News 11 Mar 2024

How MX2 podium validates Triumph motocross gamble

Third in Argentina for Haarup at GP opener a remarkable debut.

A podium on debut in the MX2 World Championship has moved to validate Triumph’s gamble to take on established manufacturers in motocross, the milestone result delivered at the hands of Mikkel Haarup with third place overall in Argentina. It’s a result that will serve as an early boost in the bold new project.

The weekend’s MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina opened the 2024 series in what was Monster Energy Triumph Racing’s first-ever grand prix, the podium result an inspiring start for the British manufacturer following much anticipation with its TF 250-X.

Image: Supplied.

Danish talent Haarup, now in his fifth full season of MX2, produced a 5-2 scorecard to join Kay de Wolf (Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing) and Simon Langenfelder (Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) on the box in third, while his teammate Camden McLellan was an encouraging ninth overall.

“A great start for the team and also Triumph,” said team manager Vincent Bereni. “It has been a long road to get here and clearly, hard work pays off. Everyone on the team, the riders, the mechanics, everyone has worked so hard to get here and what Mikkel has achieved today is incredible. We knew we would be competitive but until you race, you never really know.”

Image: Supplied.

For Haarup, the 22-year-old’s chance to open Triumph’s entry into the world championship with a podium was a remarkable result. The magnitude of the podium is highlighted at the beginning of what has been an influx of new marques in the paddock, with Beta first to arrive in recent seasons and Ducati’s high-profile arrival directly into the MXGP category in the works. An entry from Triumph Racing into the premier class is next on the agenda.

“It’s been a really amazing start to the season,” Haarup reflected. “A podium is perfect and a great way to start the year for myself and Monster Energy Triumph Racing. All through the off-season we have been building and building and what we’ve achieved today is the result of a lot of hard work by everyone involved. I felt comfortable on the bike all weekend and that was really important on a tricky track like this. Today we’ve shown what this bike is capable of and overall, I’m really happy with my performance.”

Image: Supplied.

It’s no secret that the 250 four-stroke class of professional competition rewards equipment strength, with outright horsepower – and the way it’s produced – paramount for success, as is the chassis combination in order to challenge the established factory group of KTM alongside both Husqvarna and GasGas, as well as the ever-competitive official Yamaha and Honda programs sprinkled among the top 10.

In another positive sign for Triumph’s initial impact in the sport, it was very near a double-podium weekend on the global stage last Saturday night with Triumph Racing’s Jalek Swoll holding down a top-three position during the 250SX East main event at Birmingham’s Monster Energy Supercross round, before a mistake in the later stages denied him the opportunity.