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.

2014 Provisional MotoGP Entry List Updated – Leon Camier Joins IODA Racing

01/15/2014 @ 12:57 pm, by David Emmett5 COMMENTS

2014 Provisional MotoGP Entry List Updated   Leon Camier Joins IODA Racing leon camier wsbk suzuki scott jones 635x423

The FIM released an updated entry list for the three Grand Prix classes yesterday. Though the list was not much changed from the previous version published in November, there were one or two notable changes.

In the MotoGP class, Leon Camier was listed as the second rider at the IODA Racing team; in Moto2, Franco Morbidelli and Roman Ramos filled the last two vacant slots at Italtrans and QMMF respectively; and in Moto3, the winter signings of Ana Carrasco, Isaac Viñales, Scott Deroue and Enea Bastianini were added to the list.

The biggest news the list contains is the inclusion of Camier in the MotoGP line up. The Englishman has been linked with the IODA ride since November last year, when it became clear that Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty would be filling the Voltcom Suzuki slots in World Superbikes.

Though the IODA Racing team has yet to confirm the signing, Camier spoke to British publication MCN confirming the deal today. The good news for Camier is that the team is now listed as running ART machines, suggesting that IODA has gained support from Aprilia for their project.

This support appears to have come at the expense of the PBM team of Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes, who are now listed as racing PBM machinery, rather than the PBM/ART which the original list showed.

The changes to the Moto2 entry list were also broadly expected. Franco Morbidelli has been linked with a Moto2 ride for a while, and with Julian Simon already signed up for one of the Italtrans riders, it was probable that the Italian team would be looking for an Italian rider.

After a couple of strong years in the European Superstock 600 Cup, a championship he won last year, Morbidelli was being hotly tipped for a ride to Moto2. The inclusion of Roman Ramos at QMMF is similarly unsurprising. After winning the Spanish CEV Moto2 championship, moving up to the world championship is a natural step.

The changes to the Moto3 line up are largely cosmetic, other than confirming the signings announced over the winter. The biggest changes seem to be in the numbers riders will be using, with Scott Deroue, Francesco Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini, Hafiq Azmi and Bryan Schouten all changing their numbers.

The entry lists are testament to a strong field. Twenty-four riders will contest the 2014 MotoGP championship, thirty-five riders wll line up at the start of the Moto2 season, and thirty-three riders are entered for Moto3. Testing resumes in just over two weeks’ time, when the MotoGP riders take to the track at Sepang.

The latest provisional 2014 MotoGP™ entry list is as follows:

  • 4 ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – ITALY – DUCATI TEAM – DUCATI *
  • COLIN EDWARDS – USA – NGM MOBILE FORWARD RACING – FTR YAMAHA
  • STEFAN BRADL – GERMANY – LCR HONDA MotoGP – HONDA *
  • HIROSHI AOYAMA – JAPAN – POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR – HONDA
  • 8 HÉCTOR BARBERÁ – SPAIN – AVINTIA BLUSENS – FTR
  • DANILO PETRUCCI – ITALY – IODARACING PROJECT – ART
  • 12 LEON CAMIER – GREAT BRITAIN – IODARACING PROJECT – ART
  • 17 KAREL ABRAHAM – CZECH REPUBLIC – CARDION AB MOTORACING – HONDA
  • 19 ÁLVARO BAUTISTA – SPAIN – GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI – HONDA *
  • 23 BROC PARKES – AUSTRALIA – PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT – PBM
  • 26 DANI PEDROSA – SPAIN – REPSOL HONDA TEAM – HONDA *
  • 29 ANDREA IANNONE – ITALY – PRAMAC RACING – DUCATI *
  • 35 CAL CRUTCHLOW – GREAT BRITAIN – DUCATI TEAM – DUCATI *
  • 38 BRADLEY SMITH – GREAT BRITAIN – MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 – YAMAHA *
  • 41 ALEIX ESPARGARO – SPAIN – NGM MOBILE FORWARD RACING – FTR YAMAHA
  • 44 POL ESPARGARO – SPAIN – MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 – YAMAHA *
  • 45 SCOTT REDDING – GREAT BRITAIN – GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI – HONDA
  • 46 VALENTINO ROSSI – ITALY – YAMAHA FACTORY RACING – YAMAHA *
  • 63 MIKE DI MEGLIO – FRANCE – AVINTIA BLUSENS – FTR
  • 68 YONNY HERNANDEZ – COLOMBIA – PRAMAC RACING – DUCATI
  • 69 NICKY HAYDEN – USA – POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR – HONDA
  • 70 MICHAEL LAVERTY – GREAT BRITAIN – PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT – PBM
  • 93 MARC MÁRQUEZ – SPAIN – REPSOL HONDA TEAM – HONDA *
  • 99 JORGE LORENZO – SPAIN – YAMAHA FACTORY RACING – YAMAHA *

* = Factory Option

Source: FIM; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Leon Camier: 10/10

  2. AG says:

    Funny, the two fastest riders have the highest race numbers.

    When dad was racing AMA in the ’60s a #1 plate wasn’t issued to last years champ, so at the start of a season all the racers fight over who got it. He said screw that and requested #999, the highest number allowed.

  3. anthony says:

    I’ve been away for a while, who can tell me where randy de puniet is?
    and is suzuki a thing, or is that 2015?

  4. Suzuki will be in MotoGP in 2015. RdP is testing with them this season. Who knows where he’ll be the season after this.

  5. L2C says:

    Camier and IODA both seem to be currently missing from the MotoGP test in Sepang? Any updates to Aprilia’s and IODA’s negotiation on price? Have contracts been signed? Anything? Anything at all?