Warren Willing signs with MZ Racing Team

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The renowned Australian technician returns to World Championship paddock as new crew chief for fellow countryman Anthony West.

Warren Willing, who contributed to Wayne Rainey’s three World Championship titles and played a key role when Kenny Roberts Jr. won the title in 2000, will join the MZ Racing Team as the new crew chief of Anthony West this weekend at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

In recent races, MZ CEO Martin Wimmer himself had temporarily filled the position as crew chief, but will now stay back in MZ’s headquarters for the strategic planning of the company’s future.

“For the next few weeks, I need to be back home at the company, where we will shape the future of MZ. At the same time, Anthony West’s results were just not good enough in dry conditions, so we needed to take action within the team”, said Wimmer. “To find an experienced technician with very special skills on the chassis side was the obvious solution. When we found out that Warren, who has a world-wide reputation in this field, was available, we didn’t hesitate.”

In his own racing career, Wimmer crossed paths with Willing only once, when he rode the prestigious 8-hours of Suzuka alongside with Australian Kevin Magee back in 1987 and steered his factory Yamaha to a triumphant victory.

But altogether, Warren Willing’s career in motorcycle racing spans more than four centuries. Willing, who is now 59 years old, started 1970 as a racer in national competitions in Australia and New Zealand before moving up to the 750 cc world championship and the famous 200 miles of Daytona. In an accident at Northern Ireland in 1979, Willing suffered severe leg injuries and was forced to retire from racing.

Two years later, his second career started as a team manager and technician. His biggest success was the triple 500cc crown of Wayne Rainey in 1990, 1991 and 1992, when he worked as a crew chief in the team of “King” Kenny Roberts, who had scored three consecutive 500cc titles himself a decade prior to Rainey. In 2000, Willing was one of the key technicians within the Suzuki factory team, leading King Kenny’s son Kenny Roberts junior to the 500 crown. From 2004 on, Willing worked as a consultant and chassis constructor for KTM in the 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP categories with riders such as Casey Stoner, Mika Kallio and Julian Simon in the 125cc class and Hiroshi Aoyama in 250cc.

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