2018 will be the last year in which Moto2 will be raced with the Honda engines. As already announced, the engine chosen for the intermediate class from 2019 will be the Triumph 765 cc three-cylinder. It is only logical that the frame builders are already taking steps to prepare for this change and Kalex seems to be the one that is farthest along with development.
As we had already reported, a Triumph powered Kalex was on the track over the past few days in Valencia in the hands of Jesko Raffin, chosen as the tester for this new project. The development team, on the other hand, is headed up by Michael Ferger and the outing on the Spanish track was the absolute début for team and bike.
Unfortunately, foul weather conditioned the tests. Raffin was supposed to test for three days, but the unfavourable conditions left him only one day for the tests.
Summing up after this début was Alexander Baumgärtel, CEO and Chief-Designer for Kalex.
“Overall, we are very happy how things went during our first rollout with the 2019 bike. It was, so to speak, a ‘zero problem’ rollout - he explains, satisfied - In addition, we were lucky with the weather on Monday when the conditions were very good for most of the day. Unfortunately, the two remaining days fell proverbially into the water. Apart from that, Jesko Raffin did a great job. He made no mistakes and he also convinced with enormously valuable statements.”
“We started our program with the current bike which is equipped with an «end-of-life» engine, which has significantly less power. The purpose of this exercise with two reference runs was, to give Jesko the feeling for a racing bike after his four months break, but from the third run on, we focused exclusively on working with the new bike - he continued - After just five laps, his comment was: ‘The bike feels like a KALEX’. That was a huge relief for us. That was what we have been working for and this always has been our goal, at least about the confidence and feeling for the front.”
In this first test, the Kalex test team used a standard engine in terms of electronics and clutch as well.
“We were able to set a 1'36.6 with Jesko - Baumgärtel pointed out - and this is certainly a nice reference time for us. Therefore, we are very satisfied with our first rollout. The first impressions of the rider are mainly positive and there occurred absolutely no problems. Of course, it would have been enormously helpful to accumulate more laps and kilometres, but for the beginning, it was a very enjoyable start to our test program with this bike. We already have reached a level, we would have expected only for the second or third rollout with standard components. The rider’s feeling with the chassis was good straight away. This is why it makes no sense to think about a next test at the moment. In this regard, we have to wait until we get the ECU for this engine.”