Moto2: Max Neukirchner to MZ in 2011

2011 MZ Moto2 Team

Team Pro Ride and MZ Motor have signed, in Zschopau, at the German MZ motorcycles headquarters, an agreement to enter Moto2 for the 2011 season.

The first rider, Max Neukirchner, moves over from riding the Honda CBR1000RR in World Superbike to the hotly contested Moto2 Honda 600cc spec MotoGP class. The second MZ rider is still to be decided between a list of three racers: Arne Tode, Michael Ranseder and Anthony West.

Pro Ride will manage all MZ racing activities at the Moto2 World Championship and will participate actively in the development of the new racing motorcycle, while Peter Rubatto will be the Team Manager and in addition will coordinate MZ activities in the Spanish

The cooperation has become possible due to a great effort of the CEO of MZ Motorrad,
Martin Wimmer, a successful former GP 250cc rider, who understands the project presented by Pro Ride.

Pro Ride CEO, Marco Nicotari, will be the technical director for the team and the project, and will have also the role of track engineer for Max Neukirchner, the ex-World SBK racer.

The project starts immediately after the last MotoGP in Valencia this weekend, and probably will have as a "kick start" the tests after the race, in the same motorcycle racing circuit.

The Moto2 race-bikes will be assembled and developed in Germany and technically managed at Pro Ride’s base, in Lucca, Tuscany, where part of the Team will be working full time, in total cooperation with Zschopau, where the MZ Factory technicians are based.

Meanwhile, MZ staff in the factory are preparing the production of the new range of MZ EMMELY eco-friendly products, which are consisted of an electric-powered scooter and two others with hybrid power plants.

The scooters have already been presented to the public at the last Cologne Intermot, in
Germany. Now MZ is well prepared for a good future in road and racing products, under Martin
Wimmer’s direction.

Max Neukirchner (MZ Moto2 Rider) says: "For me a kid´s dream comes true because my father was also riding a MZ when I was a kid. Some of the old bikes are still in our living room. We have here in a very close area the traditional brand MZ, the Sachsenring and also my home."

"Martin Wimmer, the C.E.O. of MZ, is since a long time a good friend of my family and was a great rider in the past. I’ am very happy that we find in Marco Nicotari/Pro Ride Racing a strong partner for the technical site."

"He will be the technical director for MZ and also my Crewchief. I am looking forward to test the Bike in Valencia after the last Moto GP race there. We know that we have a lot of work to do in the next months."

"After seven great years in the WSBK Paddock starts now a new chapter. I leave it as a friend, and maybe in the future we’ll cross our roads again! Thank you all at the WSBK and a warm hallo to Moto2!"

Martin Wimmer (MZ Motorcycles) says: "Max riding abilities will help us to make a step forward in the Moto2 World Championship. Adding that he is Saxonian as MZ, it makes everything even more exciting."

"Besides this, we find in Marco Nicotari / Pro Ride Racing a perfect partner for our Project. Marco has a lot of experience that will help to build a very good bike for Max and the second rider. Also we can use the complete Pro Ride structure for all the research that a Moto2 bike needs to be even more competitive."

"We have achieved Top Ten results with only 10 day preparation before the season 2010 started, thus our expectations in the cooperation is high. I am sure that the binomial MZPro Ride at Moto2 is the beginning of a promising partnership."

Peter Rubatto (MZ Moto2 Team Manager): I had the difficult task this year to take over the MZ Moto 2 Team management during the season with 1 day preparation before the Assen GP."

"So far we had 3 Top Ten results, the last race in Portugal we ended 3 secs behind the winner in P7 scoring best practice times of all in wet conditions. I am looking forward to the cooperation with Marco and will coordinate all MZ MotoGP Road Racing activities in 2011

Marco Nicotari (MZ Moto2 Technical Director) says: "This partnership is what we have been looking for. A serious project, with professional people. Max is actually a rider that I have been observing for some seasons."

"Besides the personal side, which is truly human and had already created a nice rapport between us, I am absolutely sure that he is the rider we need to build a bike that can put MZ further to top positions."