L-R: Triumph Racing manager Jeremy Appleton, chief product officer Steve Sargent, CEO Nick Bloor, MX team bosses Thierry Chizat-Suzzoni and Vincent Bereni
One of the most unexpected announcements of 2021 was Triumph’s declaration that it was developing a range of motocross and enduro bikes and now after more than a year of silence the company has taken a step forward by signing up to compete in the 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship.
While there’s still no look at the bikes themselves Triumph has confirmed that it’s making models to compete in both the 450cc MXGP class and the 250cc MX2 category. The smaller bike will debut first, running in the 2024 championship, with the 450cc machine joining the fray in 2025. The bikes will compete under the ‘Triumph Racing’ name which will also be used across the company’s Moto2 and Supersports racing activities, showing the biggest commitment to motorsport since John Bloor bought the Triumph brand back in 1983, nearly 40 years ago.
In the FIM Motocross series, the Triumph Racing Team is a partnership with Thierry Chizat-Suzzoni, owner of the MX ESCA setup that ran Kawasaki’s Motocross World Championship effort for over a decade before parting company with the Japanese brand at the end of 2021. The team will be run by Vincent Bereni, and by linking up with an existing organisation Triumph’s effort will immediately involve a host of experienced technical staff and crew members. Between them, Bereni and Chizat-Suzzoni have more than 80 MXGP World Championship wins to their credit.
Triumph CEO Nick Bloor and Thierry Chizat-Suzzoni
Back in 2021 Triumph roped in two of the biggest names in motocross and enduro – Ricky Carmichael and Ivan Cervantes – to advise and assist with the ambitious project which sees the company developing a completely new set of bikes from scratch. Carmichael said: “I’m really excited about today’s news. It’s been a long time coming. Since the start of this project with Triumph I have been amazed at just how hard everyone has been working. It must not go without mentioning, the whole R&D and engineering group that have been a part of the development of the motorcycles have done an absolutely incredible job. From the first stages of the prototypes, I was really taken back at how well the performance was, since then, being in the UK testing the newest developments, I can tell you that it has the capabilities of winning at the highest level and I personally believe the riders, from professional to amateur, across the entire range of off-road models, will really like what has been developed.”
To be ready to race in 2024, Triumph will have to launch its 250cc bike in 2023, and there’s a good chance it could appear quite early in the year as the company has already embarked on tests of both motocross and enduro versions in the UK, Europe and the USA. The bikes are being designed and developed in-house at Triumph’s own motocross design engineering department in Hinckley. The race team will be based in Eindhoven in Holland at Chizat-Suzzoni’s existing base.
Chizat-Suzzoni said: “Triumph have made a major commitment to build an MX bike and go racing in the FIM World Motocross Championship. I am happy that my team is going to be the official Triumph Racing Team in MX2 and MXGP. Nick Bloor and the Triumph Board of Directors have made their long-term ambitions for the project very clear and I see a huge amount of passion from everyone at the Factory. I am happy with progress on the bike, it looks great, has speed on the track and Vincent and my staff are working with the engineers at Hinckley on building it into a competitive package for entry into the MX2 Championship in 2024. MXGP continues to grow around the world, I am very happy to be back and looking forward to going racing with Triumph.”
Triumph CEO Nick Bloor added: “Our new partnership with Thierry demonstrates Triumph’s long-term commitment to competing at the highest levels of racing. We share a passion for delivering world-class performance, and the experience Thierry and his team bring will prove invaluable in our ambition to make our mark on a very competitive championship. Our entry into the FIM Motocross World Championship with a Factory supported Triumph Racing team signifies a landmark moment at the beginning of our new top-tier off-road racing campaign.”
Infront Moto Racing, the company that manages the promotion of the FIM Motocross World Championship, is similarly excited to have a completely new brand of Triumph’s stature joining the series. Its CEO David Luongo said: “It is a great news! Probably one the most important in recent years. Infront Moto Racing will welcome a new manufacturer in the MX2 and MXGP World Championship. We are talking about one of the most emblematic motorcycle brands in the world. Triumph will join our championship from 2024 with a full program in MX2 and MXGP categories. This is a very important announcement and is a fantastic sign about the interest and the importance of MXGP in the international motorsport scene. During the last 20 years, MXGP has been growing and has established globally. With an average of 19 events per year, it gives the best platform for manufacturers to develop their bikes, components and to advertise them worldwide. From Asia to South America, going through Europe, MXGP is covering all the different markets and is touching most of the off road fans in the world. It is with a great pride and excitement that we welcome Triumph to MXGP and we wish them a lot of success in the years to come and a great competition with the other Factory Teams already present!”