ICYMI | Catching Up with…#5 Tyler Medaglia
By Billy Rainford
Taking 5th in the 2017 series and choosing #5 as his permanent number is the rider who grew up near Ottawa, ON but now calls Brookfield, NS home.
Tyler Medaglia is the likeable rider who gives his all every time he swings a leg over a motorcycle. With Tyler, you always know what you’re going to get – 100% effort. You won’t get excuses for a mediocre race and you won’t get gloating after a win.
He’s been in the game a long time and his career #5 now matches the number of people in his family. Tyler and Heidi Cooke have 3 young children and it shouldn’t be too long before we see another Medaglia ripping up the amateur side of the sport.
We got in touch with Tyler as he prepares for another season with his Huber Motorsports team. He’s currently training down in Florida.
Here’s what Tyler had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Tyler. As always, let’s take it back to last season first. You finished 5th in the MX1 season. Can you take us through how it went for you? Were you happy with your results?
Tyler Medaglia: Yes, it was another fifth but with an asterisk because with two rounds to go I was 10 points out of 3rd. The last 2 tracks were good ones for me, too. At Deschambault I was too close behind (Matt) Georke for too long and plugged my rads solid with sand which over heated my bike causing a DNF. At RJ’s I had a broken chain in moto 1 and ended the season off with a solid 2nd in moto 2. I was happy with the season in general though. With the Huber Motorsports team it was a great environment, the bikes were great with minimal prep, and we had several great rides.
The field was stacked again in 2017. How did racing this year compare to other years with regards to the competition? Was it the same or tougher than before?
It has seems stacked for the last 5 years at least; just a few names swap out with others, really. It’s good though and gives it a lot more credibility.
Are you happy when you see the big name riders from south of the border come north to chase our title?
Yes, I do like it in one sense. I don’t like that I takes away from Canadians getting the jobs but that’s the industry. If the Canadians want to get the rides they really have to earn it. Like I said before, it gives us more credibility but it thins out the Canadians capable of getting into a position to be as competitive. Also, when say (Davi) Millsaps and (Christophe) Pourcel come up with works bikes that’s a little annoying, but it feels good when you can beat them from time to time.
You’re now the father of 3 young children. How has this affected your racing? Is your attitude any different than, say, a few years ago?
Well, if I have a shitty race or like when I had that unfortunate mechanical I get mad in the moment but I don’t really take it home and be crusty like I used to. Once I leave the track and say go to dinner with my family, the negativity or anger gets shuffled out quickly. My attitude towards racing has really been the same since the end of 2009 though. A lot of that has to do with the lifestyle Heidi and I lead. I feel focused and healthy with a good work ethic and serious when it comes time to buckle down. With the kids it’s easy to get motivated to do well and with the separation between home life and racing I don’t really find myself getting burnt out.
What was your best memory from the 2017 season?
I would say ISDE. It was a pretty insane experience that I will never forget. MX side would be starting the season with a podium at Kamloops with the new team and ending at RJ’s with 2nd having to pass a few of my rivals.
You’ve been around for a long time now. What’s been your favourite track on the circuit?
Sand Del Lee/ RJ’s, that’s the soil I grew up in. I really like racing at Pleasant Valley too and the convenience of it being at home.
How about least favourite?
Nanaimo was fun on 250’s but I never really enjoyed it on 450’s. Regina is just “meh,” too.
What did you get up to after the season ended?
I was pretty busy with ISDE and Des Nations. I wanted to do Cyclocross nationals again but the two overseas races cut into training and I needed a break when I got home to spend time with the family. I held an off road race at Pleasant Valley that I really enjoyed, and looking to improving that event for this year.
You’re down south now. Who are you with and how is the prep going?
I am home for a week break at the moment. I went down with my friend TJ Martin and am staying in Jacksonville at another good friend Jim Edgar’s place. It’s central to a lot of tracks and different from what I have done in the past to keep things fresh. Mike Alessi lives close by too and we will be doing testing and training together. The prep has been great. I wanted to start on a bone stock KX450 to get a good feel for total baseline. I have made the bike really comfortable with 3 weeks worth of tweaks and adjustments. I go back down on Monday to put my first set of Race Tech suspension on.
You’re back with the Huber Motorsports team this season. What are you shooting for? Are you racing the entire Triple Crown series?
Yes, I am back with Huber for the next 2 season and I intend to shred the entire Rockstar Triple Crown Series. I’m shooting for the best season of my career.
Are you racing down south before heading home again?
When we got down we rode 2 days and did a Florida series race at WW Ranch, since it’s 10 minutes down the road and TJ really wanted to race. I wasn’t going to take the day off so I raced too and did pretty well considering it was an all-new stock bike without riding since October.
I raced at Reddick the following weekend and got a win and a second. It helped me with things on the bike, since you never really ride as hard in practice. I found the gearing I was looking for and lowered my sub-frame, adjusted my bars etc. So, it helped and my speed increased dramatically and got the bike feeling awesome. I’ll be racing as much as I can looking forward to getting the goodies on the bike too. If my indoor testing goes well, I will line up for Daytona SX or the GNCC again.
OK, good luck with the rest of your training. Who would you like to thank?
Huber Motorsports and all my family and supporters, thank you!