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The news of riders signing to teams continues through the offseason, including big news from motorcycle brand TM Racing. The Italian manufacturer has fielded a team in the Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship for years, most consistently in the MX2 division, but recently announced that they have signed Max Nagl to captain efforts to return to the premier MXGP division. Nagl’s involvement with TM Racing brings the brand back to the 450cc class for the first time since 2015.

Nagl was a part of the three-rider Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team, an agreement that ran through the end of the 2017 race season. Around the same time that Nagl’s contract expired, the team decided to scale back to a two-rider operation for 2018 and beyond, which left Nagl without a spot. After a short period of uncertainty, something very common in the international series this year due to the closure or restructuring of many teams, Nagl landed with TM Racing. The first public appearance between the two parties occurred during the EICMA trade show in Milan, Italy.

Although TM Racing is a much smaller brand than the other OEMs on the starting line, they’re known for crafty parts and innovative designs on the race bikes, which is perfect for the open rule package of the MXGP series. Nagl will spend the year aboard TM’s MX 450 FI motorcycle and the brand has already stated it will be developed continuously over the race season.

The press release from TM Racing is posted in full below…

TM Racing is very pleased to announce its come back to MXGP. In fact, the Team will take part in the Motocross World Championship Top Class.

The MXGP gathers all the best riders worldwide, as well as all European and World manufacturers. It was 2015 when we last saw TM RACING facing a MXGP with Davide Guarneri, who classified 18th in the overall Championship standings.

The past two years, the Italian Factory based in Pesaro, focused on young racers battling it out in the MX2. Their decision rewarded them with excellent results achieved by Samuele Bernardini. This year the racer won the second heat of the Indonesian Grand Prix, finishing second overall at the end of the GP. Now it is about time to go back to the Top Class and to do so TM RACING decided to enlist MAX NAGL.

The German rider is going to race using a machinery, which is the evolution of the prototype used in 2015. There are going to be several updates in terms of engine, frame, and suspensions. The MX 450 FI we will see next year at the MXGP World Championship is going to undergo a constant progress throughout the whole season.

The aim is the continuous development, race after race, in order to have a machinery, which perfectly suits the German rider. His ideal bike.

Marco Ricciardi Team Manager: "Engaging Max in our Team is a great honor. I have a great opinion of Max, talking from a technical point of view and especially for his professionalism and honesty demonstrated for so many years in the paddock. This is the reason why I think he is the right rider for our come back to the Top Class. To tell you the truth, I'm very proud of being part of this evolution and important project for TM RACING. The World Championship enjoys great health; however, some manufacturers even bigger than ours decided to shut down their Teams in MX2 while one definitely retired from racing. On the other hand, TM RACING decided to work its way up and go back to MXGP! Now we have to work hard to provide Max with the best bike ever so that he could stay at the top of the standings. Furthermore, we will do our best to bring Samuele back to the goals and levels achieved at the beginning of the season. I've no doubts Samu will be able to recover after the bad accident which affected his season."

Max Nagl: "I'm very happy to be part of TM RACING FACTORY TEAM. I feel so inspired! TM RACING FACTORY TEAM is a different reality; the team is smaller compared to others and this fits with me. I can't wait to start developing the new MX 450FI machinery, as well as working side by side with such a highly motivated Team."