News 15 Oct 2009

WSBK: Neukirchner confirmed for Ten Kate Honda team

The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team has signed Max Neukirchner to ride its Honda CBR1000RR in the Superbike World Championship for the 2010 season, confirming the 26-year-old German's shock switch from Alstare Suzuki after an injury-filled season this year.


Neukirchner's Ten Kate Honda switch has been confirmed.

Neukirchner's Ten Kate Honda switch has been confirmed.

The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team has signed Max Neukirchner to ride its Honda CBR1000RR in the World Superbike championship for the 2010 season.

The 26-year-old from Stollberg in eastern Germany has spent much of his career on Honda machinery and already has five years’ experience in the World Superbike championship with 10 podium finishes, one with Honda in 2005; he also took two wins in 2008 on his way to fifth place in the series.

Despite two visits to the podium at the beginning of the 2009 season, Neukirchner’s year has been blighted by injury following crashes at Monza in May and then during a test at Imola in July on his return.

However, specialist doctors, including a member of the FIM’s Medical Commission, have given Neukirchner a clean bill of health and have stated that this season’s injuries represent no barrier to his immediate return to racing. It is anticipated, therefore, that he will take part in the end-of-season World Superbike test at Portimao in Portugal on 27-28 October.

Max Neukirchner:
“I have to say that my feeling is really good right now. The Ten Kate team is so big and experienced and the CBR1000RR is clearly such a strong package. Jonathan has proved that with his victories this year and I’m really looking forward to being his team-mate as we are good friends. It feels really great to be back on a Honda; I am feeling fit and I’m determined to put a good season together next year.”

Ronald ten Kate – team manager:
“As much as anyone else, we were caught by surprise when we found out about Max’s availability. We immediately saw a ‘dream team’ line-up with Jonathan Rea, which is probably the youngest pairing ever in a World Superbike championship team, with both riders already having wins under their belts. We understand that Max may need some time to find his full race-craft again but we are quite sure that his talent, motivation and determination will get him quickly back up to speed.”

Robert Watherston – manager, motorcycle sport, Honda Europe:
“Everyone at Honda is absolutely delighted to welcome Max back to the wider Honda family. He has been competitive on Honda machinery before and we are all looking forward to seeing him back on the CBR1000RR Fireblade and running at the front again.”

Max Neukirchner – career history

1997: ADAC Junior Cup – Aprilia 125cc
National 125cc championship (Honda)
1999: 4th German road-racing championship
National 125cc championship (Honda)
2000: 10th German 250cc championship (Honda)
2001: 5th German 250cc championship (Honda)
2002: 2nd German 250cc championship (Honda)
10th European 250cc championship (Honda)
2003: 3rd European 250cc championship (Honda)
2004: 9th World Supersport championship (Honda)
2005: 12th World Superbike championship (Honda)
2006: 18th World Superbike championship (Ducati)
2007: 9th World Superbike championship (Suzuki)
2008: 5th World Superbike championship (Suzuki) – two wins
2009: (prior to final round)16th World Superbike championship (Suzuki)
Only first four rounds contested, due to injury.