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 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.

Here’s the New Configuration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Infield Track for MotoGP

10/08/2013 @ 6:19 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Heres the New Configuration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedways Infield Track for MotoGP 2014 indianapolis motor speedway motogp infield track map 635x394

For 2014, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has reconfigured its infield track for its hosting of the Indianapolis GP for the MotoGP Championship — this much you should already know. I won’t rehash details, but the three-bullet primer to the changes afoot is that the track is slightly longer, has improved passing zones in three reworked areas (highlighted in yellow), and will be made of one consistent asphalt layer.

To the casual eye, the infield course at IMS looks pretty much the same, and for the most part it is; however, at the T2-T3-T4, T7-T8, & T15-T16 turn complexes, the track has been made to flow better for passing, and to improve rider safety (these turns were the main crash zones in previous Indy Grand Prix).

Still run counter-clockwise, opposite of the infield IndyCar course that runs a slightly different 14-turn configuration, the hope is that this new track layout (built with input from Dorna and GP riders) will be the final configuration change for Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield.

Indy has been quick to tell us though that if the new layout needs further adjustments or reworking, that effort will be considered and possibly undertaken, but we shouldn’t hold our breath for a ground-up redesign of the infield course. With one consistent type of asphalt throughout the infield though, MotoGP riders should be pretty pleased when they come to Indy next year.

Source: IMS


  1. Gabe says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Arguably, this track cost Stoner a second championship with HRC. And up until this year, the racing has been blah in the top class.

    I remember corners where a lot of riders lose it, and also, a couple of missing knee pucks. I hope the Nascar fans enjoy the noise from the Pagoda though. When people talk about the fan experience…I am imagining that’s what they talk about.

    Laguna 4 ever

  2. JoeD says:

    Still boring and definitely not the Belle of the Ball. Carolina Motorsports Park spanks Indy with layout. Barber would be better still. Austin. Miller. Shoot, my neighborhood has better flow. At least it gives the boys something to do on weekends.

  3. Wolf says:

    Kudos for the effort.
    But not at all one of the stand out tracks.
    Leave it for Nascar etc.
    ps: Stoner cost Stoner the championship. He needs no help blaming anyone or anything for his loss. He does that fine alllll by himself.

  4. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Indy is like Daytona–jigger it around all you like, the best it will ever be is below average. Long live Laguna!

    For the record: Marquez cost Stoner the championship…no wait, it wasn’t him… I mean, Lorenzo did…maybe Rossi did…no it was Dorna’s fault….

  5. sideswipeasaurus says:

    I still say they truck that mountain of dirt in from CA and rebuild Laguna on the Indy infield.
    Just imagine: Laguna Seca at IMS. It would be a hit. Indy loves and supports motorsports gets an iconic track and the residents of the Monterrey CA hillsides gets to go back to their wine & cheese tastings in peace.

  6. smiler says:

    Stop racing at a brilliant track, in a state that has many racing heros and put it on an amateur looking , frankly dull track in the middle of nowhere, with no tradition of creating international motorcycling racers.

    Did Dorna receive much money for this change?


  7. kevin says:

    WOW! A state gives $100 million to a failed businessman in order to save his sorry ass and he keeps the golf course and tweeks a couple corners. F*&King brilliant. I like the Indy redo better than what they are offering MGP. I guess when you’re broke, like Dorna, looking for money from anywhere what you do is walk away from a legendary Motorcycle track and hunker down with a failure in a rusty old ghetto of Indianapolis. Speaking of rusy old ghettos, I wonder how much of that $100 million has to be spent outside the track facilities. Let’s hope at least $80 million of it.

    I won’t give props to Monterey for the jacked up prices and claims of non profit but then triple the cost for an event is what happens everywhere those of us who travel the series go. So Laguna, pound that chest about what a great location in the middle of an uber rich zip code your track is in and like Aspen, workers will be bused in from nearby towns and no one will show up because the audience isn’t the uber rich. Brilliant all around I’d say.

    So, those of us here in the U.S. who get a portion of the bikes Europe and the world get, will suffer thru another downfall in racing as it pertains to where the market is and we now have a track in Texas where other riders go to visit a few days for reason’s other than riding and Indy where a storied history of better days gone by for car racing is the best Dorna can do. Broke and getting broker all around.

    I guess Cali is only for the wintering of MotoGP riders who get sunny, warm weather, winter training and some surf in the deal.

  8. majortom says:

    I’ll take Indy any day! They like motorcyclists there. Great facility, you can sit right across the start-finish line in covered bleachers no additional expense, jumbo-trons every where, clean flush toilets every where, loud speakers every where. I have not missed a Moto GP in the USA. Laguna Seca is home to the most obnoxious coastal elites who are doing you a favor by letting you in. Circuit Of The Americas is cold and indifferent-good track once you’re past the hassles though.And a personal thanks to the volunteers who man the shuttles that haul my 72 year old self where ever I want to go!

  9. crshnbrn says:

    @ sideswipeasaurus

    There is no need to truck dirt all of the way from CA. Just dig another pond on the golf course, or make an existing pond a little bigger. I would like to see a little elevation change somewhere between turns 7 and 12.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’ll take Indy any day! They like motorcyclists there. Great facility, you can sit right across the start-finish line in covered bleachers no additional expense, jumbo-trons every where, clean flush toilets every where, loud speakers every where. I have not missed a Moto GP in the USA.”

    ground control to major tom, you’ve really made the grade…!!!

  11. JD says:

    I got a new girlfriend shes hot and brilliant and hot..

    I like the story of how the corkscrew was made. After another great sunny mild day of bulldozing, the operators cut a path straight down the hill so they could get to their beer faster. They also got yelled at from the bosses. Goes to show some things have to develop in order to expose its greater purpose which may not be obvious in the beginning. Laguna is an awesome track but to be honest the best seat is on the couch. I remember when the chain link fence was free of banners and you could see the bikes and sidecars. I only see tips of helmets fly by. And the High school bleachers at the S/F line crack me up. Cant wait to go to Texas next year to “watch” and experience the race.

    did i mention my new girlfriend? Shes hot and smart and shes hot

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “Cant wait to go to Texas next year to “watch” and experience the race. ”

    and sell my soul to the devil.

  13. jet says:

    I like but indy can kiss my ass until LAGUNA comes back….

  14. Donny Elkins says:

    Laguna used to be a great place to go, and a group of us from NM used to plan our vacations around WSB and/or MotoGP each year. That ended with the traffic nightmares, the gouging by the local motels, and the overzealous law enforcement.

  15. crshnbrn says:


    Truth be told, the best place to watch any sporting event is the couch, with the action captured from different angles and recorded for replays. But you go to the event for the experience. Events are more fun to watch when the crowds are large, but when an event you would normally watch from the couch comes to your neck of the woods, it is your turn to be a member of the crowd. I missed Indy for the first time this year, but I intend to be a member of the crowd again next year.

    One thing about Indy, they know how to handle motorcycle parking.