Triumph Racing head to Pala for their debut AMA National season

Image: Simon Cudby | Words: Press Release

Shaking up the world of motocross is no easy feat, but that’s exactly what Triumph set out to do in 2024 competing with the Triumph TF 250-X in both the Monster Energy AMA 250SX East Championship and Pro Motocross Championship. The full season of Supercross delivered holeshots, a Heat Race win, and fighting for podium positions. But now attention turns to the outdoor season.

Sole rider Jalek Swoll enjoyed his most successful season in Supercross on the all-new machine. Despite picking up a back injury early in the season, the 23-year old from Belleview, Florida, valiantly flew the flag for Triumph over the course of the nine-round Monster Energy AMA 250SX East Championship.

Although a debut podium fell just out of reach after a crash fighting for second place at Round 8 in Philadelphia, the #33 bike was consistently running top five pace, managed two holeshots and his – and Triumph’s – first Heat Race win. The aim was to finish the championship in the top five and Jalek placed seventh overall. If it wasn’t for two incidents outside of his control in the opening rounds, the nine points needed for that position would have easily been achieved.

The bright lights of the arenas now give way to the challenging terrains of the outdoor tracks when the 2024 Pro Motocross season kicks off on May 25 at the Fox Raceway in Pala, California. For the 11 rounds and 22 motos of the Nationals, Triumph Racing can count on the youthful exuberance of Jalek Swoll joined by his multi-time race winner teammate, Joey Savatgy, on the #17 Triumph TF 250-X.

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Savatgy has spent all year preparing for the outdoor season, where previously in the 250 class between 2013 and 2018 he has finished twice in the top three overall standings, achieving 14 visits to the podium with seven of those being on the top step.

Jalek Swoll #33

“Being part of a legendary brand and being their only rider throughout the Supercross season made me proud. We certainly learned a lot about ourselves, as a team, and with the bike. A lot of credit goes to Triumph as the TF 250-X started out in a really competitive way. The bike corners so well; it’s super light and nimble so I can move it around how I want to.

“Looking ahead to the Nationals, I feel really good. If I’m honest I prefer the outdoors and I’m definitely pumped and excited to showcase what I and the bike can do. The goal is to fight for podiums at each round as I’m plenty capable of being up there and the bike is, too. The Grand Prix guys are already outdoors and so we can fast forward a few things from what they’ve learned.

“The Nationals are something else. The depth of field on the gate is insane and all the fast guys are there, so it means a lot when you can put some good results on the table. You either love Pala or hate it. It’s certainly not my best track, but it’s the season opener and so everyone is pumped and ready to go, I know I definitely am.”

Joey Savatgy #17

“My off-season has been long! I’ve not necessarily been sitting around, but watching the racing and not being part of it hasn’t been easy. But those were the cards we were dealt with, so the time has been an extended training block with a lot of riding outdoors. We’ve made a lot of refinements with the bike and also with myself, both mentally and physically.

“From when I first rode the bike to now, we’ve made heaps of improvements, but we will continue to learn. We have a smart crew around us to get the boat pointed in the right direction. The vibe with the team is great; they’re so knowledgeable and with them having some good results in Supercross, it’s such a confidence booster to me. I would have loved to be out there with them, but my chance is almost here.

“My goal for the season is to go and win – I feel connected to the bike. A lack of gate drops is never ideal, but I know the Triumph TF 250-X well, my fitness is good and so I think we can do some damage. My experience will be an advantage with a long season and a lot of motos. For the times when it just isn’t clicking, it’s about maximising the points and doing the best I can do. I’ll get the wins if they’re there, but on the weekends that don’t come as easy I’ll remember the long game and grab the points. If we can leave the first round in a good place mentally, it will set the tone for the rest of the season.”

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Bobby Hewitt – Triumph Racing Team Principal (US):

“There was a lot of questions about the Triumph TF 250-X coming into 2024, but after nine races in Supercross, a lot of development and testing, the gap to our competitors is a lot smaller. I feel a lot better coming into the outdoor season than what I did for the indoors.

“If we can call this the midpoint of our year, there are two main highlights so far for me in 2024; lining up for the first round in Detroit was historical, and then of course there was Jalek winning his and Triumph’s first Heat Race in Philadelphia. Our toughest moment had to be in Indianapolis when we had a sensor issue and Jalek wasn’t able to complete the final race of the triple header. That hurt our position, points and morale. But it was also a learning experience and something we’ve been able to remedy.

“The Nationals are very difficult for riders. In the past five seasons there’s been an average of 121 entries, and from those nine complete every race with just five of those scoring points in every moto. It’s tough! But Jalek’s had an incredible year so far with great moments, which gives him confidence and motivation coming into outdoors.

“Joey coming into the outdoors is a huge positive for the team and Jalek; it gives him a teammate to talk about different lines and other details. Sure, it does make our life busier each weekend, but this year has been very stressful having all of our eggs in one basket, so it’s nice to have two riders out on track.

“I have one goal and that’s to win the championship; everything else is just the process of getting there. We know the bike a lot better, have a solid base and a motivated team and riders. For Pala, if both riders are in the top 10 of both motos, I’d be very pleased about that. By the time we reach High Point Raceway, the fourth round of the season, we will have experienced different track types, conditions and weather, so after that I’d be expecting top fives and podiums from the mid-season.”

Ian Kimber – Triumph Head Of Off-Road Programmes

“We’re all excited by the transition from Supercross into the outdoor season. The results in Supercross, coupled with the competitiveness we have seen in MX2, give us confidence in the capabilities of the Triumph TF 250-X to perform in a multitude of conditions. We hope to see the same kind of holeshots, and front-running pace that we have seen in our other races so far.

“We’ve witnessed Jalek having his best ever Supercross season and now heading outdoors with Joey finally joining the squad not only sees us bolster our rider line-up, but also adds an experienced hand to the race team. Although the rule change didn’t go in our favour for Supercross, it has given Joey the extra time to prepare for the outdoor season and he’s keen to show everyone what he’s capable of.”