike croaked). The following day I won my Pro qualifier race against the guy who won the Pro championship. Also 2001 winning both 80 and Supermini titles at Walton was a good one.
How did your Intermediate Class year go, and who were the top guys you were up against?
Touched on that in the last question. Trevor Hall was in my class that year, Zeb Dennis raced a few that year, and a few Americans came up to race every once in a while. There were other fast kids that didn’t hit their stride in my class until later in their careers, like Kaven Benoit. I adapted fairly quickly to the four-stroke transition.
What year did you turn Pro and how did that season go?
I turned Pro in 2004 but got injured training that winter and the following year so I really didn’t turn pro until 2006. 06 went well had some signs of good speed that landed me a ride with Suzuki for 07.
What is the biggest difference between you and your younger brother Jeremy?
Pretty much everything you could think of. Besides looking alike and having the same sense of humour (quietly in his part) we are polar opposites. In the riding department he is smooth and stylish, I am more radical and aggressive. An example is that he is a bit taller that me and the seat hump on his bike is probably 5 inches farther forward. He steers with the front I steer with the back.
What is your favourite track in Canada?
I have always liked Sand Del Lee, especially since I only really get to go there once a year these days. McNabb Valley (Minnedosa) was pretty sick though this year, I must admit.
OK, I have to ask you for one crazy story about your dad, Derek. Anything come to mind?
Well lately his thing is that he says he’s in his last quarter and doing whatever the f**k HE wants. Buying and restoring early 70’s Kawasaki Z1’s has kept him busy the last couple years. His collection is crazy.
Let’s go through your 2018 season, if you don’t mind. For starters, how did the Arenacross portion go for you? Your best was a 2nd in Calgary. How was that series?
It was good. The muddy stuff was kinda favourable for me but I still had a few issues including getting docked (I still believe it was a terrible call). Having said that, Calgary was dry and it was my best finish so what do I know?!
In Motocross, you finished you finished just off the podium in the overall by just 2 points. You won Gopher Dunes. Was that your highlight of the summer?
Gopher’s was likely the highlight, yes. Second moto was probably the best one of my career, pulling away a couple seconds a lap after the halfway point was a feeling I wish I got more often. A couple hiccups like the mechanical in Manitoba and the foot peg in my stomach at Riverglade really hindered my title shot but it was a great season with a lot of successful moments. Ironman National in the states was another highlight, getting my best overall finish (6th) ever down there.
OK, and then the Supercross series. You ended up 6th there. How was that series for you?
It was OK. There were some flashes of speed and solid riding but I didn’t really have my bike set up properly at a couple of races. I wasn’t happy with Montreal. I couldn’t get through the whoops and it was frustrating. The last one was good with qualifying fastest and second in heat. I may have been a little bit over-tired at that point in the year but it was a learning curve for training to be fit all season.
How do you think the new series went, overall?
Well, I think it is what the series needed — a change. Obviously, there were some less than stellar moments and an unacceptable conflict of interest but it kept people’s interest and we have a lot of new eyes on our series. It’s going in the right direction and I know the Jetworks crew is a young, motivated bunch and I fully believe year 2 will be better.
You were back down in Florida getting some time on a 250. How has it been going? Has it rekindled your enthusiasm?
It’s been fun, honestly. I think I’m a 250 guy at heart; it’s just kinda how I like to ride and with my size it’s a lot easier physically. If I stopped racing I would personally rather own a 250 over a 450 anyways.
Shawn Maffenbeier mentioned the team wanted to put him on the 250. How did it come about that you end up in that class?
Shawn had his mind set that he was done on 250’s after this season and when he transferred to his new team we didn’t have a 250 rider. Stu (Adam Robinson) and I were talking about the 250 spot and he was going over the pros and cons of the options. When the call ended I said if it came down to it I would ride the 250 if he needed. I got a call back couple hours later.
Do you have the speed to compete for the titles? I have you picked as the champion!
Well, 3/4 of the tracks I have been riding in Florida my lap times are faster than on my 450. I truly enjoying riding this thing, so we will see. I’m going to try my absolute hardest.
