Festival of Speed show-goers got to hear the roar of the engine that will power every Moto2 bike in 2019.
It’s the first time the public has seen the Moto2 prototype ridden – and at the most prestigious motoring event of the year. Lined up with the new Speed Triple and three racing icons, fans also got a sense of the rich heritage of racing Triumphs.
It’s unlike anywhere else. MotoGP racers, World Superbike winners, F1 drivers, Isle of Man TT winners all driving and riding through the open paddock. It’s chaotic in the best possible way. The chances of bumping into your racing heroes at Goodwood is high.
The fervour and intensity of Goodwood is rarely matched. It’s the biggest event of its kind, attracting nearly 500,000 visitors across the four days it’s open. For the first time, Triumph had the 765cc Moto2 prototype ridden in public. Before this point, it had only seen racetracks and pit lanes.
“My God, it’s loud!”
Carl Fogarty took the Moto2 bike a spin. As it blasted off, the scream of the triple engine echoed around the Goodwood estate: “The sound is what hits you first. Obviously, we couldn’t get it up to pace here, with cold tyres too, but I was itching to give it some more power. It certainly made me want to give it a go at full throttle with its extremely aggressive racing stance. The reaction to the bike has been unbelievable, both at the Triumph stand and on the start line. I can’t wait to see it in action next year.”
Gary Johnson, TT winner, got a chance to give the Moto2 a ride, too. Pulling into the paddock through the crowds gathering to get a look at the bike, Gary takes his helmet off and he’s still beaming from the experience. We caught him fresh out of the saddle.
“First impression: my God, it’s loud! The exhaust system really snaps and cracks back. When you’re riding you take a look at the Magneti Marelli dash and you can see it’s fuelling well. As you shut off the power it bangs and crackles – you know it’s in a racing mode and would work well on the track. We’re having a bit of a laugh, pulling a few wheelies. It’s a real pleasure to ride it.”
Triple the thrill
To celebrate the 765cc’s foray into the world of Moto2, it was joined by a display of Triumph triples – a new Speed Triple RS and three legendary Triumphs of racing pedigree. FTR caught up with James Hewing, Museum Director for the National Motorcycle Museum, who selected the bikes for Goodwood.
“We’re often working with the guys from Triumph; this is the second time we’ve done so at the Festival of Speed. We’ve got a big inventory of famous race bikes dating back to before the Second World War. The common theme here is triples – a 2003 ValMoto Daytona two 750cc Works Triumph racers, a 1970 and 1971.
“The 2003 600cc ValMoto Triumph ex-John McGuinness (below) is so fast. I’ve just ridden this bike up the hill and I’ve also been on the 2018 Speed Triple. The difference between the Daytona and Speed Triple is, in some ways, less than you’d think. The Speed Triple is so amazingly well-engineered that it doesn’t feel any different from a specialist Isle of Man race winner. It shows you just how incredible the Speed Triple is.
2003 600c ValMoto Triumph ex-John McGuinness TT-winner
“As for the new Moto2 bike, I know Goodwood were really keen to have it on display. As the first time for the public to see it ridden, it’s a real treat for the fans and there’s a lot of excitement from everyone. Many are just thrilled that there’s a British engine back in a premier class of racing. It’s a huge deal.”