Triumph’s powerful new Moto2 triple 765cc engines have been matched with Magneti Marelli super-customisable ECUs and some of the key chassis manufacturers prototype race set-ups for the very first time.
As three of the chassis manufacturer teams mounted the unmistakable sounding Triumph engine in their prototype 2019 frames – Kalex, KTM and NTS – they pushed the 765cc under near-race conditions. Trevor Morris, from Externpro (the company who look after the Triumph engines for MotoGP) said:
“Today was the first time everything was in place to see what the whole new package could do, and the results have been incredibly positive. This shows just how big a change is coming, and that’s exactly where we wanted to be.”
With the test already resulting in matching lap times to the current 2018 machines after only two days testing, we caught up with Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer, for his take on how the Triumph unit has progressed.
“We are very pleased with the progress to date and impressed with the level of passion and effort from the chassis teams, the riders, the ECU team Magneti Marelli, Exernpro, and Dorna in developing the new generation of Moto2 motorcycles.”
“Even more to come”
Although the performance was hitting all the right notes straight from the box, the teams are expecting even more. Triumph’s engine is a hit, but when it comes to squeezing the best out of a great engine it’s a balance of chassis engineering, rider skill, and clever electronics.
“From the feedback we’ve heard, there’s plenty more room to improve,” he says: “This test was really about the ECU engineers working with the chassis teams to improve the performance. The ECU from Magneti Marelli for Moto2 2019 marks a huge leap in technology.”
Magneti Marelli specialises in high-tech components for many automotive brands and is a name synonymous with Formula 1. It is a company on the cutting edge of ECU design and provide teams with incredible control over motorcycle handling and power delivery.
Steve explains: “The ECU gives the teams a lot of choice to make changes with ignition, fuelling, engine breaking, electronic throttle maps, quick shifter adjustments and pit lane speed limiters. Next year will be much closer to MotoGP levels of technology than Moto2 has ever been. The class is going to become really interesting, with exciting racing and even more competition between team engineers to develop the best-performing package.”
“Significant steps forward”
The Kalex was ridden by championship contender Alex Marquez and test rider Jesko Raffin, the KTM by Julián Simón, 2009 125cc World Champion and Moto2 runner-up and test rider Ricky Cardús, and the NTS by experienced Moto2 and MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis.
“Alex Marquez said it’s much closer to how his MotoGP motorcycle feels to ride,” Steve continues: “Our test rider, Julián Simón, says the bike has made significant steps forward every time he gets on it.”
Marquez commented: “Really nice to ride. It’s a lot more powerful [compared with last year’s Moto2 bikes] especially the torque. It uses more of the tyre and you need to prepare your exits a bit more.” See the video interview.
Triumph, working closely with Magneti Marelli, is using the mountain of gathered data to improve on the engine performance further still. They are currently organising the next phase of testing (date to be confirmed) and as the story unfolds we expect to see the full capability of 2019’s Moto2 machines.