MEDAGLIA MAKES MINNEAPOLIS MAIN
Following their success in the mud of Daytona Suzuki City OTSFF Rockstar was primed for another strong weekend in Minneapolis March 15. This time around it was Tyler Medaglia’s turn to make the Main event.
In heat-one Medaglia got off to a great start on his RM-Z250F, holding off a pack of more experienced Supercross riders. He laughs “Yeah, it was good! I almost got the holeshot, so that was pretty sick! Then I just rode my own race. I made a couple mistakes taking lines I didn’t try in practice, but as a race develops things happen and you do stuff differently. I was focused in my qualifier, I just wanted to be smooth and not do anything stupid or mess anything up. I was riding pretty conservatively.” That smart riding put the young Canadian into eighth, earning him a straight shot into the main event. Justin ‘Pooh’ Sipes and Jimmy Albertson also rode heat-one, with Sipes finishing tenth and Albertson 11th. “In my heat race I got caught up behind a couple guys in the corner and a bunch of guys got around me,” describes Sipes.
In heat-two it was Willy Browning in the spotlight. Browning got a good start, only to be set back by a collision. “I came off the gate good in my heat but I tangled bars with another rider,” he says. “It wasn’t enough to put me down, but it was enough to put me at the back of the pack. I started to get faster as the race progressed and ended up in 13th. Once I got going I felt good, but all week I just didn’t feel that great.”
The LCQ had the Suzuki OTSFF Rockstar trio all vying for one of the precious transfer spots to the main event. Sipes, also sick, put his head down and charged. “I was mad because those people had crashed in front of me in my heat race and I couldn’t get around them,” he says. “I spun off the gate and just couldn’t recover from that. I’ve been sick for a couple weeks now. I’ve been coughing a lot and sometimes when I practice I start coughing and it won’t stop and I can’t breathe.” Even riding sick Sipes was still able to finish a respectable ninth. Browning had a rough time in the LCQ as well, and finished one spot away from transferring to the main in fifth. “I was sixth on the first lap,” he tells. “Then I made some stupid moves and got passed. I moved back up through the pack right behind Jimmy until he crashed on the last lap. I didn’t feel like a slouch, but I’ve ridden better.” Albertson had the roughest luck of all, taking a bad spill that left him with a broken collarbone. “Jimmy went down hard in the LCQ, and will most likely miss the rest of the season,” says Suzuki City OTSFF Rockstar Team Manager Michael Nasakaitis. “On the last lap he was fighting to get the final transfer spot and clipped the face of the tabletop with his front wheel.”
That left Medaglia as Suzuki City OTSFF Rockstar’s only rider in the main event. Medaglia kept his cool and he got off to another great start. Unfortunately his race went downhill when he nearly got catapulted over the bars. “Things were looking great,” he says. “Until on the first lap I messed up and cased a jump and hit my neck on the crossbar pad. It knocked the wind out of me and broke the back plate of my chest protector, so that was flapping the whole race which was annoying. It took me a lap and a half to get my breath back. After I’d slowed down for a bit because of my throat I started riding ok again, pretty consistent, but made a few mistakes here and there. It was good to make the main but I know I can do better in Toronto.” Nasakaitis is proud of Medaglia, who went on to finish 17th. “I’m glad to see Tyler finally get into the main. He has been putting a lot of time into training and it is good to see it payoff for him,” Nasakaitis says.
How does Medaglia feel about coming back to Canada for the Toronto Supercross? “I don’t really feel much pressure going into Toronto,” he says. “I’m looking forward to getting some good starts like I did in Minneapolis and seeing where it takes me. It’s always been tough for Canadians trying to break into the Pro class down in the ‘States, but it’s a level we can get to if we work for it. Supercross is different, I mean, I’m still learning at it. I’m a stronger outdoor rider than indoor, but each race my Supercross ability gets better and better and I’ll get some strong finishes!”
Helping Suzuki City OTSFF Rockstar make their mark are team sponsors Rockstar Energy drink, RG3 Biloxi, Answer, Suzuki Genuine Accessories, Wiseco, Boyesen, Crew Wear, American Suzuki, Millsaps Training Facility, Suzuki Auto, PR2, Hindle, Alpinestars, K&N, Works Connection, Factory Effex, VP Race Fuels, www.suzukionly.com, Sunstar, Pirelli, Pro Taper, Braking, Dragon, and CV4.
For more information on team Suzuki City OTSFF Rockstar, please contact:
Suzuki City Inc, Biloxi, MS
or visit them online at www.racelikearockstar.com