Desalle and Tedesco named as Triumph motocross test riders

Clement Desalle and Ivan Tedesco have been named as test riders for the Triumph motocross programme in the World Championship and the US, respectively.

Clement Desalle in Triumph t-shirt

The Triumph motocross test riders for the MXGP and MX2 World Championship team, and Supermotocross World Championship team, have been announced as Clement Desalle and Ivan Tedesco, respectively. 

Triumph will begin racing dirt bikes in January next year at the opening AMA Supercross of the 2024 season in Anaheim, and a few months later will begin its journey in the MX2 division of the Motocross World Championship. 

The bike has not yet been revealed, and neither have the riders, although there are rumours about who might be riding the 250cc Triumphs in the US next year, before the 450 bike arrives on the gate in 2025. 

What we do now know with absolute certainty is the identity of Triumph’s US and European test riders. In Europe, for the World Championship team, it is Clement Desalle, a 23-time Grand Prix winner with Suzuki and Kawasaki, and notable as the only rider to win an MXGP-class Grand Prix in 2018 riding a motorcycle which was not a KTM

Desalle’s time at Kawasaki, which ended when the Belgian retired at the end of 2020, is important, because Triumph’s Motocross World Championship team is run by Vincent Bereni, who ran the factory Kawasaki squad when Desalle was wearing green.

Clément Desalle said: “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. 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 for MXGP, said: “When Triumph asked us to join this MX project, we knew that the bike R&D and testing was going to be a 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.”

On the US side of things, Triumph Racing’s test rider is Ivan Tedesco, nicknamed “Hot Sauce”. Tedesco is a one-time AMA National Champion - 2005 AMA 125cc National Motocross series - and a two-time AMA Regional Supercross Champion, as he won the AMA 125cc West Coast Supercross title in both 2004 and 2005. In addition to those solo successes, Tedesco, who retired from professional racing and became a riding coach in 2014, was also a three-time Motocross of Nations winner with Team USA in 2005, 2006, and 2009.

Ivan Tedesco: “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. 
“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: “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!”

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