Revolving Racing – Tayla Relph | Columns | Gassit Garage
I am confident that I will be fighting for my very first Australian championship title
I am still in a state of shock and disbelief as to the support I have been given leading up to this season. The end of 2016 did not go as I had anticipated with the engine of my bike blowing up in the final race of the year, subsequently ending my chances of placing second overall in the Moto3/125cc Grand Prix class of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) – instead I had to settle for third. Although that might seem like a good result, it was extremely disappointing after how much hard work I had put in throughout the season.
With a blown-up Moto3 sadly sitting in the shed, I really wasn’t sure what I was racing this year. So I am pleased to say that I will be racing in the ASBK aboard a Yamaha R3. It is sad to say goodbye to my Moto3, but I have never been more excited for a race season to start, with my first outing this year in the R3 Cup at ASBK Round 2 at Wakefield Park Raceway, NSW.
This won’t be my first ever outing on a Yamaha R3, as last year I had the amazing opportunity to race Christopher Dobie’s AMCN R3 at Phillip Island. I was extremely happy with my results that weekend, reaching every goal that I had set out for myself. I found there to be a major difference between my Moto3 and the R3, simply because one is a purpose-built racebike and the other is not. Every session on the R3 I was improving, adapting to the changes and adjusting my riding style to suit. A major strength for me that came from racing the Moto3 for so long was that I knew exactly how a bike should feel and handle throughout the corner. With the feedback that I was able to give to Race Center we got a great set-up that suited my style of riding perfectly.
At that meeting I experienced some of the best racing I have had in years, with the grid numbers very high and such strong competition throughout the entire field. It made me push myself to a new level. I learnt so much from my very short time on the R3 and will definitely be putting everything I learnt to good use this year.
I didn’t put any pressure on myself that weekend – I told myself I was out there to purely have fun and not worry about where I placed. I knew that I was lacking track time and bike knowledge compared to the other competitors, but I didn’t let it bother me. In saying that, I was astounded with the results I achieved that weekend, finishing sixth overall.
This year I will have the best team of coaches at Advanced Rider Training, who will help me reach my full potential each round. The team at ART have been following my racing since I very first started attending the Motorcycle Sportsmen coaching days at the age of just 11. They have watched me progress throughout the years and they know my exact strengths and weaknesses, so having them behind me will be a big plus. With so much support coming together, I will be stronger than ever and I am confident that I will be fighting for my very first Australian championship title, a major goal that I have set for myself this year.
This season will be one of the most demanding years I have encountered as I will be starting a Bachelor of Journalism full-time, working part-time, and of course training very hard. It’s a challenge, but it will really push me to a new level. I have such amazing sponsors who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to support me. Thanks to MotoNational Accessories, Spidi, Five gloves, Mick’s Fix Leather Repairs, Parsons Bus & Coach, Quick Lap Performance, IRC tyre warmers, MWR air filters, Pirelli tyres, Motul oil, Advanced Rider Training, RK Chains, Motorcycle Sportsmen of Queensland and North Star Yamaha for everything they have done to help make all of this possible in 2017.