Tri­umph set for Moto2 shock

Tri­umph set to sup­ply stonk­ing 765 en­gine for Mo­togp’s sup­port class

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn - MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com SI­MON PAT­TER­SON

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

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