Frid’Eh Update #40 | Preston Masciangelo Interview | Brought to You By Yamaha Canada

By Billy Rainford

Brought to you by Yamaha Motor Canada and the all-new 2023 YZ450F.
The 2023 Yamaha YZ450F.
Week #40 belongs to Preston Masciangelo from Brantford, Ontario. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #40 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by Yamaha Motor Canada and the all-new 2023 YZ450F. This one comes to you from Sand Del Lee in Richmond, Ontario. We’re here trying out the new big bike from Yamaha as well as the other mx-ers in the 2023 YZ line-up.

It’s been a busy couple days here near Ottawa and now it’s time for the 6-hour plus drive home, so this “Update” will simply be our interview with #40 Preston Masciangelo.

Preston is from Brantford, Ontario, and is a rider we’ve known for many years. We’ve seen him at all the big US Amateur National events and watched him progress from the little bikes to the Pro ranks.

Here’s a look at Preston’s 2022 season in the 250 MX and SX/AX series:

Here’s what Preston had to say this week. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Preston. I’ve been seeing a lot more of you on this side of the border the last few years. I’d always see you guys at big amateur nationals down south. Let’s start there. What was you best memory as an amateur chasing the dream in the USA?

Preston Masciangelo: Racing in the states for all those years brought me a number of great memories, but one of my favourites definitely has to be Mini Os 2018 during the SX portion. I was just on my game that week, and was able to pull off two third place finishes in the younger 85cc classes. I pulled both holeshots, and was able to battle for championships with some of the best in the business right till the bitter end. The MX portion of Mini Os didn’t go exactly to plan that week, however, the SX portion was definitely one to remember, and still stands as one of the best positions I’ve ever been able to achieve at one of the major amateur nationals in the states. 

You turned Pro a couple years ago. How was the transition for you?

For me it wasn’t the smoothest transition, that’s for sure. After the whole COVID breakout at the beginning of 2020, I was fresh off of little bikes, and just starting to get my feet wet on the 125s. 2020 was a very quiet year for me, as it was for most people, but for myself I spent most of that year figuring out my next steps in moto. I rode the 125 for a few months, and later realized that I wasn’t going to be racing in the states as often. So I made the switch to the 250, and decided to kick off my Pro career up here.

I was able to race a few Pro nationals at the end of 2020, and then decided to give Supercross a go. Had a freak wrist injury during the first Supercross round at Gopher Dunes, which ultimately sidelined me for the rest of the season.

2021 was much of the same, very quiet with a few injuries, and definitely not the results I wanted, knowing what I was capable of.

Finally, this season was different, and I felt more like myself. Definitely hoping to only build from here!

You didn’t go out west this year but came out swinging with an 8th overall at Walton One. Were you happy with that result? What were your expectations going into this season?

Definitely was a good result, and something to build off of. For me, I know I have the speed to be there, but I feel I lacked a bit of strength and stamina towards the ends of the motos that definitely cost me. I look towards fixing some of those little problems for next season, and improving my results each and every race. I definitely would like to be a top 3-5 guy every round next season, and with the right preparation, I feel I can make it happen.

Yep, we’ve known Preston for a few years now… | Tyler Spikman photo

You didn’t go east. Why not?

Some things didn’t line up this season, and we weren’t able to make it out. I was also qualified for Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National, so I decided to head south and race that instead. It was my A class year, and possibly my last time heading to the ranch as an amateur, so definitely tried to make the most of it! 

And then you showed up at Gopher Dunes for the SX and looked really good and grabbed a 6th. You look comfortable on the SX/AX. You also grew a ton the past couple years! Do you enjoy the indoor stuff? Is that where you want your future to head – AMA Supercross?

Gopher Dunes SX was a major step in the right direction for me. 6th in 250, 4th in 450, 5th in the Super Final, and majorly exceeded my expectations for only having 4 days of SX prep prior to the event. I love the tight SX racing, and would love for that to be where I end up later down the line.

And then this past weekend on Friday night in Sarnia, you had that scary crash in the rhythm section. Can you take us through that one?

Sarnia AX didn’t go exactly to plan, but still had a great time! Prior to Sarnia, I hadn’t ridden since Gopher Dunes SX due to some bike issues that we weren’t able to figure out. So I came into Sarnia unprepared to say the least, but still gave it my best shot. I was riding a bit over my head all day just trying to keep up, which ultimately led to me tangling with another rider and having that scary crash during 450 heat 1, and doing some damage to my wrist. 

You didn’t come back for Saturday and then we spoke earlier this week and you said you were heading to the doctor to get your wrist checked out. How is everything?

At first, I did plan on racing Saturday, but the pain in my wrist was a lot, which led me to think it was broken. I was able to go Monday morning and get it checked out, but luckily nothing is broken and I will be able to return to riding at the end of this week! 

Preston took a hard fall in Sarnia but hopes to be in Calgary to wrap up the Canadian season on a high note. | Bigwave 2020 photo

Will you try to get out to Calgary?

I definitely would love to try, and if there’s a way to make it happen you just might see me out there! 

What are your winter plans?

For the past few winters I haven’t done much in terms of training and riding, and it definitely shows come springtime. This year I plan on heading over to South of the Border MX to put in some solid months of preparation, and hopefully come out swinging next season!

Will you try to do the entire Canadian series next summer and get out west?

So far I do have some things in the works, and do plan on doing the entire Canadian Triple Crown Series next season. I have never done the full thing yet, so I’m excited to travel the country, race some amazing tracks, and do what I love to do! 

What will you do for the rest of this fall?

This fall I plan on doing a lot of riding, and maybe a few local races before heading down south this winter.

OK, good luck, Preston. I think I’ve got to have you in the running for Most Improved this year. Who would you like to thank?

Thanks for having me on, Billy! I would like to thank the whole PRMX Partzilla crew, OG’s moto, 6d helmets, Forma boots, Atlas Brace, and everyone else who is or has supported my program this season, it means a lot! 

Good luck, Preston. I know we’ll be getting shots like this one for many years to come. | Bigwave photo

Nothing like being late and short, eh! Have a great weekend and enjoy some racing action from the World SX in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday.

The 2023 Yamaha YZ450F.
Thanks to Yamaha Motor Canada for a great couple days at Sand Del Lee.