Since the opening round of the 2018 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour Series in Calgary, Tyler Medaglia has been poised to win. For 2018, Tyler has been racing a Monster Energy Alpinestars Huber Racing Kawasaki rider, and right from the first gate drop, he’s looked great on it. As the MXTour began its eastern swing last weekend at Sand Del Lee, Tyler rode strong and appeared to be very close to a moto win. Then, this past weekend at Gopher Dunes, Tyler fought hard to get to the front in Moto 2, and then cruised to not only the moto win but also his first overall 450 class win in ten years. We caught up with the man of the hour just moments after his big victory.
MXP: Anytime you can come to a tough track like Gopher Dunes and get a win is huge. Other than maybe feeling tired, you must be feeling pretty good right now?
TM: For sure, I mean it’s always good to win, and sometimes a 4-1 moto score doesn’t get it done but today it did. I kind of messed up my start in Moto 1, I didn’t really rev it enough because I didn’t want to get too much wheel spin but the bike just bogged down. For Moto 2, I used a little higher RPM and ended up getting the holeshot. It’s obviously a lot easier to lead on the opening lap than it is to be behind.
Even in the first moto when you were charging from behind you just looked comfortable. Did you feel as good as you looked?
Back home I ride and train on a rough sand track that isn’t much different than Gopher Dunes was today. So, in a lot of sections I was hopping over bumps and carrying my front wheel over whoops. I just felt comfortable and I was able to get a good flow going.
All season long you’ve been riding great on your new Kawasaki 450, and it look as though a win was right around the corner.
You know, right from the first moment I rode the Kawasaki I felt good and it felt like a bike that we were going to make really competitive. Then we started adding parts like Race Tech Suspension and Bondi Engines, then the bike got really good. I don’t really know how to explain it or what I really like about the Kawasaki, it just really works for me.
Wait until you ride the 2019 KX450, it’s even better!
I heard that Palms, hydraulic clutch and electric start.
In years past, the first big race that most of you did in a year was the first round of the nationals. However, this season most of you raced the AXTour in the early part of the year. Do you think that intense AX racing has helped you so far this summer?
Definitely, I think it helped a lot, actually. Some of us are getting older and we sometimes need to get out of our comfort zone. The AXTour Series gave us a chance to battle each other and get a feel for our bikes. Like you said, in the past our first races would’ve been at the nationals. I think this new format is great and I enjoy racing more.
I heard you say on the podium a few minutes ago that when you saw the halfway board you still felt fresh and smooth. Don’t you just love when that happens?
It’s such a good feeling when that happens! There are some motos where you get to halfway and you’re already a little tired, but yeah, in Moto 2 today I was surprised to see it so quickly. Even with a few laps to go, I had such a good rhythm going that I felt like I could keep going.
During that second moto I think you looked as smooth or maybe even smoother than I’ve ever seen you at this track. Did you have any close calls or moments that freaked you out?
I think I got lucky all day with lappers and the lines I chose. Even during this final moto with the track really rough, I didn’t really have any moments where I was worried. I think I swapped in the rollers once, but that was more because I’m short. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my riding right now.
I know you won so you must’ve liked the track (laughs), but overall were you happy with the changes made to the track?
I thought the track was actually fun today. Some of the new sections and the jumps they added, it kind of made it fun to ride, rather than just a tough old sand track. I’m just glad they got rid of that camel back triple into the whoops in the back, I hated that section because each year I struggled with it. That section sucked and I’m glad they got rid of it. This new layout is good and I think the racing today was pretty good in all of the motos.
So, you guys get a weekend off and then we go to Moncton, which is really your hometown east race. Are you excited for that?
In the past, Moncton has always been pretty good to me, and yes, this season it’s the closet race to my home. This season I have a different type of training program, it’s a little lighter than in years past. So, I’m just going to stick to that and keep training this week like I have all summer. Today’s win moves us to second overall in the 450 points so that is huge for me and for the team. Hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling and have another strong race at Round 7.
Well, great job today and congratulations on your first 450 win in ten years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long.
I know, it’s been too long.