The Milan show just concluded with  an incredible barrage of hardware and enthusiasm, which is refreshingly positive in these times. One of the news tidbits released there that especially pleased us was the signing of Michael Leib with Ricci Racing for the 2011 GP season. Michael will be riding the MX2 class  on a factory Husqvarna. Ricci Racing is the team that gave Husqvarna its last MX world championships with Alessio Chiodi in 1998 and 1999. Ilario Ricci will be Team Manager and the riders will be Alessandro Lupino, Andrea Cervellin and Leib.
      Michael finished 19th in the 2010 MX2 class on a Rock Star Kawasaki KX250. His season was plagued with mechanical issues, but highlighted by dual seventh place finishes at the final GP where he elected to ride with an absolutely stock motor. Since then, his early rides on Husky have been encouraging. After riding the well-worn Dirt Bike TC250 in the U.S. he was pleased with the machine’s handling. But like the rest of the DB test riders, he felt the bike needed more power. When he got to ride an early version of his race bike in Europe, he reported that the power was much better, and there’s still time to find more before the beginning of the race season.
      Leib has been testing for Dirt Bike for over 10 years, starting with 50cc bikes and moving up through the ranks. Most recently he got to test the 2011 Honda CRF250R. You can check him out doing a wicked whip in the January, 2011 issue.

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