PLEASANT VALLEY – Tyler Medaglia will be in his element this weekend as he waits behind the starting gate at Riverglade MX Park in Moncton.
The globetrotting motocross star has seen it all, from Brookfield to Berlin, but this weekend he’ll get the chance to breathe in the East Coast air for the eighth race in the Rockstar Energy Drink Pro National season.
“It’s been a long season of travelling so far, starting in B.C. and hitting every province on the way,” the 27-year-old Brookfield resident said. “It’s going to be great to sleep in my own bed and drive down to the track.”
Medaglia has been steady this season through the countrywide races, sitting third in the standings with 235 points, 61 back of leader Colton Facciotti. He’s reached three podiums, including a second place finish in June and a third two weeks ago in Richmond, Ont.
“My bike has been really good, so I’m in good standing coming into the last three races of the season on the East Coast tracks,” he said.
Medaglia, who was born in Kemptville, Ontario, settled into Nova Scotia five years ago, calling Brookfield his home. Since then, he’s not only adopted the Maritimes as his home, but also fitted his riding style around the softer, richer soil.
“To consider here my home now is awesome,” he said. “I love it. We have the best place in Canada to race motocross, with so many beautiful tracks. It’s so nice we have this here to take advantage of.”
Medaglia will look to use that advantage on Sunday, as he takes on his opponents at a track he’s grown familiar with. Living a quick drive away from Moncton for the last five years, he’s rode at Riverglade many times before.
With the standings packed tightly from first to sixth, Medaglia will gladly take the competitive edge.
“The level of competition has really deepened and the caliber is up this year, so to be in the position I’m in, it’s huge and coming into Riverglade this weekend is a blast,” he said. “I got to ride there a lot this spring, so it will have a familiar feel to it.”
Medaglia finished third overall in standings last season, and went through a transition period this year as he tinkered with changes to his bike. After making alterations to the gearing and suspension, he’s riding more comfortably than ever.
After winning the MX2 division in 2009 and 2010, Medaglia was bumped up to the MX1 division. The change meant switching from 250 to 450cc bikes, essentially harnessing double the power and extra weight in the same size frame. Keeping control of the bike requires much more fitness, something he’s worked a lot on since then.
“This year I’ve been working really hard with my trainer and I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in this season. I feel great and I’m riding great.”
The hard work this season has paid off outside the Rockstar national tour as well, as Medaglia was named to ride with Canada’s national team for the third time in his career. He’ll be heading to Latvia in late September for the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations with a maple leaf on his chest.
For a rider with humble beginnings, reflecting on the sport is an emotional thing.
“It’s so cool this sport has taken me to places I couldn’t even imagine,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing that being a redneck from the woods riding a dirt bike has given me this opportunity.”
Qualifiers will get underway at 9:20 a.m. on Sunday morning, with races getting underway at noon and running until 4:30 p.m.