German Endurance Superstock World Champions Team Penz13.com will return to the 2013 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, with an international line-up for the three 1000cc races.
The team will be led by the recently retired Rico Penzkofer and will field an impressive four riders with leading Briton Steve Mercer heading the line up ably supported by Swiss Herve Gantner, Japanese regular Yoshinari Matsushita and exciting German newcomer Steven Michels. All four will ride BMW machinery with Mercer on the HP4 Superbike and the other three on the S1000RR.
Swiss rider Herve Gantner missed last year's TT with a hand injury.
Mercer will come into his fifth TT keen to crack the top ten for the first time having taken 12th place for the last two years in the Dainese Superbike race. Last year saw him record his best ever lap of the Mountain Course at 126.323mph whilst he also earned his first ever silver replica, so he’s sure to figure prominently again in 2013. He'll contest the Dainese Superbike, Royal London 360º Superstock and PokerStars Senior TT races.
Gantner made his TT debut in 2010, returning each year since then. He has already broken the 120mph barrier and picked up two bronze replicas. Having missed the 2012 races after injuring his hand in a practice spill, he’ll be looking to better his results of 2011 when he took a best finish of 27th in the second Monster Energy Supersport race.
Japanese rider Matsushita will also be competing for the fourth year at the TT and both he and Gantner will line up in the same three 1000cc races as Mercer.
The fourth member of the ambitious team is young German Steven Michels who will also contest the Dainese Superbike, Royal London 360º and PokerStars Senior races. The 22-year old contested the International Road Race Championship last year where, despite missing the final round, he took an excellent fifth place overall in his first season of racing on the roads. After taking a win at the opening round at Schleiz, he went on to take further podium positions at Hengelo and Chimay and only finished outside of the top five once. A product of the Red Bull Rookies Cup, Michels has also been a regular top ten finisher in the German IDM Superbike and Supersport Championships.
Rico Penzkofer, Team Manager, Team Penz13.com Racing commented:
"I am disappointed not to be racing myself but being a team manager is the next best thing. I was keen to stay involved in this great event and I think that we have a good team line up that will help and complement each other."
Steve Mercer added: “I'm delighted to be part of Penz13.com for 2013 - I've raced Rico in various different races over the last couple of years and have always been very impressed by the standard of his bikes and team. I welcome the opportunity to ride for a team with so much experience - particularly as for 2013, the team has been working with the BMW S1000rr and HP4 from day one. Hopefully I can add my experience into the team and between us we can get the results we are all looking for.”–– Paul Duchene
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