TRIUMPH GOES SUPER SIXTH ON SUPERCROSS DEBUT
The very first Supercross event for the all-new Triumph TF 250-X was an all-action affair for Jalek Swoll and Evan Ferry in the Ford Field Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, for round one of the 250SX East series on February 3, 2024. Swoll finished in a superb sixth position, while teammate Ferry was unfortunate to be taken out at the Main Event first turn.
The historic day for Triumph, which marked the British brand’s inaugural entry into Supercross competition, was certainly full of excitement; Triumph rolled into the stadium for the first time with the primary goal of having both of its riders qualify for the Main Event aboard their brand new TF 250-X machines.
Both riders were placed in Qualifying Heat 2 and Swoll made a great launch from the gate into fourth place. The 22-year-old was holding position strong in the opening laps until he was torpedoed off track by another rider, causing him to dramatically crash. Uninjured and with the Triumph TF 250-X without major damage, Jalek staged an amazing comeback to ninth, grabbing the final transfer spot to go straight through to the Main Event.
In the same heat, it was a similar story for Ferry on his Supercross debut. Fast out of the gate and fighting for the final position to go into the Main, Evan was hit by another rider, which caused damage to the rear brake of his 250cc Triumph motocross machine. Despite the setback, the 19-year old rookie from Florida would go on to dominate the Last Chance Qualifier from gate to flag to secure his place in the Main.
After over a 1,000 hours of track testing from a team of 20 test riders, backed by 45 development engineers working on this project, the moment had come for the Triumph TF 250-X to make its Supercross Main Event debut. On the outside of the pack and separated by another rider on the gate, the Triumph Racing teammates made a great launch. Unfortunately, both riders were the innocent victims of an incident on the inside at turn one that skittled them off their race machines. Ferry took an incredibly hard hit into the barriers and was treated by medics, while Swoll remounted his Triumph TF 250-X full of fight.
Every Triumph team member watching in Detroit and in the factory in Hinckley, UK, held their breath for the next 15 minutes plus one lap as Jalek chased down the field. Lapping consistently and fast on a track that became rough and rutty, the #33 recovered to reach an amazing sixth position at the chequered flag for the British manufacturer.
Evan Ferry was assessed by medics and did not require further medical attention following his incident in the Main Event. The team will monitor his progress as he rests and recovers over the coming days.
Jalek Swoll #33: “All the work that we’ve put in before this event I think showed tonight. The speed was there and - if we’d have got a good start - I felt we could have been on the box. It definitely sucks to come out the first turn in the Main nearly last, but I just got my head down to get back to sixth. Coming into the next rounds I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself, the bike, and the team. Considering this is our first time competing together and my first Supercross race in a year, we’re in a really good spot and I definitely see some podiums this year. I’m pretty stoked with the bike.”
Bobby Hewitt – Triumph Racing Team Principal (US): “What a drama-filled event, but the main thing being that Evan is ok. All in all, I'm really happy and very proud of both riders. For Jalek, climbing all that way up from that first turn crash to place sixth was incredible. He’s shown how relaxed and comfortable he is on the bike. Evan was unlucky in the Main today, but just before that he showed that if you're going into a LCQ, the style he did it is the way: pull the holeshot from the outside and lead it all!
“It's a historic moment for Triumph and hopefully we’ve done everyone proud. I’m very happy with the Triumph TF 250-X. The bike performed great; it showed to be competitive off the start and throughout the race. While we know the work we’ve put in behind the scenes, you can never be completely sure until you’re out there with the competition. There are a lot of positives to take from the first round and I know we can continue to improve.”
Ian Kimber - Head of Off-Road Programmes, Triumph Motorcycles: “It has been a very special day for Triumph and everyone involved in this project. The racing for our first ever Supercross event was exciting and both riders showed the potential that the Triumph TF 250-X can offer. Jalek rode incredibly, fighting back in both the Heat and the Main, and fortunately Evan is ok. We wanted both of our riders in the Main Event as our very first goal, and we achieved that and more. Hopefully this has shown everyone that the bike can deliver, and we can take a lot of positives away from here to build on this momentum.”
The Triumph Racing team returns to 250 Supercross action for Round 2 of the 250SX East series in Texas at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium on February 24th.
Results 250 Supercross East Main Event - Round 1, Detroit
1. Austin Forkner (Kawasaki)
2. Max Anstie (Honda)
3. Daxton Bennick (Yamaha)
4. Coty Shock (Yamaha)
5. Pierce Brown (Honda)
6. Jalek Swoll (Triumph)