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Why Britain’s Triumph is committing its future to Moto2

During the MotoGP British Grand Prix weekend earlier in August, Triumph announced it had extended its Moto2 engine supply deal through to the end of 2029.

Steve Sargent,Triumph CPO, Carlos Ezpeleta, Dorna Managing Director

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By the end of that season, it will have been a decade since the Hinckley-based motorcycle manufacturer – which can trace its roots to the original Triumph Engineering Company founded in 1885 – became the sole engine supplier of the Moto2 class.

Triumph’s arrival in Moto2 marked a big shift in performance for the class with its three-cylinder 765cc engine taking over from the Honda 600cc four-cylinder motor used from 2010 to 2018.

In that time, Triumph engines have taken over ownership of circuit lap records for the class on all venues still on the calendar, and has helped propel the likes of Marco Bezzecchi, Raul Fernandez, Augusto Fernandez, Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini into MotoGP.

For Chief Product Officer Steve Sargent, committing to Moto2 through to the end of the decade was a no-brainer, especially with how the knowledge gained in grand prix racing transfers to its road production.

“I think it's really just come off the back of the success that we've had with it for the first five years, I think in terms of demonstrating what we're capable of as a company in terms of engineering and developing performance engines,” Sargent tells Autosport at Silverstone.

“But probably even more than the performance side of it is the reliability and the durability side.

“And the fact that we've got a grid of 32 Triumph engines out there being pushed to the absolute limit every weekend, and the knowledge you gain from that is invaluable, really.

“So, we see Moto2 as quite an important part of our development process for our 765 triple engine.

“And just to just to continue that, really, because we don't intend to stand still with the engine, our intent is to just continually develop it.

“So, staying in Moto2, and using that really as a driver for pushing that development. That's what's behind it.”

Triumph Moto2 engines

Triumph Moto2 engines

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

That road relevance is becoming a more integral part of Triumph’s business outlook, especially as the UK government pushes to ends its sale of new fossil fuel-powered bikes by 2035 as part of its net zero plans.

While the car industry is much more advanced in electric technology, Sargent reveals Triumph has been working with the Department for Transport to consider sustainable fuels as a viable pathway in the government’s net zero plans.

From next year in grand prix racing, all classes in the MotoGP world championship will have to run fuel that is of 40% non-fossil origin. From 2027, all classes will be powered by 100% sustainable fuels.

“One of the things that is coming into Moto2, and MotoGP, is the field sustainable fuels,” Sargent adds.

“I actually had a meeting [during the British GP] with the guys from Petronas to discuss working closely with them going forwards in how those sustainable fuels on not just developed but how they're tested as well, because it's important for those guys that the manufacturer is getting involved in the whole development and testing process.

“So, we go to 40% non-fossil fuel next year, and then the ambition is in 2027, we go to 100%. And then there will be multiple steps along the way in terms of developing that. So yeah, that's a good driver for us.

He added: “We've been involved in a lot of consultations with the Department for Transport about their roadmap moving towards… at the moment, that big push is actually moving towards electric vehicles and electric powertrains.

Jake Dixon, GASGAS Aspar Team

Jake Dixon, GASGAS Aspar Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But the discussions we've been having with them have been around, actually, how ready is the technology to be able to do that on the motorcycles?

“It's a lot easier on a car, you've got a lot more floor panels to play around with and put a lot of batteries in there.

“But with a motorcycle, you're much more limited in terms of how much battery you can actually fit on the vehicle.

“A lot of the discussion we've been having with the Department for Transport is don't just think about this as a single solution in terms of moving towards carbon net zero.

“So there are other ways of getting there and potentially there's quicker ways of getting there as well.

“The testing we've done so far on the Petronas fuel, there is no real negative to it, providing it can be manufactured in enough volume at the right price.”

Triumph

Triumph

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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