Top tier Moto2 riders get immersed in all things Triumph, tour the UK factory and hear the bike revved up on the rolling road.
Ahead of the 2019 season, in which all Moto2 bikes will be powered by Triumph’s 765cc triple engine, six riders were invited to Triumph’s Hinckley factory and got to hear the bike at full tilt. FTR joined the tour with Luca Marini (ITA-SKY Racing Team VR46), Sam Lowes (GBR-Swiss Innovative Investors), Danny Kent (GBR-+ Ego Speed Up Racing Team), Isaac Viñales (SPA-Forward Racing Team), Bo Bendsneyder (NED-Tech 3 Racing Team) and Joe Roberts (USA-NTS RW Racing GP).
As the riders arrived they were greeted with some of Triumph’s most iconic historic racing motorcycles, from a 1909 TT racer through to modern era 675cc Daytona race winners. These motorcycles are now on display at the Triumph Racing Champions exhibit at the Factory Visitor Experience.
The riders then got to see behind the scenes with a Moto2 bike – now at the end of development with Magneti Marelli and ExternPro – being pushed hard on the rolling road at Triumph HQ, the screaming exhaust putting smiles on all the riders’ faces. Its overrun pops and bangs could be felt through your chest – even outside of the rolling road building.
We caught up with the two British riders to get their thoughts on the 2019 ride.
“An exciting time to be involved”
(Swiss Innovative Investors)
“It’s good-looking, though my bike will look a bit different. I’ve not been on the bike, but I did follow it for a few laps and it looks very good. When you think of the differences in engine design, there’s going to be changes in power delivery. It’ll be a different riding style; you have to stop the bike a bit more in the corner and get more power off the corner. And it’ll be very responsive.
“Next year will be great and I’m really proud to be British, running a British-powered bike. We need to make sure that the next champion is British too.
“I’m so proud that Triumph got this and it’s an exciting time to be involved.”
(+ Ego Speed Up Racing Team)
“I love the sound of it. The way the gears work, the engine sound – I’m impressed. Speaking to the guys who have ridden it, it seems like it’ll require a change in riding style. It will be more MotoGP style as there’s more torque. The riders will have to adapt and squeeze every bit of performance out of it.
“I think it’s great it’s a British engine. I couldn’t believe it when it was announced – such great news.”
Speaking with Miles Perkins, Head of Brand Management at Triumph and one of the team to host the riders, he said: “This has been a momentous day for everyone at Triumph with the reveal of the final engine that will power the Moto2 championship, and the riders visit. Talking to Sam Lowes it’s clear the riders are very exited, he for one said he would love to be the first Brit to win on a British-powered motorcycle.”
For all the riders, the visit allowed them to see the heritage, cutting-edge manufacturing and racing credentials of the Triumph brand. Everyone’s looking forward to riding the Triumph-engined machines, but for the British riders there’s definitely a sense of pride and excitement, as Danny jokes: “Seeing as I’m a Brit with a British engine, maybe it’ll give me a bit more power!”