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.

MotoGP: Alberto Puig No Longer Dani Pedrosa’s Manager

12/03/2013 @ 11:24 am, by David Emmett20 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Alberto Puig No Longer Dani Pedrosas Manager albeto puig hrc dani pedrosa repsol honda motogp scott jones 635x422

Alberto Puig is to take on a new role inside Honda. Brought into HRC as advisor to Dani Pedrosa, the former 500cc race winner is now to focus his efforts more on talent development for Honda, starting with the Asia Talent Cup.

Puig has a long and very successful history of spotting and developing talent. The Spaniard was the driving force behind the MotoGP Academy, the forerunner of Red Bull Rookies Cup, and before that, had worked with Telefonica Movistar in the Spanish championship.

That work had produced a string of highly successful riders in various classes, including several world champions. Alongside Dani Pedrosa, Puig was responsible for Casey Stoner, Julian Simon, Bradley Smith, Joan Lascorz, and Leon Camier.

Having Puig work in the Asia Talent Cup is a clever move for Honda. The Japanese company is keenly aware of the importance of the Asian market for its sales, and bringing on talent from the region will be a powerful marketing tool.

HRC also has a long history of backing Japanese riders in Grand Prix racing, and after a relatively lean period for Japanese talent, having Puig help spot and develop them early should help bring more fast young Japanese riders into the sport.

The career switch for Puig means that he will no longer be at Dani Pedrosa’s side at every race, bringing to an end a long period of collaboration. But as Pedrosa gained more experience each year, he had less need of Puig.

In a recent interview with Israeli TV commentator and journalist Tammy Gorali, Puig explained that he had less and less to teach to Pedrosa. The riding ability of the triple world champion had long since exceeded Puig’s ability to offer advice for improvement, and his racecraft and tactical knowledge had also surpassed that of Puig.

There has been a marked change in Pedrosa in the past couple of years, the Spaniard growing more confident and a little more relaxed, and that maturity is another factor in Pedrosa no longer needing the support of Puig. Pedrosa will not be alone at the track, as his father travels to every race with him.

Below is the press release issued by HRC on Puig’s new role:

New role for Alberto Puig in Honda Racing Corporation

Alberto Puig, who has been working with HRC since 2006 as Dani Pedrosa’s advisor, will face a new challenge starting from 2014.

Alberto will undertake a new role as a supervisor for several of HRC’s activities including the Asia Talent Cup and recruitment and management of young riders. Due to his new role, Alberto won’t follow Dani during the race weekend where he’s been a common figure alongside the Spanish rider, who he has tracked since the very beginning of his career. Apart from Alberto, Dani’s team will remain same as in 2013.

Shuhei Nakamoto:

“We are very happy to increase Alberto’s role in HRC and make use of his extensive knowledge in this World. He is a valuable asset to Honda Racing and we must utilise him and benefit from his wealth of experience. He is a respected member of the MotoGP paddock and I believe this will be good new challenge for him”

Alberto Puig:

“This is an exciting new challenge for me with HRC and i am very grateful for the opportunity. Initially i will focus on the new Asian Cup but then as my role grows and I will assist with young riders and I will do my best to help HRC as much as possible. Regarding Dani, I hope he can fulfil his dream, and looking back over these years I can only be proud of what is left behind with all the titles in the 125cc and 250cc class and all the MotoGP victories”

Dani Pedrosa:

“After many years working together on track with Alberto, next season he will not be by my side in the garage. He will be taking care of new projects and I feel that he has already given me so much that now it is time to change our relationship slightly. Anyway, I know that Alberto will be there for me if I need something, and this is the most important thing”

Source: HRC; 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. Matt says:

    Does Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa really think that finding new managers will take them to the top? Don’t get me wrong, they’re both exceptional racers, but Rossi’s over-the-hill and Pedrosa will never be World Champion. Lorenzo and Marquez are in a different league, even though they’re on (basically) the same equipment as Rossi and Pedrosa.

  2. L2C says:

    That’s news. Wow. So – no more rivalry between Puig and Alzamora? Going by his comments, Pedrosa seem very confident. And this is no surprise because he is very technical and anything that he needs from his team will not be lost in translation. Still the garage will feel different. I wonder how everyone will adjust to that.

  3. L2C says:

    Matt, you just keep on repeating the same old tired arguments against Pedrosa. It’s bullshit, but keep on repeating it. You’re never going to be able to make him look bad.

  4. Harb says:

    Pedrosa makes himself look bad all on his own. 8 seasons on a factory Honda and no title? Time to step aside and let someone else give it a shot.

  5. L2C says:

    I’m convinced that this “never going to amount to something” programming is passed on by parents and other persons in positions of authority — and from those positioning themselves to be authority figures. When you hear someone talk like this, you know where he’s coming from. He’s just passing on what was said to him at one time or another.

    When you hear this kind of person speaking in the abstract about someone that he doesn’t even know, about someone who happens to have achieved everything possible in his field except a relativiely minor cherry on top, you gain a sense of how deep the damage ranges in people who come on strong to say that someone will never achieve something.

