Telford team make top 20 at Misano

Dillon Telford finished with his best placing so far in the Italian 1000 Superbike Championship

Local superbike rider Dillon Telford has raised in the ranks of the Italian 1000 Superbike Championship, recently finishing with his best placing so far in the championship, during the latest round at the Misano World Circuit.

Telford, with the help of his team, including girlfriend and mechanic Jo Taylor, finished inside the top 20. It started with a tough qualifying round which placed the Telford racer 25th on the start grid.

“Qualifying is never easy, with 42 riders putting in their best hot-laps to gain a place closer to the start line on the grid, and 29 of those riders with-in 4 seconds of each other, it’s a big fight for supremacy,” said Dillon Telford.

“He nearly lost the bike twice out there, not what a girlfriend or mechanic wants to hear!” said Jo Taylor. “There was no way I would let him back out there with a bike like that, with 15 minutes left of the first qualifying round (Q1).”

After feeling movement in the steering head bearings, the team raced against the clock to get them tightened. “It’s never a rush job, but at the same time you have to be focused and precise, it’s the riders’ life at stake and there better not be anything left loose, no pressure!” said Jo.

Within four minutes the bearings were tightened and Dillon was back out there for the remaining 8 minutes of Q1, now able to push the bike even further. “Due to this lack of Q1 laps, we had not done our best lap time, it wasn’t bad but not our best, sitting in 26th position with a time of 1.41.96.”

With a bit of help from the Aprilia pit lane they were able to torque the bike’s head bearings to the perfect setting, allowing for a better race in the second qualifying round. There the team bettered their time again, shaving off a few milliseconds (a long time in this sport!) to a time of 1.41.22, placing them 25th on the start grid. Those in 12th to 20th place were close by with times within the 1.39’s, the top 2 having finished at 1.37.70 and 1.37.80.

“So we just have to bridge the gap to 1.39’s,” explained Jo. “Then the times will continue to come down, it’s not an impossible gap to bridge, it comes with learning the track more, turns 1, 2 and 3 are a bit like Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park’s track at Taupo. You have to get turn two right, to get turns 3 and 4 right.

“These riders have ridden this track since they were 7 years old, where as we started learning this track two months ago, and due to funds, unfortunately can’t be here every day to fast forward our track knowledge.”

Dillon hides from the heat during a red flag break, waiting for the restart

On race day, by 9.30am it was already 35 degrees Celsius with the Italian summer almost at its peak. As the race got underway Dillon made his way to the outside of the track. The first turn did not disappoint, with five or more riders crashing onto the tar-seal, just missing Dillon in the process, but causing him to run off track to avoid them, re-joining the race at turn 2. “Turn one off the start is scary, up the inside you run the huge risk of gung-ho riders out-braking themselves and charging up the back of your bike, or T-boning you mid corner, on the outside you run the risk of everyone pushing you out wide or crashed riders out of control sliding across the track.”

Once back at turn one Dillon made his way into 17th place, but again a collision meant he had to stand the bike up to avoid it, letting four riders past him, so the hard work began to retrieve those lost positions. With only 8 laps of race distance remaining he finished in 19th position, which wasn’t helped when movement from the steering head bearings returned in the last 4 laps, limiting Dillon’s power.

“Would you believe it, the steering stem bearings had come loose, after 60nm of torque and 22 laps of Misano! So it’s just another small issue to overcome,” said Jo. “We are starting to really like Misano racetrack, its technical, tight and slow, but yet fast and open as well.”

The next round of the championship takes place on September 23 and 24, returning to Mugello. “We are planning a test day there to improve the set up and handling of the Aprilia (motorbike) around the very physical track, so we can push further inside the top 20 group and hopefully get some points on the championship board.”

“We again can’t thank everyone enough for the continued support!”

The Telford Racing team are not your average superbike team, they do not have a massive amount of funding behind them like their international competitors, just a handful of dedicated supporters back here at home. They are always in need of more support and continued funding to pursue this superbike racing dream. Visit www.patreon.com/TR20 to help support the Telford team and keep up to date with the latest news.

Dillon Telford and Jo Taylor at Misano

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