Neukirchner Denies Ducati MotoGP Rumors

Over the past few days, rumors have emerged from Italian broadcaster SportMediaset that the MotoGP grid could be expanded even further. According to Sportmediaset, Max Neukirchner, currently riding for Ten Kate Honda in the World Superbike series, had been offered a ride on a Ducati Desmosedici GP11 in MotoGP, with the backing of a large German sponsors. According to the reports, Neukirchner's management have had meetings with Dorna to discuss the possibility of the German making his debut in the series, a move which would be extremely popular with German TV audiences.

However, there seems to be little truth in the rumor. After Italian website contacted Ducati team manager Vito Guareschi, the Bologna factory made it clear that they had no room to provide a 7th Ducati MotoGP bike next year. German magazine Motorsport Magazin then contacted Arnd Siedl, Neukirchner's manager, for his take on the affair. Siedl admitted he had spoken to Dorna at the Sachsenring in July, but denied that it had been about a MotoGP ride. "I spoke to Dorna, but it was about a Moto2 at best, and that level of competition. It was all non-committal," Siedl told Motorsport Magazin.

Neukirchner also denied an impending move to MotoGP. "Obviously, I'm honored that people are saying this about me," Neukirchner told Motorsport Magazin. "Unfortunately, the people behind such a project have not yet really contacted us, and we don't know anything about it."

The story had seemed unlikely from the outset. Neukirchner has had a difficult past 18 months, ever since crashing very heavily at Monza. The German was released from his contract by the Alstare Brux team at the end of last season, and was a surprise signing for the Ten Kate Honda World Superbike team. But Neukirchner has failed to get to grips with the Honda CBR1000RR, and is currently just 18th in the championship with 41 points. After such a dismal season, promotion to the premier class seems unlikely in the extreme.

Back to top


why, that'd be like some guy running 17th in Moto2, with just 33 points to Elias' 211, getting a Ducati in MotoGP next year. I mean, something like that would just be too "unlikely in the extreme," init?

If Dorna really wants to boost ratings for MotoGP in Germany, they should never again award the rights to that crap sender DSF. It was such a pleasure watching the coverage on Eurosport in Germany. But beginning last year, Dorna took the rights away from Eurosport and gave (sold) them to DSF. There Alex Hoffman does color commentary and interviews, but other than that the broadcasts are pure torture, just awful. And they never cover anything but MotoGP live.

I watch MotoGP on Sport Eins with the excellent multi lingual Alex Hoffman. Practice, warm-up and Live races - most of the time - although yes 125's and Moto2 do get shuffled a bit. What more do you want on free to view T.V?

The torture you talk about is the 'racing'. Naught a producer can do about that.

Actually, the "torture" I mentioned is the annoying commentary (other than Alex) and frequent interruptions for advertising, with the same commercials repeated ad nauseum.

What more do I want? I would like the decidedly superior coverage, including fun, interesting commentary and almost always live coverage of the 125 and Moto2 class (back then 250), provided previously by Eurosport, where they always covered qualifying too (which Sport1 does not).

I have never seen a 125 race on what is now called Sport1 (it was DSF when the contract was awarded) -- but this may be because after the MotoGP race I tune out (they may show the 125 race on tape then). I have never seen a Moto2 race covered live.

During the Bundesliga season, instead of showing the 125 and Moto2 races live, Sport1 shows some really boring talk show about football. People sitting around in a studio talking about football.

I always heard that MotoGP was Eurosport's highest rated live program. DSF/Sport1 has just ruined that.

To each his own opinion I guess.

I wish they did the same here in the states on Speed Channel or whatever broadcasts the races. Big ticket races like Indy and NASCAR do the smaller window with the live feed and advertisements in another window.

This is the reason I always get the subscription to the motogp website. Live and no interruptions or idiot commentators that can't pronounce riders' names.