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.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Marc Marquez is the 2013 MotoGP World Champion

11/10/2013 @ 2:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Comment:

  1. Westward says:

    He was my pick from the beginning if Rossi could not sort things out this season. Congrats to the new and well deserved champion.

    Pedrosa never let me down and was consistant as expected and I knew Lorenzo would not defend as before, unless Marquez broke something (i.e. Rossi 2010, Stoner 2012)

  2. Westward says:

    He was my pick from the beginning if Rossi could not sort things out this season. Congrats to the new and well deserved champion.

    Pedrosa never let me down and was consistant as expected good for 2 wins (wins more if only him & Lorenzo) and I knew Lorenzo would not defend as before, unless Marquez broke something (i.e. Rossi 2010, Stoner 2012)

  3. Doctor Jelly says:

    That kid showed an amazing amount of maturity today! I can’t wait to see him race again next year, and hopefully Yamaha will drop some coin to bring in a slightly more competitive machine for ‘ButterHammer’ Lorenzo and ‘WaningRossiIsStillBetterThanNearlyEveryoneElse’ Rossi…

  4. 2014 should be an even better season. Pedrosa and Lorenzo with both work even harder to reel in MM93. I hope Rossi finds his mojo and gets into the fray on a more regular basis.

  5. Mike says:

    Top three were all awesome this year.
    Marc has a youthful exuberance that he survived this year.
    I would not push that too far as he got off around 15 times this year. What he had over
    Lorenzo & Pedrosa was a heavy dose of not getting seriously injured luck.
    Pedrosa & Lorenzo both are fast & surgical yet got bit & injured causing missed rounds.

    Not to take anything away from Marc in his incredible first year in GP class.

  6. TexusTim says:

    gota hand it to the kid he held his own today and he didnt crash all weekend. I think lorenzo and Pedrosa showed him just how hard it will be to repeat next year and with a very fast group of rookies on board is going to make 2014 very exciting.

  7. crshnbrn says:

    @ Mike

    “What he had over Lorenzo & Pedrosa was a heavy dose of not getting seriously injured luck.” Indeed! Marquez broke/reset many Grand Prix records this year including the fastest ever off at Mugello. He still DNF’d, but at least he didn’t miss any rounds as a result.

  8. I had a laugh over MM’s comment during the post-race press conference where he said (paraphrased), “In the ranking for crashes, I am also number 1.” The boy sure did have his share of luck this season! I hope he doesn’t crash-test that luck so much next year.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “That kid showed an amazing amount of maturity today!”

    what the kid did was do what his dad told him, and follow the script their employer’s laid out. look, a lot of time, money and preparation has gone into the party.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “He was my pick from the beginning if Rossi could not sort things out this season.”

    he was my pick once I got a peek at the script the weekend of Austin.

  11. JW says:

    2013 was the best season in motogp in a long long time. Much credit goes to 93. This was the first season I had a full motogp video pass. It was well worth the price paid.

  12. L2C says:

    A couple of people have accused the top three riders of following scripts. That’s bonkers. You might as well wear a Macbook Pro on your head, if you’re down with that nonsense.

    If following a strategy is equal to following a script, then Lorenzo is guilty as charged. The only thing on Pedrosa’s mind was to also win that race. Something which he was completely confident about in Saturday’s press conference. And Marc did what he had to do. Displaying half of a percentage point more intelligence than he did at Phillip Island, he stayed out of trouble.

    If he was aware that riders were following scripts, why would Stoner even bother to comment on Marc’s performance this season? Indeed, why would he even bother risking life and limb for HRC as a test rider? His millions aren’t enough to raise his daughter and keep his wife happy? Enough to keep his family reasonably safe and sound, that he too would also continue to follow a script? His garage is filled with the best fishing poles and tackle that money can buy, why would he risk losing all of that?

    I guess Rossi firing Burgess prior to the start of the last race of this season was all a part of the plan, as well. And here I was thinking that one couldn’t make that up. That was an Oscar worthy performance that Burgess put on, looking like dispirited roadkill the entire weekend. Hell, he shoud get a lifetime achievement award just on this weekend’s performance alone.

    One thing is for sure, Dorna didn’t hire any of the sport’s ageing white male journalists to turn in and polish drafts this season. Not a single one of them are that good. But maybe Orson Scott Card was the fruitcake who came up with the idea for Marquez’s T-shirt at Motegi. That, on the contrary, would make sense.

  13. @L2C:

    Well said, sir. Well said.

  14. Jimbo says:

    I was introduced into the world of MotoGP in 2005 season in my first year of Uni, and i have to say i havent sat on the edge of my seat in the way i have this season in all that time. In fact i dont think my arse was ever as clenched as the first 10-15 laps of this race! Especially when “bowling ball Bautista” was playing with the front pack. I was waiting for him to take someone out!!
    Loved this year, and all the haters who say it was scripted just sour because they lost money betting on lorenzo! ;)
    Great season, Marquez was great – I am not going to tarnish his well deserved championship title with talk of injuries on the other riders etc.
    Next season will be amazing. The “CRT” bikes are going to be much closer to the Satellite/Factory bikes (in fact i think Hayden will be faster on the Honda RCV1000 than on the Ducati), The Espagero brothers should provide some good entertainment. Pedrosa is going to go out all for nothing (last year with Honda/unlikely to be re-newed/getting older) and Lorenzo is going to want to put the smiling champion back in his place. And Marquez will keep smiling and riding.
    Cant wait!
    Also A&R thanks for all the great coverage this year!

  15. rt says:

    “He was my pick from the beginning if Rossi could not sort things out this season.” Hahahaha.