Scary brake pad bodge job
How Triumph’s new engine will shake-up the class
Moto2’s new Triumph engine received almost universal approval first time out in testing at Jerez, with riders raving about the new 765cc unit that replaced Honda’s CBR600based engine after a decade of service. During the three-day test lap times fell with many teams under the lap record.
The three-cylinder engine was chosen in a bid to reinvigorate the class by changing riding styles. With more capacity but one less cylinder, the Triumph not only makes around 15bhp more than the Honda, but gives a significant increase in torque, too.
That means riding styles should be closer to MotoGP’s heavy braking and accelerating, and so be a better stepping stone to the premier class. At Jerez, midcorner speed was down almost 10mph over the Honda, yet lap times were faster. Leading Brit Sam Lowes was second fastest overall and was surprised how good the Triumph was straight away. “I thought it might be really strange but it feels great,” he told MCN. “I got on it, rode it, and immediately thought it was mint. There’s a lot more low-down power and it’s going to make a big of difference because I’ll be a bit more involved as a rider. “There’ll be more than one way to make a lap time, with some riders fast and flowing, but others more stop-start and using the power off the corners the way I do. With the Honda, you couldn’t do that because there was no power, but now there’s lots of lines through every corner and that should make for better racing.” Lowes finished behind Italian Luca Marini despite not having the new Dunlop tyre Marini used to set his time. The 28-year-old Brit leaves the test delighted with his performance and his new Gresini squad after a difficult 2018 with the now-insolvent Swiss Innovative Investors team.
He wasn’t the only Brit to have a good weekend at Jerez, with rookie Jake Dixon making strong headway on the Angel Nieto KTM. The British Superbike runnerup topped one wet session and finished the three-day test 28th overall, two and a half seconds off Marini.