After coming off two MX2 Championships in a row in 2010 and 2011 with the powerful Blackfoot Yamaha, last year saw Tyler Medaglia have to take his career into his own hands. With a young family at home counting on him, Tyler rode very well last summer on a GDR Troy Lee Designs backed privateer Honda until a foot injury derailed his season at round six at Ste-Julie. For 2013, Tyler signed with the Red Bull Fox Royal Distributing KTM Team and so far he is making the most out of it. After two rounds he is sitting second in points in the MX1 class, and more importantly he is gaining more confidence every time he is on the bike. We caught up with Tyler as he was relaxing at home recovery from the tough Kamloops track.
Q: Hey Tyler, what is going on this morning?
A: Not too much, just getting ready to head to breakfast with the family and watching Talon play with an I-Pod.
Q: What music does Talon like?
A: Not really sure, I think that he just thinks it’s a phone so he’s holding it up to his ear.
Q: That’s classic. So we’re two rounds in now and you’re second in points, take us through Nanaimo and Kamloops.
A: At round one in Nanaimo I thought I rode pretty well on that track. I’m not a big fan of that place but it actually was pretty good on Sunday. I am a rider that really feels the ground when I ride and in Nanaimo the dirt is just so unpredictable that I always seem to struggle there, but this year I just tried to ride smooth and not make any big mistakes. If it weren’t for some lappers I would’ve been on the podium.
In Kamloops, we made a few changes to the forks and my KTM worked amazing, also, I think I am getting more comfortable on my race bike. The Kamloops track suits me a little more as it’s more of what I’m used to. I usually don’t do very well on cement starts so I was happy that in Kamloops we were back to a dirt start. Going into the series in 2013 I just want to be consistent out west and put myself in a good position heading into the second half of the series in the east.
Q: Are you looking forward to Calgary this weekend? We’re back to another cement start.
A: I really like the track in Calgary and I’ve always done well there. I know the start is cement there too, but if you can get a good gate pick then the start is pretty straight forward. With the first corner being just a 180, you can just hug the inside and end up with a good start most of the time.
Q: Historically you’ve always been a great timed qualifier guy. You’ve just had that ability to put in a fast lap. Do you go into the timed practice with a plan of when you’re going to do your fast lap or do you just see how you feel?
A: Generally I try to do my fast lap early while the track is in good shape. After a few laps the ruts get deeper and the berms blow out, but there is the odd time that it will take a bit for a certain section of the track to develop good lines so you have to wait. I don’t know, I’ve just always been good at doing one sprint lap, even when I was younger I was good at that.
Q: You were involved in the unfortunate accident with your teammate Colton Facciotti in the first MX1 moto in Kamloops. Can you take us through what happen?
A: Well, I think it was just about halfway through moto one and we were all kind of settling in. Colton was chasing Metcalfe and I guess he must have swapped out on this section of the track that was like an ant hill. He was down on the other side of the hill and as I approached the section I just noticed the yellow flag at the last second. I didn’t have any time to slow down and when I came over the small hill Colton was just getting up. I ended up clipping his front end and in the process it knocked Colton back down. I didn’t fall but the impact crushed my header pipe. That was all I saw but I guess when Teddy Maier (who was behind me) came over the same jump he didn’t see Colton or the yellow flag and really hit him. Colton ended up breaking his leg.
You never want to see that stuff happen to anyone, especially your teammate, but we’ve all been there and Colton is a tough kid. He’ll be back for sure. It’s just a bummer when you see someone get hurt in that manner. We all work so hard in the off season to be ready and for Colton to have his season over at round two again, I feel for him. I hope we can all stay healthy for the rest of the summer and take this MX1 Championship right down to Walton.
Q: I feel for all you guys out there as well. These days with how fast the bikes are and how hard you guys are riding them, there is just zero room for error now. I’m with you. I hope everyone stays healthy for the rest of the summer. With your home base being in Nova Scotia and you flying back and forth each weekend, you’re definitely leading the series in air miles. What do you do each week at home to recover?
A: Well, it’s not easy, I can tell you that, but coming home each week, seeing my family and being able to train at home is worth the travel, for sure. For the western races I normally don’t get home until 11pm on Monday night so obviously I go right to bed. I’m not the most comfortable on airplanes so I find it hard to relax when I’m flying so that kind of adds to the travel. On Tuesdays I will go and get a massage and work out the kinks from racing on Sunday, and then in the afternoon I will go for a bicycle ride. On Wednesdays and Thursdays it’s a pretty normal routine with riding and training. Depending on when I fly out on Friday, I will go and practice starts in the morning.
That is pretty much my week at home. On Saturdays at the races it’s a pretty chilled out day so I’ll just hang out and get focused for Sunday. I might do a little workout in the afternoon just to get the blood flowing.
Q: Do you miss the days of Saturday practice?
A: It’s funny. Kevin Tyler and I were just taking about that the other day. I miss them a little. These days it would be nice to get out on the bike on Saturday and do a few laps, as long as the track was in good shape. Especially now with how condensed Sunday mornings are, you have to learn the track, get your bike set up and then try and do a fast lap. It’s tough but I do understand why they don’t bother anymore with Saturday practices.
Q: Okay Tyler, I’ll let you go for breakfast. Thanks for doing this and good luck this weekend.
A: Thanks. I am really looking forward to Calgary and to the rest of the series. It should be a good summer. I’d like to send a big get well soon out to Colton. We hope he’s back soon.