If you read the official Press Release below it appears that Matti will be the No.1 rider on the team. so the question has to be, where does that leave Chris Kovarik?




MS INTENSE FACTORY RACING confirm the signing of Matti Lehikoinen for a multi-year deal, starting for season 2008.


After years of working with great riders like Chris Kovarik, Sabrina Jonnier or Vanessa Quin it is time for MS- INTENSE RACING to form a new team with a new figurehead to continue the successful racing history of Intense Cycles.


Now it is time to make history again and Matti is the right person for this big assignment.


Three days after signing with his new team, MS INTENSE FACTORY RACING, Matti had a serious accident when filming with a friend in Helsinki. The accident resulted in breaking three vertebras.


The team wishes Matti a fast recovery and is in constant contact to monitor his progress. The team is looking forward seeing him back on the bike again in the coming months.

His outstanding biking skills, his technical knowledge and his professional attitude make him one of the best young racers and we are looking forward working with him. Riding for great teams like G Cross Honda he showed his potential and he will lead MS Intense Racing into a successful future. Our long-term partners Intense Cycles, Manitou, Intense Tires and Shimano are welcoming the new team member.


Statement of Martin Whiteley: " In the last two years, Matti has grown as a professional rider. Originally brought into Team G Cross Honda as the "junior" rider, Matti quickly progressed and has proven over the last 12 months that he is now ready to be a lead rider in his own team. It's a natural progression from being the 2nd rider to lead, and this move from Team G cross Honda to MS Intense makes perfect sense for Matti, who is excited at the prospect of helping the team steer towards future consistent successes... Martin Whiteley, 23 Degrees Sports Management.


Statement of Jeff Steber: We are really excited to have Matti on board next season. His talent as a racer, focus and personality will be an asset to the MS Intense Racing program. The combination of Matti's strong race performances and new product line-up for 2008 will take the race program to the next level. Jeff Steber , President , Designer,Intense Cycles


check out MS Racing. for more news on Matti.