    It would be a good decision to steer clear of of such people because sooner or later, they’re going to use those same methods of manipulation against you, in order to prevent you from gaining something that you are working to achieve. These people are dangerous. No joke.

  6. L2C says:

    Harb, he doesn’t look bad. It’s just that everything in your life has to be perfect. So I don’t need to imagine how much bad shit you have seen.

  7. John D'Orazio says:

    I can no longer be tough on Pedrosa. He has steadily improved and is without a doubt one of the top riders in the world today. Maybe not champion, but that may yet be in his future. It was real hard for me to get by his taking Hayden out all those years ago, but I’ve watched him race with real grit and determination. He has had some bad luck for sure and but for that, he may have had a title or two on his resume. Puig being gone will make no difference. 2014 will be a new year, and we will be treated to some great battles and you can confidently bet that Pedrosa will be in the mix.

  8. DareN says:

    @L2C – facts, my good man,facts. 8years and no title…Simply,not good ENOUGH…

  9. G.Irish says:

    Pedrosa is absolutely a strong enough rider to be world champion. His problem is that he is very prone to injury. Had it not been for him doing a cruise missile impression at the end of the front straight at Sachsenring in 08, getting hurt in 2012 due to crew error, and again getting injured this year, I have to think he would’ve converted ONE of those years into a title.

    At this point though, Marquez is only going to get better so for Pedrosa to win he’ll need some luck to play a factor.

  10. Kev71 says:

    Like I said earlier, Honda will not renew Pedrosa’s contract after 2014. Someone’s argument to that was Puig would never leave Honda… Probably correct; however, now their relationship is a lot more distant and Puig probably saw the writing on the wall. Pedrosa to Suzuki or Ducati in 2015.

  11. paulus says:

    8 years of continuous top level pay checks… for riding a motorcycle.
    Pedrosa sounds like a winner already ;)

  12. G.Irish says:

    For HRC to give Pedrosa the boot, they’d need someone better to replace him. Right now there is no on the grid that is available that fits that description. Unless HRC would rather have a slower and cheaper #2 rider to back up Marquez.

  13. Matt says:

    @L2C

    You must be in a position of great authority. So much so that an anonymous individual on the internet has gotten you so worked up over a motorcycle racer that YOU don’t even know.

    As I said, Dani Pedrosa is a great motorcycle racer, one of the best in the world, but he’s simply not good enough to be a World Champion (in the premier class).

    Also, as this is a comment section of a motorcycle blog, and not a doctoral dissertation, I can state my opinion all I want without having to provide a shred of evidence. But, as Harb rightly said, eight seasons of MotoGP without a title is evidence enough.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  14. Matt says:

    I don’t know why I threw that last sentence in there. I guess I was just being cocky.

  15. TexusTim says:

    hell pedrosa can still win a championship..as we saw this year he can take on Lorenzo and Marquez..his problem has allways been he breaks somthing on almost every crash.were Marquez seems imune to that so far. next year will be tight and he doesnt have that many more chances so if he can keep from injury I say there is a better than 80% chance of him finally getting a moto gp title.
    Rossi wont be a real factor with all the new “young guns” next year

  16. SBPilot says:

    If DP rides all season the way he rode in the last race this season, aggressive, he can win a championship.
    He is so good to watch when he rides aggressive, like also at Brno taking Lorenzo to the line.

    It must be tough for him to find the motivation 8 years later but hopefully he does. And hey, I don’t mind if he’s riding a Suzuki in 2015 that’s for sure.

  17. L2C says:

    “I don’t know why I threw that last sentence in there. I guess I was just being cocky.”

    There is at least one other interpretation of that statement that I won’t even mention.

    ***

    As for being enthusiasitic about someone that I don’t know, that is the difference between you and me. I would never tell someone – or say that someone – will never accomplish something. Especially when presented with absolutely nothing but stellar results of performance in his/her chosen field. But most especially when not presented with a shred of evidence one way or the other.

    “Also, as this is a comment section of a motorcycle blog, and not a doctoral dissertation, I can state my opinion all I want without having to provide a shred of evidence. But, as Harb rightly said, eight seasons of MotoGP without a title is evidence enough.”

    And like I said earlier, it’s bullshit. Brain-damaged bullshit. Say that shit to Julius Erving or Marion Bartoli. Tell them both how competing successfully for eight years or more without a major title – the major title – means that they will never win one and aren’t good enough. People like you and Harb and DareN don’t even exist to them.

  18. meatspin says:

    people here in the US cant seem to forgive DP for torpedoing hayden in 06. It is one of the saddest things I’ve seen from US race fans.

    That guy on that other website seems to really have it in for him. I remember reading an article by him spinning it like Puig and Pedrosa were a gay couple . I thought that was just a bit too lowbrow for me and it amazes me the hate these two get.

  19. Jw says:

    L2C

    Do you have any friends in real life?

  20. You guys kill me. If we implement new commenting rules in the coming days, you’ll know why.