Ten Kate Honda has completed its rider line-up for the 2010 World Superbike Championship after officially announcing the acquisition of Max Neukirchner from Suzuki.
Neukirchner will join Jonathan Rea in the former championship winning team for next season, the German's move to Honda comes as he bids to put a disastrous, injury-interrupted 2009 behind him.
Neukirchner hasn't raced a bike since Monza, when he was left with a broken leg following a first corner pile-up. His scheduled return at Brno was then delayed due a further accident in testing at Imola that injured his back.
Nonetheless, following two major operations and a lengthy recovery period, both the team and FIM medical staff are satisfied with Neukirchner's rehabilitation process.
The two-time race winner is now planning to get his first trial on the CBR1000RR during the Portimao post-season tests.
“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.”
Neukirchner's switch to Ten Kate Honda sees the German revive his relationship with the Japanese manufacturer having competed with the Klaffi Honda team in 2004 (Supersport) and 2005 (Superbike), scoring one podium in the process.
Despite his rather acrimonious split with the Suzuki Alstare team following a conflict of opinions regarding his race fitness, Neukirchner enjoyed plenty of success in the three seasons he spent with the manufacturer, winning races at Monza and Misano, while he finished fifth overall in 2008