As preparations for Triumph’s debut in the 2024 MXGP/MX2 and SuperMotocross World Championships intensify, Triumph Racing has confirmed it has signed two top class riders to lead its race development testing.
Clément Desalle joins as test rider for the Triumph Racing MXGP/MX2 Team, run by Thierry Chizat-Suzzoni, and Ivan Tedesco as full-time test rider for the Triumph Racing US SuperMotocross World Championship Team, led by Bobby Hewitt.
Clément Desalle competed at the highest level in the MXGP World Championship for 15 years. One of the most consistent racers in the series, he claimed three Vice Champion finishes, was third in the World Championship three times and twice finished fourth. The Belgium national finished on the top step of the podium 23 times in his career, as well as being crowned the Pro open Belgian champion in 2009. He retired from racing in 2020 and turned his attention to test riding and developing race bikes – and is already making a major contribution to Triumph’s progress with its new race bike.
“Joining the Triumph MX2 programme allows me to make use of my years of experience as a professional racer to help take the stock bike to a full factory race bike, ready for the MX2 season in 2024,” Desalle said. “Working with Thierry and Vincent, I know that Triumph have joined with the best people possible to deliver winning results in the quickest possible time, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
Vincent Bereni: Triumph Racing Team Manager – MXGP, added. “When Triumph asked us to join this MX project, we knew that the bike R&D and testing was a going to be major part of the success. Clément has a lot of experience of MXGP tracks, the requirements for the race disciplines and is still very fast.
“We have worked with Clément for many years and he is a very demanding rider, who pays attention to every aspect of the motorcycle, so in our opinion he is the perfect candidate. We know and understand each other very well and he has already brought a lot to bike development, for both the production and racing application. We are very pleased that he joined the programme.”
Ivan Tedesco began racing motorcycles at the age of eight years old and turned Pro in 1999, with a career that spanned 14 years. In his racing career, Tedesco won the AMA 125cc West Coast Supercross series twice (2004 and 2005), the AMA 125cc National Motocross series (2005) and the Motocross of Nations three times with Team USA (2005, 2006 and 2009).
After his retirement from professional racing in 2014, Ivan turned his talents to coaching up and coming racers, and becoming one of the very best manufacturer development test riders of the current era.
“I’m super excited to be part of the new Triumph racing programme and to be working with Ricky and Bobby again. To have the opportunity to work with a new brand in our sport, to take a new bike and develop it to a race ready package, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Tedesco said.
“The team that Triumph is assembling to compete in the SuperMotocross championship is second to none, and together with the support of the engineers at the Triumph Factory, I’m confident we will line up with a competitive bike for Anaheim 1 2024.”
Bobby Hewitt: Triumph Racing Team Principal – SMX, added, “I’ve known Ivan for many years now, as a multi-time AMA SX Champion and AMA MX Champion who has raced at the highest level including being a member of Team USA multiple times at the Motocross of Nations.
“Adding someone with his experience to the program adds another layer of quality and racing experience to an already strong foundation at Triumph Racing here in the US. In 2014 I had the privilege to have Ivan as a team member and pro-rider on one of my previous racing programs before he retired. During that time, I personally had the opportunity to work with him as a rider, experience his attention to detail as a test rider, and more importantly see first-hand how he works and would mentor upcoming riders.
“Today is a great day and I’m very excited to add “Hot Sauce” to the program. I truly believe this is another example that the future here at Triumph Racing is very bright!”
Ricky Carmichael – Triumph Off-Road Ambassador – concluded, saying, “This is so exciting. It’s just another example of Triumphs dedication to the development of the off-road line of motorcycles. I have no doubt, that with guys like Ivan Tedesco and Clément Desalle and the knowledge they bring to the table from an R&D standpoint, that these bikes will be top of the line, from a race bike perspective as well as a production model. These guys know what it takes to win at the highest level and will be a huge asset to the development of a great product!”