Kalex Press Release: Successful Triumph Rollout With Folger, Marquez, Raffin

Kalex issued the following press release after their test with the Triumph Moto2 engine and Magneti Marelli electronics:


From this week’s Tuesday to Thursday, the German chassis manufacturer KALEX Engineering continued its developing process and preparations for the next season with a three-day test at Spain’s MotorLand Aragón circuit.

Alex Marquez on the Kalex Triumph Moto2 bike

The successful rolling chassis company KALEX Engineering also want so to leave nothing to chance in the future. As of the 2019 season, it is well known that a three-cylinder 765 cc engine will be supplied by British brand Triumph in the fiercely competitive Moto2™ category. KALEX was the first of the current manufacturers to test a prototype machine equipped with a Triumph production engine.

During the Aragón test this week, however a first version of this engine in full race specification for next year got its fire baptism. On this occasion, the completely new designed electronics package with ECU and software by Italian’s Magneti-Marelli company was put through its paces for the very first time.

For this outing, KALEX Engineering has recruited an experienced rider line-up with Jesko Raffin from Switzerland, who incidentally also did the first chassis rollout of the 2019 machine last February, Alex Marquez, currently third in World Championship, and Jonas Folger.

For the 24-year-old Folger from Germany, however, this opportunity was a temporary return aboard a real race bike after his long and complicated illness. During this last three days, all riders got stressed to its utmost at the demanding Alcaniz track as the test was accompanied by a scorching heat up to 37 degrees during day time.

Alexander BAUMGÄRTEL (CEO / Chief-Designer):

"Things went very promising during our first test with the Triumph engine in race spec with the electronics coming from Magneti-Marelli for next year. Our riders for this test, Jesko Raffin, Alex Marquez and Jonas Folger, have done a great job over the duration of the last three days at Aragón. On Tuesday, Jesko started with the first rollout of this completely new engine package. Obviously, there appeared minor issues though that could be expected for what was the start of this still new project. But with the great support and efforts by the engineers of Magneti-Marelli, they could be solved immediately. Jesko did also still further functional tests. So, the first day as well as the second with Alex were completely dominated by electronic matters. It was necessary to provide as much information as possible to the three partners Magneti-Marelli, Triumph and ExternPro and we think, that we have completed this part successfully because of the abundant experiences of Jesko and Alex. In addition, we have been able to work out a different mapping with Alex during his last exit on Wednesday afternoon. This mapping with an improved rideability was a massive help for Jonas the day after."

"Jonas ride with the Triumph bike was then also very enlightening, as well as all three riders gave us very similar inputs and statements. This, of course, is very positive and useful to support Magneti-Marelli with further information regarding the fine-tuning in terms of engine brake, engine management and throttle control required for the Moto2 class. For the engine itself, there didn’t appear absolutely no problems whilst with the clutch, there is still some work to do for the race starts. This is probably due to the particular torque for this three-cylinder engine. Otherwise, the functionality is guaranteed, as well as the riders felt comfortable with the adapted power delivery. Apart from that, there came also praise for the gearbox which is working flawlessly so far though it is to say that this part as a whole was far from being stressed to the maximum. But also, from our side everything went smoothly with regard to the technology and mechanics parts. Therefore, we can continue working on the setup now and waiting for the next updates coming from Magneti-Marelli. In addition, we got positive comments from each of the three riders regarding the chassis handling. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do until the start of the 2019 season but we’re looking forward to this new challenge for us. But first, a huge thanks to Jesko, Alex and Jonas for their great job done and all efforts in these extrem conditions."


"First a big thank you to Alex and Klaus (Hirsekorn), as well as to all employees in KALEX for giving me this opportunity and helping me lot during the last two days. The support from everyone was really great. After the long absence from racing, it was a great liberation for me to return aboard a real race machine and it was also important for me to know how my current constitution is up to. I’m really grateful to KALEX for giving me this awesome opportunity, and for doing so, because everything was very spontaneous and easy too. Once back on the KALEX, I immediately felt comfortable with and I enjoyed riding a lot. Although, as said everything was very short-time, Alex and Klaus organized my ride perfectly. The first day with the old bike equipped with the Honda engine was good to settle in and get back the rhythm, it was an enormous help for me. But then, Thursday became even more interesting, riding the Triumph KALEX, however. Of course, I was curious about the differences in terms of engine characters and the new electronics used in this project. This package will definitely come a good deal closer to a real race engine. I was able to implement many experiences immediately and we made good progress throughout the day."

Jonas Folger with the Kalex Engineering group

Jonas Folger on the Kalex Triumph Moto2 bike

Alex Marquez on the Kalex Triumph Moto2 bike

Photos courtesy of Kalex Engineering GmbH

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I'll open by saying that I do like Triumph, seeing as how I am on my second Triumph bike. But, at least from a numbers perspective, the move to a 765cc engine seems to make no sense. So now it goes 250 > 765 > 1000. And I'm aware that a 765cc production engine is no where close to a 1000cc prototype; however, it still feels like an odd choice. Was it just a matter of money for Dorna? Was Triumph the only one who wanted to do this?

I originally felt as though it ought to be a 250CC single, a 500CC twin, and a 1000cc four.  Different sizes, interesting different sounds, different opportunities (in regards to manufacturers and configurations).  It isn't clear to me why that still doesn't make sense for moto2.  Certainly Ducati could make such an engine by adapting an existing design.  Kawaski, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM, Triumph (and, no doubt a zillion others) could make a parallel or V modern motor with twice the horsepower of the Moto3 leaders.  

I suppose perhaps such a relatively lower power isn't considered enough to be training and grooming riders for a full motogp capability.  That said, with riders now progressing directly from moto3, perhaps such experience isn't considered all that important anyhow.

of producing sufficient HP to be considered useful to "train" riders ready for MotoGP is presumably greatly reduced if you can run a larger displacement, multi cylinder engine instead of a mid size engine or large Vtwin in a higher state of tune.  The 600s seem to be just below what they are after and making them more powerful while maintaining reliability seems to be a factor and it looks like Honda were not that enthusiastic.  The next size up for a mass produced engine is either going to be the 765 triple or suzuki's 750 (if indeed that is still around).  Am quite looking forward to the triumph cup myself.


Marquez,  Zarco and Folger were all immediately fast when they graduated to Moto GP , clear evidence that  Moto 2 is excellent preparation for the premier class. Moto 3 bikes are much lighter than the two other classes, leaning to adapt to the extra weight adds to the difficulty of adapting to the much more powerful Moto GP bikes. I believe that the reason for the change to Triumph is probably more to do with Honda loosing interest because of the poor sales of 600 sports bikes. The extra power of the Triumph will make the Moto 2 class an even better preparation class. I think that it is Moto 3 that needs changing, too much emphasis on slipstreaming. Brad Binder won the title by being a slipstreaming king, so I'm not surprised that he has not been as successful in Moto 2 where slipstreaming is not so important .

Weird dude letting Herve hang then ride another bike around without contacting anyone.

for sure that Jonas didn't contact Herve, or anyone else, before using this as an opportunity to test his physical and mental condition? I have no answer, but hate to see an unchallenged assumption critical of Jonas, unless you have information you didn't bother to share. Just asking.