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.

Marc Marquez Breaks His Leg in Dirt Tracking Crash

02/20/2014 @ 10:30 am, by David Emmett22 COMMENTS

Marc Marquez Breaks His Leg in Dirt Tracking Crash marc marquez hrc scott jones 635x423

Marc Marquez has broken his right leg in a training accident. According to well-informed radio journalist Damià Aguilar at Catalunya Radio, Marquez suffered a crash while riding at his dirt track facility not far from his home in Cervera in Catalonia on Wednesday.

The accident means that Marquez looks set to miss the second Sepang test at the end of this month. The 2013 world champion is reported to have broken his right fibula in the crash.

That injury means he will be unable to train for at least 15 days. However, in most cases, a broken fibula can be fixed quickly and relatively well by inserting a titanium plate. With the start of the season still four weeks away, Marquez should be reasonably fit for Qatar.

Marquez has led something of a dirt track revival recently, building his own training track not far from his home. Dirt track is in favor with riders, as it teaches throttle control and allows them to keep race fit with relatively limited risk.

Motocross, the other favored form of training, offers other risks due to the number of jumps and uneven terrain. However, Marquez’s facility is said to be large enough for the riders to reach relatively high speeds, and crashing at such speeds can still result in serious injury, as Marquez has reportedly just found out.

The Repsol Honda team have released the following press release, confirming that Marc Marquez has broken his leg in a training crash. No surgery will be needed on the leg, but Marquez will miss the Sepang test, and possibly the Phillip Island test as well:

Marquez to miss Malaysia Test

MotoGP World Champion, Marc Marquez, has broken his fibula during a dirt-track training session in Lleida, west of Barcelona, yesterday afternoon.

Marc was immediately taken to the Universitario Quirón Dexeus Hospital where Dr. Xavier Mir treated the spiral fracture of the distal third of his right fibula. After carrying out a CT scan and X-ray, Dr. Mir confirmed, “The results showed no ligament damage or dislocation and no need to proceed with surgery. I expect he will need 3-4 weeks to fully recover”

Marc has already started rehabilitation with magnetic therapy. He will remain non-weight bearing for two weeks, meaning he will certainly miss next week’s Sepang test and possibly the following week in Phillip Island, Australia. Full recovery is expected for the Qatar MotoGP race on 23 March.

As soon as there is more information on his condition and expected recovery, it will be shared with the media.

Marc Marquez

“It was a really unfortunate accident that could happen to anyone at anytime. I was rushed to hospital and Dr. Mir treated me, thankfully there was no ligament damage and it seems like a clean break”

Photos: © 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.


  1. ross ewich says:

    i’m going to catch flack for this… but i’m just going to step into it and say it.

    This kid is an idiot.

  2. Chaz says:

    This sucks! Terrible news.

    @ross, the kid is probably not the brightest bulb (I’m talking about his crash that nearly took out race marshalls, or the whole “squinty eyes” thing)…but a crash during training can’t be chalked up to him being an idiot.

    I remember how bummed I was when Hayden broke his ankle (or foot?) in the 2007 preseason training on his dirt track.

    These guys train on dirt and sometimes they get hurt.

  3. Chaz says:

    …or the whole Philip Island fiasco…now that was moronic. But ya, training accidents happen. MM isn’t an idiot for that.

  4. Rider says:

    Can’t imagine what that makes you then. The fact you can’t respect a top level athlete shows you would never achieve anything in the sport.

  5. John D'Orazio says:

    By no means is Marquez an idiot. If I were in charge of HRC, I would fully expect my riders to be training on motorcycles, especially dirt bikes, in the off season. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery.

  6. ross ewich says:

    the kid is an idiot.

    of course accidents do happen, but this kid keeps rolling the dice fast and loose and ya know what? eventually something like this stupid antic is going to happen. can you see this happening to a consummate professional like Jorge Lorenzo? hell no.

    Honda has invested so much in MM and he’s playing around like a 14yr old. training is necessary. taking unnecessary risks -five days before the most important test -that sets the stage and development for- your ENTIRE season (of which you are the current World Champion) is just stoopid.

    i just hope he straightens up/gets serious/gets safe before he Simoncellis himself and anyone who happens to be closest to him.

  7. KSW says:

    Again I repeat myself that the pain and suffering later after all the pins, plates and surgery is just going to be hell.

    But I digress, Check Out That Awesome Scott Jones Photo! That’s why I logged in. Mega Photo. Well done technique and use of our tool, the camera.

  8. paulus says:

    I recall a recent article stating that riders train dirt-track because it is relatively safer…. guess not LOL

  9. @ross ewich: ” can you see this happening to a consummate professional like Jorge Lorenzo? hell no.”

    Uhm, yes.

    As others have stated, the kid’s no idiot and training injuries can be expected at this level of sport.

  10. 2ndclass says:

    And don’t forget Rossi, he basically wrote off a whole season with a shoulder injury sustained motocrossing.

