Photos from 250+ Feet up COTA’s Petrolsaurus Rex

Standing 251 feet above Turns 16, 17, & 18, the COTA observation tower provides a bird’s eye view of just about every tun on the circuit, if you can stomach its subtle sway in the wind and clear-glass floor at the precipice. Officially called by COTA as the “Observation Tower” – it really needs a better name for casual conversation. We’ve heard COTA Cobra used a few times with some lovely alliteration, but the structure has always struck us as less snake-like, and more like a big dinosaur — we’re going to use the name “Petrolsaurus Rex” until I hear something better, or COTA sends me a cease and desist order. I climbed to the top of Petrolsaurus Rex (read: took the elevator) during the MotoGP Warm-Up session, and snapped a few photos in the process. Enjoy!

MV Agusta F3 800 Ago Now Officially Debuts

We already announced the bike last November, and brought you a bevy of hi-res images of the special edition machine. Although now that we think of it, MV Agusta never released anything on this Giacomo Agostini tribute motorcycle — better late than never, right? Back at the EICMA show launch, where the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago was first shown to the public (and Agostini himself), the Varese brand promised us two additional motorcycle launches in early 2014. MV Agsuta made good on half that promise with the Dragster 800 model, hopefully this Ago special edition isn’t the other half of that statement, and MV Agusta still has something waiting in the wings. That being said, the Tricolore & Gold paint scheme is gorgeous, and looks even better in person.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

Clearer Photo of the 2012 Ducati Superbike

06/01/2011 @ 4:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Clearer Photo of the 2012 Ducati Superbike 2012 Ducati Superbike street version spy photo 635x476

One of the great things about the online media format is that it allows our readers to provide instantaneous feedback to stories we publish (try doing that with your print magazine), so we’re eternally grateful to A&R reader zampetti for dropping off this capture of the new 2012 Ducati Superbike (seemingly shot out of an Italian magazine) into our comment section yesterday.

Clearly a photo of the street-going version of the Superquadrata (or will it be called the 1199?), this is a stark difference to the Supersport class bike we showed you yesterday. Other sites will probably try and pass this photo off as there own, but they saw it here first (it’s nice to know they read our comments though). Keep the tips coming guys!

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    Mmmmm, looks comfy – poor guy looks like Tron on acid. All of us over 5’6″ will prolly struggle with this one! Will look sweet when it’s done though (I just wish I was the same size as Stoner!)

  2. IXIVI says:

    Is that an underslung exhaust?? Hmmmm… I remember an American guy once put exhaust down there and everybody said WTF? Now they all do it. Even the almighty Ducati. Looks good, hope they keep it down there. And look at the ever growing circumference of the rotor too. The closer to the perimeter you get, the bigger Erik’s smile grows…. This one looks promising.

  3. Jeram says:

    cant exactly claim ‘saw it here first’ when the photo you published is a photocopy from a magazine lol

  4. DucracerX says:

    Test rider is 5’11″ like me. Anyone over 6’0″ is in trouble on this bike!! Don’t buy it. its NOT for you.

  5. s2r says:

    it looks like an rsv4 to me

  6. 76 says:

    Something is strange about this rider setup, it looks as if the tank has a “launch angle” instead of a “square off” like a race bike and all ducati’s before had. Thats a huge move, seeing as every factory racebike puts a square off or more of one on their tanks even if its not on the production unit trim.

    The other thing is I am questioning the height of the tank and if thats part of the camo, it simply looks to damm tall and the rear of the seat looks really high. Look at the clipons and draw a line back it seems in line with the seat, that would be a super aggressive riding position, no bike in stock trim does this OEM at the moment.

    The bike is under heavy braking it seems, which again makes me wonder why both shots of 2 different bikes have this in common, to further distort the proportion and geometry I guess. Ether way some things are not as it seems with this bike, I look forward to seeing what they have tricked us with

  7. Shereef says:

    From this image, I think the silhouette of the bike is quite cool. It reminds me of my 2007 R6 from the tank region back to the tail. I’m 5’9″ and I really enjoyed the ride position on the R6 (albeit hard on the neck on longer trips). I’m quite thrilled so far to say the least. My one fear, as with all Italian bikes, is the price. Hopefully they will go into production alongside a smaller engine formula (like the 1198, 1098 and 848). If there is a 848ish version of this bike that revs higher (say 16 – 17K redline) than its big brother, I’m definitely going to consider trading in my Yamaha.

    Cheers.

  8. loki says:

    IXIVI – I don’t see the brake discs getting bigger from the 1098/1198′s. From what I see in these first pics, these are the exactly same 330mm discs. And why should they get bigger? The 1198′s braking capability is almost overkill. OK, the Superquadrata will probably be a bit faster, but then again it will also be lighter, so the circle is closed. Besides, if you *really* need more stopping power, go for carbon front discs and you’re done! As for the exhaust, I really hope it doesn’t stay there (though, sadly, it probably will). The underseat Termignonis *cannot* be replaced.

    Shereef – it will still be a V2. It highly unlikely it will rev as high as 16-17.000 rpm. That’s the whole point and character of this engine: constant power delivery from the bottom to the top. If you like to rev your engine to get the power out of it, you should stick with the Japanese inline fours.

  9. Damo says:

    @loki

    The 20lb weight reduction Ducati keeps claiming is probably a direct result of getting rid of the dual under seat Termignonis. Under slung exhaust can trim a ton of fat.

    @Johnathan

    I agree and said the same thing: “Looks great, way to freaking small for me!”

  10. DougD. says:

    Begs the question of how a print magazine beat a blog to this rumored motorcycle, no doubt. Anyway, on with the discussion of specs!

  11. 76 says:

    A print (Italian) magazine beat a blog because its a intentional leak not a spy shot

  12. That’s an easy one Doug, spy photos are not accidents.

  13. Dorian Gray says:

    Looks like this bike is designed for short twerps. Seems Ducati has decided to continue their trend of turning its back on real men (i.e. Anyone over 6′)

  14. Peter says:

    The bike looks sweet. Tall riders will be fine on the bike. It will allow a tall rider to get his/her body out of the saddle.
    My good friend is 6’6″ and rides a 996 on the street and races an 848. No problem no complaints.

    My biggest concern with this bike is that it is modeled after the motoGP bike and they have been having significant issues with front end feel. Both Vale and Hayden have the same complaint and I am concerned that it is a design flaw that can not be adjusted out of the bike. I also hope that not too much torq is sacrificed in an effort to go after lofty HP numbers. The online 4′s are leaky Ducati is supposed to have a more linear power delivery with lots of grunt to drive the bike out of the turns.

    Can’t wait to see it in person!

  15. Peter says:

    The bike looks sweet. Tall riders will be fine on the bike. It will allow a tall rider to get his/her body out of the saddle.
    My good friend is 6’6″ and rides a 996 on the street and races an 848. No problem no complaints.

    My biggest concern with this bike is that it is modeled after the motoGP bike and they have been having significant issues with front end feel. Both Vale and Hayden have the same complaint and I am concerned that it is a design flaw that can not be adjusted out of the bike. I also hope that not too much torq is sacrificed in an effort to go after lofty HP numbers. The inline 4′s are peaky Ducati is supposed to have a more linear power delivery with lots of grunt to drive the bike out of the turns.

    Can’t wait to see it in person!