Medaglia Wins at Gopher Dunes

Suzuki Rockstar Energy OTSFF's Tyler Medaglia claimed his first ever national motocross victory on Sunday at Gopher Dunes in Courtland, Ontario aboard his RM-Z450.

Medaglia devoured the heavy sand to register 3-1 motos and the overall for the day to climb from third in the points ranking to first.

"This was a great weekend for me and Team Suzuki. I felt strong all weekend, and after recording the fastest qualifying time, I was confident that winning the overall was going to be a really good possibility. It's been a while in coming but I knew it would come because no matter where I actually finish, I always race for first place," said Medaglia. "My bike performed simply amazingly in the deep wet sand and I knew I could count on it to see me through to the end. Everybody on the team did a great job for me. Without them the results could have been a lot different. I'm thrilled with the outcome."Once again, Gopher Dunes lived up to its reputation as the toughest track in Canada. And with a heavy downpour on Saturday, the track remained wet for the races on Sunday. With each moto, the Dunes got rougher and more demanding, sporting deep ruts and whoops that claimed many a victim.

In the first moto, Medaglia shot out of the starting gate to round the first turn behind former champion Dusty Klatt. At once he started challenging Klatt for the lead, but a little bit of over enthusiasm saw Medaglia go down hard on lap five. Although he managed to shake off the effects of the crash and get back into the fray in no time, he lost his second place to Kyle Keast and settled into third.

Second moto action saw Medaglia power into turn one in eighth place. By lap three, however, he had taken over third place from Klatt; two laps later he grabbed the reins from holeshotter Jeff Gibson to lead the field for the rest of race. Gibson and Klatt were passed by Keast for second place one lap later.

"Keast came knocking on the door a couple of times but I wasn't going to let him pressure me into making a mistake. After leading for most of the first moto at round 1 and getting passed with three laps left to go, I wasn't going to let that happen again. I really wanted to win that toolbox for my mechanic Steve," said Medaglia.

Meanwhile, Medaglia's MX1 team mate, Mitch Cooke, rode two very consistent motos. After starting around 10th place both times, the Atlantic Canada native worked his way into two sixth place finishes, claiming sixth overall for the day.

In the MX2 title chase, Jeremy Medaglia had to contend with some setbacks that saw him card 11th overall for the day.

"I really wanted to win that second moto so bad I started trying too hard and paid the price by laying my bike down and then having to play catch-up again," said Medaglia.

In the Suzuki Women's Nationals, Jocelyn Killough, who was brought in from the Suzuki B team to replace an injured Missy Hackett last weekend, podiumed with impressive 3-3 motos that put her on the scoreboard with 2nd overall.

"Gopher being my home track, it would have been nice getting the win, but I tried to stay consistent in both motos and that got me second overall," said Killough. "Riding for the A team definitely puts a little extra pressure on me to step up to the plate. I got some pretty big shoes to fill, but I'm happy the opportunity was presented to me. Of course, it's unfortunate that Missy got injured and I wish her a speedy recovery."

Said team manager Andre Laurin: "This was definitely a great weekend for us with Tyler's win, Mitch's sixth overall and Jocelyn's second overall. I'm very proud of the team's synergy and ecstatic over the explosive power of the RM-Z450 EFI. It makes for a winning combination."
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