The MotoGP paddock will reverberate to the glorious sound of Triumph’s triple engine from 2019, after the British manufacturer was confirmed as the new sole engine supplier for the Moto2 world championship.
The intermediate class rules dictates that all bikes must use a standardised engine. Since the introduction of the class in 2010, that powerplant has been based on Honda’s four-cylinder CBR600RR unit, however that will all change after next season, as the class switches to 765cc three-cylinder units based heavily on those used in the Street Triple RS.
Having won the engine supply tender, Triumph has signed a three-year contract with Dorna – the commercial rights holder of MotoGPT – to supply a dedicated race tuned 765cc Triumph triple engine, based on the powerplant from the all-new 2017 Triumph Street Triple, through to the end of the 2021 season. As with the existing Honda units, these engines will be prepared by the Spanish-based ExternPro company and randomly allocated to teams during the season.
The engines have already been tested by 2009 125cc world champion Julian Simon, a former runner-up in the Moto2 class, and have a number of significant changes from the production engine, including a modified cylinder head with revised inlet and exhaust ports, titanium valves with stiffer valve springs, a new sump, slimmer engine covers, a racing alternator and taller first gear. Triumph will also introduce an adjustable slipper clutch, which will hopefully go some way to eliminate the somewhat crude shifting charateristics of the current Moto2 package, while Italian specialists Magneti Marelli will develop a control ECU for the new package.
No power outputs have been given, but it would be expected that the three-cylinder engine would deliver in the region of 145bhp. Having tested the triple at the Spanish Aragon circuit, Simon said: “The engine feels strong and In particular the mid-range is very impressive. The feel between the throttle and the rear wheel is very direct and controllable. The general feeling is very good and the engine already shows great potential.”
Speaking of the decision to work with Triumph, Carmelo Ezpeleta, Chief Executive Officer of Dorna said; “We are very excited to be working with one of the world’s most iconic motorcycle brands. The Triumph triple engines are renowned for their strong, linear power and torque delivery and have achieved many successes on the track making them the ideal choice for the Moto2 championship. We are looking forward to the 2019 season and the beginning of a new generation of Moto2 in partnership with Triumph.”
Herve Poncharal, President of IRTA, the International Race Teams Association added; “Moto2 is a key category in feeding talent into MotoGP. We’re seeing a lot of top riders in MotoGP all come through the intermediate category. The arrival of Triumph as the sole engine supplier and with new ECUs in the intermediate class, marks a new era that is sure to prove another incredible step in its evolution, making it remain the ultimate category on the way to MotoGP.”
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