The TLMoto team was preparing to participate in the National Speed Championship (CNV) with a combustion prototype when the COVID-19 pandemic started. The team also began to build another electric prototype with which they sought to compete in MotoStudent – competition for university students that takes place in Spain. Covid-19 postponed the CNV to last June and brought new dynamics and challenges to the competition: the events are taking place without an audience and only teams of 3 members maximum are allowed to compete. MotoStudent was postponed to spring 2021. Nevertheless, the Técnico team continued to work at home and, if everything goes as planned, the electric pototype should be ready by the end of summer. The TLMoto team have managed to reach the podium in two CNV stages already held.
CNV comprises 6 stages that take place in different weeks. The Técnico team ranked 3rd in the second race, held in Algarve Racing Circuit (Portimão), in the Premoto3 category. The third stage took place last weekend, 18th and 19th June, in Estoril Racing Circuit. The TLMoto team ranked 2nd. “This was a positive weekend because we achieved our best time this season, which means that we are improving our performance”, shares Joana Fonseca, business manager TL Moto and Técnico student.
“We are the only team of students competing in CNV, so we take up a lot of attention. People know us and recognise the evolution of our team over the years”, says Joana Fonseca. “It is also true that we face some added challenges, we do not have access to the same budget and resources as the other teams, but our main goal is to get more experience and to see a more competitive TLM01i”, highlights the Técnico student.
TLM01i – the combustion motorcycle with which TLMoto team competes in the National Speed Championship – was developed in 2014 and has been permantely improved by the Técnico students. “We have been investing in new suspensions, a new engine and other small parts” points out Joana Fonseca. “TLM01i is an easy to work motorcycle, which is very important because we don’t waste time in removing / exchanging / cleaning complicated parts and this is something that we value highly”, adds the Técnico student. This year, the team added a telemetry system “in order to analyse the riding data”, explains Joana Fonseca.
These good results confirm the ability of Técnico team to overcome challenges. Joana Fonseca recalls some difficulties, highlights the commitment of the team and how good communication encourages productive teamwork. “It all happened so quickly that we didn’t have much time to prepare ourselves. We prepared a contingency plan because we thought possible continue to work at Técnico in small groups, but after all we were completely prohibited from entering our workshop”, she recalls. “We took some things home and tried to find out how we could continue our work via Zoom”, adds the Técnico student.
Although TLMoto participation in the CNV is still in the middle, the good results achieved so far motivate the team members. “We feel motivated and confident because we have made good progress in the last 3 races, but we still have to make some improvements until the end of the season”, says Joana Fonseca. “Even if we didn’t reach the podium at the end of the championship, we are absolutely sure that we will be very proud of this season”, says the Técnico student on behalf of the team members.