Triumph is beginning one of the biggest projects it's ever taken up. Kyle Smith, the rider fronting this project, hopes it will “give an opportunity for British riders to come to world championships.”
The 2021 will season see an all-new Supersport concept being tested in the UK, with the introduction of open cylinders and a variety of engine capacities. As well as the V2 959cc Ducati, the middleweight class will see the Triumph Daytona 765 making its Supersport debut.
Triumph will be using Simon Buckmaster’s renowned World Supersport team to test this concept in British Supersport, with the idea to take these regulations to World Supersport. With a British team, British manufacturer, and British championship pioneering this project, this could be the ideal opportunity for British riders.
“Hopefully it opens doors and opens eyes for people. I think World Supersport is a bit down in the dumps, so hopefully with this new rule change it’ll bring more manufacturers and more finance into this category. Therefore, hopefully there will be more seats for riders, as at the moment it seems to be all Yamaha,” Smith explained.
Kyle Smith has been one of the only riders consistently representing Great Britain in World Supersport, this mainly being down to a lack of funding and opportunities.
“When you grow up as a kid the goal is to make it to world championship level. You think that once you get there that your job is done, but it’s difficult to stay there. It hasn’t been going badly, but each year financially it seems to be getting harder for the sport. Especially right now with this Covid thing, there’s a lot of big sponsors pulling money out. ”
“I know there a lot of British riders that are really fast, and they tend to stay in British Superbikes. If you look at World Superbikes, it’s full of fast British riders, it’s just that they miss that stepping stone through World Supersport. Maybe with this project it can be a bit of feed for British riders into that category. ”
The task for Kyle and the team in 2020 will be to prepare the Triumph 765 to be competitive at the world stage.
“First we need to do a fair bit of testing to break the ice a little bit. It’s a bit of a development situation with the fact that the bikes new and the teams new to the bike. I don’t think it’ll be easy obviously, even when the bikes perfect it’s not. If the engines powerful, if its fast, if it’s reliable, the bike can be competitive.”
Kyle outlined is biggest obstacle is his lack of experience on British style circuits. Having grown up in Spain, Donington Park is the only BSB circuit that Smith has raced on.
Having worked with Simon Buckmaster’s PTR squad before, Smith is approaching the challenge with confidence.
“I know the guys and the confidence is there, I think a lot of it is down to me. I need to learn the tracks and maybe the style of racing and the competitors and everything. But a track is a track, you’ve got straights and you’ve got bends. If the engines powerful, if it’s fast, and if it’s reliable, the bike can be competitive. ”