News 12 Oct 2009

WSBK: Neukirchner to make shock switch to Ten Kate Honda?

German Max Neukirchner is set to make a shock switch to the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team for the 2010 Superbike World Championship season, leaving the Alstare Suzuki team late in the silly season, according to various European media outlets.

Neukirchner, highly regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the WSBK paddock, has been injured for much of 2009, and was believed to be staying with the factory-backed Suzuki effort run by Francis Batta.

But that is all set to change as Ten Kate have offered a seat alongside Jonathan Rea for next year, replacing both Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari as the team downsizes from three to two riders.

The 26-year-old is expected to make his debut on the CBR1000RR Fireblade at the post-season Portimao tests in Portugal, returning to a Honda for the first time since 2005, when he was part of the Klaffi team.