This is the compelling story of how one of Japan's biggest motorcycle manufacturers stole a Nazi rocket scientist's engine secrets from behind the Iron Curtain to conquer the world. In 1961, with the Cold War at its height, East German motorcycle manufacturer MZ was using World War II rocket technology to win Grands Prix, only for rider Ernst Degner to defect and sell the secrets to Suzuki, while his wife and children were drugged and smuggled through the Berlin Wall. The following year Suzuki and Degner made history by winning the world title. Branded a traitor by the communists, Degner suffered horrific injuries in a fiery racing accident and died in mysterious circumstances.
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A former motorcycle racer and Isle of Man TT winner, Mat Oxley has been writing about bike racing for more than two decades and is the author of Haynes' acclaimed biographies of Valentino Rossi and Mick Doohan.