  11. TexusTim says:

    this happens to one of these guys allmost every year. here comes the “drama”

  12. Jw says:

    @ ross ewich – you really ought to stop this

    Put him up against any other rider with the same amount of race miles and his injury list is no more than average. Why the name calling? Please remove yourself from this premium group of gp junkies.

    There is no MM straightening up required, he is the world champion, get it. He took many many risks to get where he is today, the same as other world champions of the sport. All these guys participate in some form of off season training that can result in injury.

    Perhaps when you enlighten yourself about this sport you will look back at your post and call yourself the same name…


  13. Norm G. says:

    re: “This kid is an idiot.”

    well the kid is just that… a kid. it’s his handlers who are idiots. we’re in the new year and we’ve already got Sepang 1 under our belts. with Sepang 2 and the ultra critical PI test to come…? he’s got fukk-all business being anywhere near a dirtbike at this point in the season. see, part of “managing” a rider INCLUDES the managment of RISK…

    alzamora, nakamoto would like to see you in his office.

    DEAD MAN WALKIN’…! (death row C/O voice)

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “And don’t forget Rossi, he basically wrote off a whole season with a shoulder injury sustained motocrossing.”

    and worst yet, a rider lost his life.

    right then, you’d think we’d learn something from this…?

  15. Piston says:

    HA HA HA
    In catalonia? Get a map, mate! you mean in Spain.

  16. smiler says:

    Although a shame. The fact thjat he will be fit by the beginning of the season means that the championship will be even more dull.
    Clearly he has the riding ability to take off where Rossi finishes. However he has none of the charisma or fun factor.
    Ducati have stated that they will be back in contention in 2015. Suzuki are also back then. So Merguez and Hionda will win the championship.
    Off to WSBK. 2nd timed test: 5 different manufacturers in the top 5, 8 in total and riders from ten countries. Fours, twins and triples racing in WSBK and WSS with the likelihood of a V4 from Honda next yr.

    Anmd yes Merguez is a idiot. However Dorna have suupported and fought for Repsol to get a Spanish winner and now they have one they are going to make sure he stays there.

  17. Thank GOD that smiler didn’t disappoint us by forgetting to leave his anti-Spanish tirade. The boy’s nothin’ if not consistent.

  18. PeteN95 says:

    You guys are idiots. Motorcycle racing is dangerous and so is the worthwhile cross training for racing motorcycles. Wake up and smell the coffee!

  19. Highside Specialist says:

    Ugh. I normally don’t chime in like this but you guys are killing me.
    First off, MM93 is not an idiot. He’s a young man with extreme focus, outrageous confidence, unmatched riding skills and a will and a way to win. Part of being the best in the world is pushing the absolute limit. @Ross, what did you have to show for yourself at age 20??

    As for his handlers being idiots? Well that’s a rather sheltered POV as well. To be the best in the world means being in the saddle all the time.

    Motorcycle racing is a dangerous sport. Brakes happen. It’s the champ that takes that experience, dusts him or herself off, learns from it and gets back on the bike.

    Get some passion in your life and you’ll understand.

  20. Norm G. says:

    re: “As for his handlers being idiots? Well that’s a rather sheltered POV as well.”

    no worries. just got a text from merregalli. says he’ll send you a post card from Philip Island.

  21. Frank says:

    @ Ross – your mention of JL was already beaten down by another post but I have to ask… how long have you been watching GP? The last 2 years? Because if you look back to JL’s rookie season and his sophomore season as well, I’m pretty sure he spent a lot of time in the gravel. In fact, the beginning of his career in GP looked a lot like MM’s… except for Marc Marquez IS the world champion and Jorge banged himself up his rookie year after a successful start to the season and it took him a couple more seasons to claim the crown. Is he a professional? YES, certainly – but put things in perspective and you might be able to appreciate what Marquez has been able to do at such a young age. And for those commenting on ‘his handlers’… the PI incident was a fiasco and the insensitive T-shirt in Japan didn’t help but again… WORLD CHAMPION. AS IN – The BEST RIDER IN THE WORLD/BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD.

    No one here is really talking about the immediate implications of this on his season. Motomatters threads tend to focus on racing and speculation for the GP season and not just name calling and character bashing. (not a jab at you Jensen – I love A & R).

    How about- missing the test at PI where they are finally testing new tires. We know Marc is fast at Sepang and based on what time he spent on the track at PI last year- he can go fast there as well, but still- a few days on the track with new tires before the start of the season is big.

    Moving forward- I’m more interested in seeing what MM shows up in Qatar…? The crazy kid wrestling the mighty Honda or the professional (yes Ross – professional) rider that coasted to victory in the final 2 races of last season, managing risk and staying out of the brilliant tangles Jorge was trying to put him in? One thing I will say is – what else do you want him to do with his off season time, play MotoGP on Playstation…?? I’m sure he finds time to do that after he spends the day ripping around in the dirt doing what he loves to do while sharpening his skills. I still expect him to be fast early in the season and he will certainly still be defending his title.

  22. Neil_V says:

    re: “what else do you want him to do with his off season time, play MotoGP on Playstation…??”

    That’s how I spend mine… Can not wait for all this snow to melt!