Ti­rau su­per­bike rider liv­ing the dream

South Waikato News - - Out & About - LUKE KIRKEBY

Grip­ping the han­dle­bars of a su­per­bike so pow­er­ful he’s ripped out of its seat on take­off to reach speeds of over 300 kilo­me­tres is some­thing Dil­lon Telford lives for.

The 25-year-old Ti­rau su­per­bike rider, who is the son of cham­pion New Zealand su­per­bike rider Bruce Telford, is set to com­pete in the Ital­ian CIV Na­tional Tro­phy Cham­pi­onship in Italy from April to Oc­to­ber 2017 where he will take on 45 top Ital­ian and Span­ish rac­ers.

Af­ter com­ing sec­ond in New Zealand’s Su­per­stock 1000 cham­pi­onship in 2016 Telford, who will travel to Italy with his part­ner and mechanic Jo Tay­lor, said it was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion and chance to boost the pro­file of the sport here.

He will be­come the first New Zealan­der to ride su­per­bikes com­pet­i­tively over­seas since Si­mon Cra­far in 2002.

Rac­ing as part of Italy’s King Rac­ing Team (KRT) he will com­pete on some of the coun­try’s top tracks dur­ing the six round cham­pi­onship.

But it’s no easy jour­ney to get there. His cus­tom made Ital­ian Aprilia bike is cost­ing $40,000 alone and then there are travel, liv­ing, and en­try costs which has seen him have to sell al­most ev­ery­thing he owns.

‘‘Peo­ple don’t like sec­ond hand un­der­wear and socks so i’ve still got those,’’ he laughed.

‘‘Our tar­get is $95,000 and we have reached $65,000 since Oc­to­ber so we have done well with­out any ma­jor spon­sors on board.

‘‘It’s been a strug­gle be­cause mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing in New Zealand is not that big, whereas in Italy it is their na­tional sport. How we see rugby is how they see mo­tor­sport and soc­cer, it’s ab­so­lutely huge.’’

While a meet and greet at Mugello race­track in Italy last year proved he’s up with the besttest rides placed him within the top ten of 42 cham­pi­onship rid­er­she said he’s not just go­ing there to race well but also to help with his rider coach­ing in New Zealand.

‘‘I want to learn things that you just can’t learn in New Zealand so I can bring things back and teach other riders what it takes to get to that level,’’ he said.

‘‘Taupo Mo­tor­sport Park has started sup­port­ing us with that and in the fu­ture wants to help with de­vel­op­ing riders from a young age.’’

A Pa­treon.com TR20 video blog will be ac­ti­vated dur­ing the cham­pi­onships or visit TR20 on Face­book to do­nate.

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