ICYMI | Catching Up with Jeremy Medaglia
By Billy Rainford
Following in his older brother’s footstep, Jeremy Medaglia has proven he is his own person and has always done things his way.
Riding for many of the top factory-supported teams in Canada, Jeremy has always been a fan favourite when and wherever he shows up. His autograph lines at the nationals are always among the longest.
He’s been forced to step back from the sport at the top level the past couple years as he sorts out some health issues and decides what he wants to do next in Canadian Motocross.
He only raced two nationals last summer, Sand Del Lee and River Glade, and we got in touch with him this week to talk about everything.
He’s always a great interview, and shows us again here in this latest one.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Jeremy. 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?
Jeremy Medaglia: Hey, I live just outside of Ottawa, I’m 28 now and it all really started by my dad getting my brother and I a bike when we were real young. One bike and some time in a sod field led to more bikes and a track and next thing I knew it all started.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
My first number was 140. I believe it stemmed from my hockey number 14 but it only lasted for a short period of time cause another kid (Jason Michael) ran it so I switched over to 141 which I still run if I go racing in the states etc..
What was your first race, and how did it go?
My first race surprisingly enough was at Sand Del Lee. It was a mudder and I was able to get a win but with some strategic planning. At the time I had a LEM and a little Yamaha 3-wheeler, my dad figured it being muddy the 3-wheeler would float on top of the mud and as he normally is, he was right and the day went way smoother with that extra wheel.
What was the highlight of your amateur career?
That would have been my results as an Intermediate racing the Pro nationals that really jump started my professional racing. I believe I had a couple back-to-back 4ths, or close to which helped lock down a ride the following season.
How did your Intermediate Class year go, and who were the top guys you were up against?
Some of the top guys that come to mind were, (Kyle) Mcglynn, (Kyle) Stephens, and Snelgrove. It was a pretty quick group.
What year did you turn Pro and how did that season go?
I turned pro in 2008. All in all, the season was good. Few podiums and a win at the final round at Walton was the highlight.
What is the biggest difference between you and your older brother, Tyler?
The list is long but if I had to pick one it would have to be our overall outlook and way of living life. He is very free range, carefree you could say, while I like to be structured and what not.
What is your favourite track in Canada?
Naturally, I want to say SDL from the memories and good results but as far as riding goes I would have to say Riverglade, although I believe that answer would change if I ever end up racing that new national that was added to the series last year in Manitoba I believe.
OK, I have to ask you for one crazy story about your dad, Derek. Anything come to mind?
Derrick is a legend and I believe that 99% of people would agree. He’s got one of the biggest hearts out there and is hilarious. I’m trying to think of something new and recent but all I’m getting is the random stories coming up with his newest hobby of restoring old Kawasaki Z1’s.
He’s been on bike and part hunts for a while now and if you were to ask him he’s had some “deals of the centuries,” he’s been “dumb-founded” on some of his finds, and he’s “on the top of the list” for a couple different things (Laughs).
A couple years ago, you were forced away from the sport for a while. Can you go over what your health issue was again for us?
Ya, unfortunately early 2017 I found out I somehow developed a severe intolerance to gluten and believe it or not I’m still working to get back up to 100%. Long process but it’s slowly on the up and up so I can’t complain.
You raced a couple rounds last summer at Sand Del Lee and Riverglade. Your results were 9th and 8th in the 450 class. Can you tell us how those two rounds went for you?
I got a cool opportunity to ride alongside Tyler at SDL, which in hindsight was something I may have been better off staying on my own bikes, something I was familiar with but in the big picture it really wouldn’t have changed my results much.
I thought I was going to be fairly competitive at the front before the east coast got started but I soon found out that my body just wasn’t up to race at that pace.
For myself, I wanted to confirm that it wasn’t switching to a new bike last minute so I went to Riverglade and it was pretty close to the same as the results showed. All a part of life though.
It may not seem like it at the time but we are constantly living and learning and now I know that unless I know for sure that I will be able to compete at the level I did before, it’s not worth it.
It’s not the result, it’s the feeling I have inside while getting the result. If I’m happy and can say that I had two solid motos and I’m still in that 8th-9th area then that’s OK.
We didn’t see you again after that. What did you get up to for the rest of the summer?
I really just focused on getting back 100% healthy and with the extra time on my hands I’ve really started learning new things away from riding dirt bikes and have had quite a few fun projects to work on.
How have things been going at your track? What has been going on there and what do you have planned for the future with it?
Ive always enjoyed having a personal track. My family have always had one for Tyler and I to train on and now with my own I find I almost have more fun building and prepping it as I do riding it.
One thing I have learned though is it really doesn’t matter how nice the track is, you’re always going to have people complaining (Laughs). The return on what goes into it doesn’t even add up so when you have to deal with that it’s really not worth it.
It didn’t take long for me to realize what track owners go through and when there’s little support it puts things into perspective. I definitely have a greater appreciate for tracks now that’s for sure.
The future plan is to have a dialed in spot for my crew and I.
I see you’re back on the bike and down in Florida. How has it been going?
It’s been fun. I just got back home after spending a little over a week down there with my family. It was fun logging some riding time on a new bike on different tracks. More so a week to unthaw a bit and have some fun than anything else.
I know you never like to say too much, but what are your plans for this coming season?
I really don’t have any plans just yet. Unfortunately, I think we could be seeing Canadian Moto being run into the ground if things don’t change and I’m not one to really want to support things or organizations that I don’t agree with.
I guess once you take a step away from racing for more than just a few months you start seeing things from a different perspective.
I mean, it was only a few years ago that I’ve had a team manager and owner pay a bonus to their rider to take me out at a first round because I chose not to race for their team based on them not knowing if they were racing full-time in Canada or not.
Situations like that, as well as seeing how certain things played out this year with the series up here, I have to ask myself, is it really worth racing for what we’re getting out of it?
Will you hit any local races while you’re down south?
If I’m back in form and I come across a money race when I go back down, there could be a chance but I’m not too concerned about racing right now.
Does seeing Tyler on a 250 give you any crazy ideas? Is he having fun on it?
(Laughs) The last thing I would want to do is be on a 250f again. I did recently buy a 250 2-stroke though. Tyler is absolutely killing it on the 250f, as he’s said and as it looks, he’s enjoying the change.
Where does Tyler finish next year in the 250 class?
Racing is racing, so it goes without saying the unknown is there but besides pointing that out, it’s going to be extremely hard to beat him. His speed and program are super impressive this season.
OK, thank you, good luck, and say hello to Jim Edgar and the gang down there for us. Who would you like to thank?
Will do. My family and my crew, I appreciate them!