Will you hit any races on a 250 while you’re down south training this year?
We had talked about maybe doing Daytona SX if things are going well with the bike development, training etc.. The GNCC would be fun too. I really enjoy that one in Florida. I have 10 hours on the 250 so far since 2011 so I will be busy testing with the team.
OK, thank you and good luck. Who would you like to thank?
Monster Energy, Alpinestars, Piller’s, Kawasaki team / crew, my trainer Brad Clifford and my family, friends, fans for all the support! Thanks, Billy.
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Happy Friday, guys. It looks like we are in an all-time deep freeze here in Southern Ontario. Most of our National caliber racers have headed south, or are on their way shortly. This is the time where the serious guys put in the hours and hours of hard work, and others put in the “Instagram work.”
What I mean is, the hard workers will show the improvement when the season starts, and then we have the racers that make it look like they have put the work in through their many social media channels. These are the same racers that are the ones out partying every Saturday night after the races. What are they celebrating every weekend?
Well, it’s certainly not results. The guys I see partying have zero reason the be whooping it up, but it’s always the same partiers. I just don’t get it, and I guess I never will. The true champions and future champions are too busy working hard and getting results.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross
So far this SX season in the 450 class, it has been anything but predictable. Different winners, exciting races and nobody has straight up dominated. I respect when a racer works hard enough and becomes dominant, but damn it’s boring as a fan.
Cooper Webb has just reeled off two wins in a row. In this case, it’s great to see him regain the confidence that we all seen him lose with that tip over at Motocross of Nations a few years back. I honestly feel that was what got him, and as a fan, it’s nice to see the badass Cooper back. He was unstoppable on 250’s and seemed like he could win anytime.
In the 250 west, Adam Cianciarulo looks like Webb did at times. The problem being, it’s only at times. He has made some big mistakes early on, but fortunately he’s still very much in the title hunt. I think Colt Nichols is too consistent to throw it away, but I don’t think he has the raw speed to top AC when AC is on. Back to the big problem, AC hasn’t shown us he has the consistency yet. Only time will tell.
Here are my predictions for San Diego.
Now onto some important news. Our close friend and former racer up here in Canada, Blake Savage has been injured. Blake was injured while riding SX with brother-in-law and friend Ken Roczen. You see, Blake is now one of the top trainers and works and has worked for some of the best in the sport including Rozcen, Seely, Craig, Sexton and Cianciarulo to name a few.
Blake has been busting his ass to get back up mobile again, and Ken has provided a link on his personal Instagram to let people help Blake with the financial side of things. Blake is a an awesome guy and if anyone can beat this, it’s Blake.
Please take a look and help out downed friend if possible. Hang in there, Blake, you’ve got this! Have a great weekend everyone and #smileforBC.
Thanks, Jeff. And I’ll tell you, like I always say, it sure feels good to be home again after an extended MX Roadtrip, but I’m already chomping at the bit to get out there and be present at another race. Next on my radar would be the final weekend of racing at the Future West Moto Arenacross Championships in Chilliwack, BC next week. We’ll see if we can make that happen.
I just spent the last month out in California chasing the first 3 rounds of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. The past couple years, I timed the trip to hit the Winter X Games in Aspen, CO on the way out, but this time the schedule made it so the SX races acme first and then the X Games came on the way back to Ontario.
It broke the drive home up nicely, and so I hope this is the way it plays out in 2020. Also, with the way the weather beat on me as I neared the border, the fact that my drive was “only” from Colorado and not all the way from the Pacific Ocean helped my sanity.
With #160 Jess Pettis racing the 250 West series, it made a lot of sense for me to make the journey out there to cover the races.
Jess had become one of the guys in the series. By that, I mean he is racing like he belongs there and not just as a rider trying to make the night shows and then cross his fingers he makes the main. He belongs in the show every week and it’s a pretty exciting time to be a Canadian MX fan.
Being the typical Canadian, Jess doesn’t want a ton of the spotlight for what he’s accomplishing and it’s pretty refreshing. In fact, he’s already concerned with over exposure. You have to laugh, really. How Canadian is that?! His humility and humbleness and two very endearing qualities to his fans.
