World Superbike race winner Max Neukirchner will switch to the Moto2 World Championship next season after signing for the MZ team.

The deal comes on the back of an agreement between Team Pro Ride and MZ Motor, signed last Thursday at the MZ headquarters in Zschopau, Germany.

Pro Ride will manage all MZ racing activities in Moto2 and actively participate in the development of the new bike. Peter Rubatto will be team manager and also coordinate MZ activities in the Spanish Championship.

Marco Nicotari, will be the technical director for the team and also track engineer for Neukirchner, who will make his debut at the post-race test following this Sunday's Valencia finale.

27-year-old Neukirchner has won two WSBK races and finished fifth in the 2008 world championship for Suzuki, but was badly injured in 2009 and struggled to 18th in the championship with Ten Kate Honda this season.

"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," said Neukirchner. "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 crew chief.

"I am looking forward to test the Bike in Valencia after the last MotoGP 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!"

"Max riding abilities will help us to make a step forward in the Moto2 World Championship," added Wimmer. "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 days preparation before the season started, thus our expectations in the cooperation is high."

MZ has run former 250cc and World Supersport race winner Anthony West on a one-bike entry in Moto2 this season, but the team has secured two places on next year's grid and Neukirchner's team-mate will either be West, Arne Tode or Michael Ranseder.

A decision should be made in the next few days.

Running on a shoestring budget, West has taken the 2010 MZ to a best finish of seventh, which he claimed in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.



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