U.S Motocross

Jalek Swoll and Joey Savatgy Make Strong Start For Triumph At AMA Motocross Opener

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Photo of Triumph Racing motocross rider Jalek Swoll and Joey Savatgy
Jalek Swoll (33) and Joey Savatgy’s (17) day went well, we improved during qualifying and had a good first moto.

Round one of the 2024 AMA Pro Motocross season marked another historic moment for Triumph Racing.

Competing for the first time in the prestigious series, riders Jalek Swoll and Joey Savatgy placed fifth and ninth overall, respectively, in Pala, California.

The return of the outdoor season at Fox Raceway also saw the first chance for Savatgy to experience a gatedrop on the Triumph TF 250-X, having been forced to sit out the Supercross season. The first round of the 2024 Pro Nationals season is also crucially Round 18 of the SuperMotocross Series, which combines the indoor and outdoor season for an overall champion.

Looking for a fairytale return to Pro Motocross, Savatgy came into the second qualifying session on a mission in order to get the first gate pick. Setting the fastest time by almost a second, the #17 rider held that spot until the very last moment of the session when he was bumped to the fastest time by 0.2 seconds. Swoll on the #33 bike was also on the pace in a fiercely contested session and finished with an overall fastest lap to place 11th.

When the gate dropped for the huge contingent of riders, Swoll led the charge for Triumph Racing in 10th with Savatgy a few spots behind in 13th at the first turn. Once the pack settled and the riders found their rhythm, Savatgy and Swoll soon moved up the order to sit in sixth and seventh. With a top five as his mission, Joey spent most of the moto chasing down Chance Hymas.

Photo of Triumph Racing motocross rider Jalek Swoll
Jalek Swoll finished the opening round with an impressive fifth overall.

Aa Savatgy closed in on Hymas in the final stages of the moto, their pace was enough to reel in the recently crowned 250 Supercross East champion, Tom Vialle, ahead in third. With the flag out, Joey sat comfortably in his goal of a top five on his return to the 250 class.

With the two Triumphs side by side on the gate for the second moto, it was a race within a race when the gate dropped. It was Jalek who was able to take full advantage of the Triumph TF 250-X’s starting prowess, narrowly missing out on the holeshot to grab second at the first turn.

Unable to avoid a crashed rider in front of him, Joey went down in a first turn pile-up that would put him at the back of the field. Unhurt and quick to remount, the experience of the 30–year old would see him quickly up to pace and just outside the top 30 that lap.

At the sharp end of the pack, Jalek was holding strong in third and would remain there until the final five minutes of the moto. A great battle ensued with him and Vialle, with the two-time MX2 World Champion making a pass stick with two minutes left. Jalek’s chance to grab third overall on the day began to slip as, with two laps to go, Hymas made a move on Swoll to push the Triumph rider to fifth at the chequered flag and resulting in fifth overall.

For Joey, it was a case of regaining as many places as possible to gain more points for the long season ahead. With the flag out, it was 13th place and a big shame for a day that had the possibility to deliver more for the returning rider, earning him ninth overall.

Photo of Triumph Racing motocross rider Joey Savatgy
Joey Savatgy sat comfortably in his goal of a top five on his return to the 250 class in the opening moto.

“It’s a good day to leave here in the top five,” Swoll said. “Although we reached our goal, I’m also kind of annoyed as I wanted a little more. But we leave here in a position we wanted. There’s another round to go in this county and then the season really gets going. I just need to keep crushing those starts, putting myself in good positions and we will eventually be on the box, fighting for those wins.”

Joey Savatgy was a little bummed with his day but says the results will come.

“I think the day went well,” Savatgy said. “Top five was the goal coming into this, so I’m a little bummed with the overall result. The speed was good in qualifying and considering I haven’t had a gate drop in a while, fifth in the first moto was equivalent to par for me. I would have liked a better start and pace in the second moto, but we just need to stick to our programme and we’ll be ok. The results will come.”

Bobby Hewitt – Triumph Racing Team Principal (US), concluded syaing, “It’s been another historical moment for our journey with Triumph with both riders being the first two guys to ride in an AMA outdoor National for the brand. The day went well, we improved during qualifying and had a good first moto. If the track hadn’t been smoothed out so much I think both guys would have probably done better.

In the second moto I thought Jalek was going to get the holeshot! He rode a strong race and that was his best finish in Pala. For Joey, after such a strong first moto it was tough to see him go down in the incident at the start of the second race. But I’m really proud of him for how he fought and came back to 13th to finish 7th overall.

This weekend we’ve learned even more about the bike and where to improve, but overall I’m very pleased. As a team, we have work to do to improve the bike set-up and get it even stronger and I know we will.”

Photo of Triumph Racing motocross rider Jalek Swoll
Jalek Swoll

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