He just wants to go about his business quietly and do as well as he can without the constant Canadian spotlight on him. I get that, but people are at home clamoring for all the Jess Pettis information they can get their social media hands on, so he’s going to have to get used to all this attention.
Actually, if he keeps riding the way he has been, factory teams are going to come knocking! He’s going to be at the top of the list of replacement riders or straight up team rider. Everyone can already see the potential he has to continue his progression toward the front. Hell, we’ve named him “Most Improved Rider” 4 years in a row, I think!
The thing that impresses me the most after watching his first 3 rounds is that he isn’t afraid to put himself in the mix with the proven factory riders for practice and qualifying.
The tendency for a “new guy” is to wait until everyone has gone and then head out to learn the track without the pressure of competing with the top guys.
Not Jess. He’s out there as soon as the green flag waves going for fast laps and learning from the top guys instead of hiding from them. It’s a very good sign, psychologically, for him to be doing that and I think it’s a big reason for the success he’s seeing.
As we all know, talent and fitness will only take you so far in the Pro ranks. Without the killer instinct, you’re just fooling yourself out there. You have to be willing to take what you want at that level. Your friends are at home and in your pit, not on the track. Jess is showing that he’s got the right mentality as soon as he throws his leg over his KTM.
You youngsters out there should really pay attention to these things Jess is doing right now. He’s a very solid role model. Humble off the bike and an animal on it. That combination will hopefully take him as far as he wants it to.
Because I was at the X Games in Colorado last week, I missed Round 4 in Oakland.
Jess qualified in 12th and then found himself leading Heat 1. He dropped back to 5th by the flag but it meant he was going directly to the Main event again.
He looked to get a decent start but then found himself on the ground and in last place early.
He didn’t give up and even worked his way past some pretty fast riders and up to an impressive 11th by the time the checkered flag waved. That’s a really good result, even though he wants to be closer to the top 5.
Here’s a new video from Matt Koeleman and Blake Breton over at Alternative Vision Productions:
View this post on Instagram
And how about #2 Cooper Webb becoming the first rider of 2019 to win 2 450 SX rounds?! If you’re sitting there saying, “Ya, I called that months ago,” I call BS.
But like I said in the above bit, confidence is a huge factor when racing at this level. Cooper now thinks he can and should do this on a regular basis and that is an invaluable edge to have on the competition.
However, I’m still going to pick #3 Eli Tomac as the 2019 champion when we reach Las Vegas. He’s just sitting there in 3rd place, 3 points behind, happy to be in contention at this point in the season.
We saw flashes of what he can do in that 3rd race at the Triple Crown and I think that one was just to prove to himself that he can and will wick it up when he needs to to take this title…finally.
He’s also admitted (on Whiskey Throttle) that he had only 4 days on the bike before A1, so you know he’s only going to get faster and faster as the season moves on. That’s bad news for everyone else.
In an interesting move, GDR Honda Fox Racing has signed hot young Pro prospect #37 Jake Tricco from Collingwood, Ontario, to the team.
After signing 5-time Canadian MX Champion Colton Facciotti to another year, this gives the team 2 250 riders with Dylan Wright having another year on his contract.
Add to this the rumour that #800 Mike Alessi will be heading to the red team this season and you’ve got the GDR team making some pretty hefty moves.
Tricco put on the Pro plates late last season and really turned some heads. He’s been Canada’s fastest young rider the past couple years and it is only fitting that a top team would lock his services down.
Congratulation to both parties on getting this deal done. Jake will be difficult to beat for Top Rookie honours in 2019.
Future West Moto Arenacross Championships
We’re back in action tonight out in Chilliwack, BC for rounds 5 and 6 of the Future West Moto Arenacross Championships in Chilliwack Heritage Park.
With the announcement of the Jetwerx season recently, is means the FWM series will have this weekend and next to determine the champions.
Here’s a look at the current standings heading into tonight’s racing:
Full results HERE.
OK, thanks for reading this week. Have a great weekend.