Dillon and Jo, partners in their real life (as well as on the pitlane) and in love with RSV4.
Dillon Telford (boy and rider) and Jo Taylor (girl and mechanic) of TR20 Team sold everything they own in New Zeland to move to Italy for 6 months & buy the 2017 RSV4 FW. To compete and gain 10th position at Mugello circuit. A great performance from this passionate couple.
Here below, their race report.
TR20 Progress Forward…
“The determination of the TR20 team, knows no bounds!
Selling everything to come to Italy to purchase the latest 2017 Aprilia RSV4 RFW stock 1MM, train Jo the TR20 Marketing & Media girl on all aspects of the Aprilia RSV4, complete with Tyre Tuning & Suspension knowledge to then Enter into one of the Highest levels of European Competition & have a Goal of Top 10.
Ambitious might not be a big enough word!
But the feeling of accomplishing a Top 10 feels like a win for this Small but Passionate Kiwi Team.
The Italian paddock this year is one of the toughest with Wild Card riders battling with the front runners. This level of competition will either make or break you as a person, as a rider & as a human being and team if you let it.
From the beginning some 13 months ago, we heard it all… many people didn't think we had what it takes to compete at this level.”
Telford & Aprilia Go Hand In Hand Since Ages Ago…
“Passion is a huge part of who we are, as a Team & as individuals. Our passion for the Aprilia Brand is huge !
For Dillon it began in New Zealand when his father Bruce Telford, found a passion for the Aprilia brand before he purchased the very first Aprilia Superbike RSV1000 mille in 1999, then became Multi Champion with Aprilia on Closed Circuit & Street Racing in their home country in the many years to come with all the RSV, RSVR and SXV as well as RSV4.”
Top 10 Place Feels Like A Win !
“During Friday practice Dillon had expert help from Nuova M2 Team, who checked our settings & help improve the setup, Jo would apply the changes & then back out to the track to test.
After the session we had three Nuova M2 technicians find us to discuss the bike & help find the best solution, before long a solution was made, one M2 technician asked if Jo was going to do all the changes, she being the teams head mechanic, but in this case its a Team effort of all three of us including the rider.
Qualifying Day brought great results, the new solution worked well we cracked .400 seconds faster than our previous personal best at a 1;56,400 whilst being on a cold track, we can consistently do .56’s now as last time it was a struggle to do 57’s. So overall we qualified P21 for the race, our best qualifying so far this season!
Sunday’s race was stressful for the team & possibly the hardest race day in Italy to date!
Dillon woke with a torn muscle in his shoulder from Qualifying day & rain was predicted for Sunday. Our race was 11.05am, its a gamble of which tyres to buy, slicks or wets. We can't afford both. With 2 hours till our race, it looked like fine weather so slicks were purchased & fitted. Jo checked the hot front tyre near our race time, the valve stem rubber had perished on our Marvic wheel and was leaking, Dillon ran off to the parts shop at the track to buy a replacement, whilst Bruce & Jo took the front wheel off the bike. Dillon returned with the only one the shop had, but it didn’t fit, and no O-ring in our spares fitted. With 13 minutes till our race, Jo noticed the spear OME RSV4 wheel with an old wet tyre on it, not having enough time to change tyres we took the valve stem off the wet rim, fitted it to the Marvic Rim and put it back on the bike and with 5 mins to pit lane open. The drama is not over!
Dillon got a great start, safely through turn one and up to 16th from 21st. After passing a few pilots up into 14th place at the finish of lap one, but the championship leader Luca Salvadori has crashed badly causing a red flag at the end of lap 2. Quick re-start time, Jo’s sprints off down pit lane & out onto the grid to meet Dillon. As she was waiting for the riders to arrive, it starts to rain! Red Flagged again, some teams changed to wets immediately and some waited it out… we had no wets so we couldn't do anything, it wasn't enough rain to fully wet the track, Jo sprinted off again to the start grid. When meeting Dillon after a warm up lap, we were happy to know the track was drying.
The race start again, Dillon gets a good start, makes a epic move up the inside into turn 1 and into 8th position from 21st ! Top 10 battle begins ! Dillon had an awesome battle with a few riders for a good half the race, making his way to 7th place for a lap, Dillon’s torn shoulder muscle had begin to weaken his ability to keep fighting in the pack, after a long fight to keep a few riders at bay he was overtaken.
But to bring the team a 10th place position was the best feeling ever, it felt like we just won! Such a proud moment for this tiny three person Kiwi Team with endless passion & determination.
We were Top Aprilia in class from a total of 5 RSV4 Pilots this weekend.
We cracked a genuine on paper 300kph in official practice with our stock engine and road electronics! The bike is just so strong.
We thank all our Sponsors, Supporters & Fans for their continued support this season, also a huge thanks goes to the equally passionate Nuova M2 Team & Gabro Racing Team for their advice.”