Triumph set for Moto2 shock
Triumph set to supply stonking 765 engine for Motogp’s support class
Triumph look set to take over from Honda as engine supplier of Motogp’s intermediate Moto2 class from the 2019 season onwards, in a dramatic deal that has stunned the Grand Prix paddock.
Britain’s biggest bike firm are believed to have done a deal to supply 765cc engines from the new Street Triple unveiled by MCN this week (see page 4) as a replacement for the Honda CBR600RR powerplants that have been exclusively used by the championship since its inauguration in 2011.
The move would be the perfect entry into top-class sport for the notoriously anti-racing Triumph, by giving them an opportunity for exposure at the highest level in return for minimal risk.
It would mark the first British engine manufacturer involvement in Grand Prix racing in decades, with the last win coming an incredible 48 years ago when Godfrey Nash won the 1969 Yugoslavian Grand Prix for Norton.
The deal should see Triumph supplying around 200 engines to the class, plus the dedicated support needed to refresh them after every three races.
MCN’S sources believe that an outline agreement was made at the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix, with Triumph snatching the opportunity from Austrian manufacturer KTM at their home race. Senior staff from the British firm were reportedly smuggled into the track in order to thrash out a deal with Motogp organisers Dorna.
KTM were one of only a series of manufacturers keen to take on the class when the current Honda deal expires at the end of the 2018 season, with MV Agusta, Kawasaki and Honda themselves all vying to supply engines.
It’s an interesting decision for Motogp organisers by moving away from one of Grand Prix racing’s established manufacturers to a relative unknown in modern-era racing, but Dorna seem keen to reduce their reliance on the existing factories.
The change from 600cc inline four to 765cc triple engine would see radical changes to the Moto2 class, as bikes are completely redesigned to make the new motor work in a Moto2 package. With a much narrower profile that helps make the Daytona 675 the most nimble bike currently competing in supersport racing, the changes mean that manufacturers such as Suter, Kalex and now KTM will be forced to devise radically different frames.
However, while the existing manufacturers may see that as a major hindrance, it may also help to break some of the domination that Kalex have held on the series in recent years, by encouraging others to try their hand.
The step from 600 to 765 should make less of a difference, though, with MCN being led to believe that in order to keep the power at a similar level of around 130bhp, the engines will be largely stock – which should mean increased reliability. The road-going Street Triple is said to produce 121bhp at 11,600rpm, meaning minimal mods will be needed to reach 130bhp.
Teams and frame manufacturers are expected to be given first access to the new engines during the 2018 season to aid development – although it would come as no surprise if Kalex, Suter and KTM currently have orders in place for the new Street Triple at their local dealers!
Triumph have yet to make an official announcement on the deal and were remaining silent on the subject as MCN went to press this week.
‘Senior staff were reportedly smuggled into a track by Dorna’
Motogp’s wildest stars may be switching to Triumph Triumph’s brilliant Triple is expected to be replacing Honda in Moto2 E S O G D N A D L O G
The last British engine to win a GP back in 1969 was a 500cc Manx Norton