MV Agusta will make a historic return to grand prix racing, announcing its plans today to race in the Moto2 Championship with Forward Racing. The news has been rumored and talked about for quite some time, in some form or another, but now the ink has dried on the deal, and it is officially official.
As such, MV Agusta will build a custom chassis around the Triumph 765 three-cylinder engine and provide factory technical assistance to the team, while Forward Racing handles the day-to-day items running the Moto2 squad.
The new race bike is expected to make its debut in July of this year, and be on the grid for the 2019 season – when Moto2 switches from Honda to Triumph spec-engines.
Of course, MV Agusta is not the first motorcycle manufacturer to jump into the Moto2 Championship, with KTM already running in the series with its own chassis design.
When the initial Moto2 class rules debuted in 2010, there was significant worry that the use of a spec engine would see the non-involvement of OEMs, and during the Honda era of the series, that feeling was mostly true.
Now with Triumph coming onboard – an OEM that doesn’t compete in the other grand prix classes – motorcycle manufacturers seem more willing to use the Moto2 Championship as a way to promote their brands.
With KTM, and now MV Agusta, racing in the class for the 2019 season, it opens the doors for other manufacturers to enter the Moto2 Championship as well, getting the spotlight of the international racing series, without the costs that come with running a MotoGP racing effort.
For MV Agusta, the move keeps the iconic Italian brand in racing, as its future in the World Superbike Championship comes under question. MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni told Asphalt & Rubber earlier this year that the Italian firm was re-evaluating everything superbike-related.
MV Agusta will not have a new superbike model until the 2021 model year, and as such its WorldSBK involvement in question. There will definitely not be a World Superbike team from MV Agusta for the 2020 season, and the future of the team for 2019 is still in the air.
While MV Agusta continues to make progress for its supersport efforts, adding the Moto2 program not only adds to the company’s three-cylinder platform, but also keeps its racing efforts relevant and in the public consciousness.
The MotoGP paddock is keen to welcome back MV Agusta, one of the winningest manufacturers in grand prix racing, and it will be interesting to see what this small Italian firm can achieve with Forward Racing in the Moto2 class.