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.

MotoGP: Pedrosa & Hayden Have Metalwork Removed

11/18/2013 @ 8:22 am, by David Emmett8 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Pedrosa & Hayden Have Metalwork Removed Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Laguna Seca Jensen Beeler 4 635x423

With the MotoGP season now officially ended, riders are taking the opportunity to have various medical niggles sorted out ready for 2014. Last week, Dani Pedrosa had the metal plate removed from his right collarbone; and on Sunday, Nicky Hayden had a screw removed from his right wrist.

Pedrosa’s surgery brings to a close a painful chapter in his life. The plate which has just been removed was inserted on his right collarbone after his clash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans in 2011.

Pedrosa was reluctant to have surgery on his his right collarbone, as he was only just starting to recover from surgery on his left collarbone, which he had injured at Motegi in 2010.

The operation to fix that injury had seen screws compress the artery leading down to his left arm, causing a loss of feeling during racing. The clash with Simoncelli took place just weeks after an operation to resolve the thoracic outlet syndrome which had resulted from the previous injury.

With the plate in his right collarbone removed, Pedrosa will need two weeks of rest before starting physical rehabilitation. The recovery period should give his collarbone time to heal, and for bone growth to fill in the holes left by the screws, restoring his collarbone to full strength.

Over in the US, Nicky Hayden has had surgery to remove a screw holding together the scaphoid he injured in a crash at Valencia in 2011. Since that crash, Hayden had suffered irritation in his right wrist, his hand often swelling up quite badly. Hayden exacerbated the injury in 2012, when he crashed during qualifying at Indianapolis.

With the swelling getting worse this year, Hayden decided to have the screw removed by Dr. Ting in California after this season. Surgery went well, and Hayden posted up pictures both before and after on his Instagram and Twitter pages.

Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

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


  1. KSW says:

    Man I’m glad my non healing scaphoid doesn’t have metal. The scaphoid, a common injury among motorcyclists, is indeed a fickle beast and when it goes wrong there it’s a lifetime of pain. Now, if only someone could do something about my non functioning frontal lobes that require a pill every morning…. Head injuries are the other thing that aren’t easy to manage. When these riders become older they will surely be hurting all over. Best to save some of that big $$ they’re making now to take of the injuries later.

  2. TexusTim says:

    these guys are olner and radius have never been the same in my left wrist..poor circulation…it sucks but when I ride I dont notice it at all but as soon as I get off the bike it hurts like hell. left shoulder, collar bone and vertabrea in base of my neck also…yea I still ride.

  3. ircsmith says:

    I dont understand the plates being used on the top athletes in this class. the protrusion of the plate and the screws just create potential catching points for ligaments and nerves. both my clavicles have been screwed. first figuratively then literally. all internal to the bone. nothing to catch on and much stronger out the door. I was back on the track 5 days (or was it 6?) after my first operation. granted thats no Jorge feat of strength, plus mine didn’t hurt in the least out on track. making me a super wimp! why are these top athletes still getting plated?

  4. Zander says:

    I broke my femur into several pieces, some choosing to exit my leg. After a few screws and a full length Ti rod, plus bone graft surgery and three months to heal, I was back on two wheels (much to my surgeon’s disbelief). I nearly did destroy my sciatic so I have some numb areas but little discomfort otherwise. My orthopedic surgeon later stated that we could have the metal removed so I asked, “what are the benefits?” “None, really.” was his reply. So my options are to live with a titanium reinforced femur or go under the knife for more invasive surgery. I’ll choose the option that keeps me in the saddle and out of the wheelchair, thank you very much.

  5. MIke says:

    ircsmith as to why they are getting plated I do not know but perhaps it is more armor like?
    Considering they will immediately return to a track where they may once again be ejected at 300kph?

    I bet these guys are happy when they get metal removed. Because with all the international travel they do they must set off many detectors passing thru gates at airports. :)

    I knew an older man who had a knee replacement & he always got the TSA third degree leaving America.

  6. L2C says:

    Yo, did HRC and Repsol slip you a fiver this weekend, JB, or what? ;-)

  7. L2C says:

    Oops, wrong thread. Hrhrhr…

  8. Jordan Goodison says:

    Pedrosa is a machine haha… The amount of times he’s gone under the knife is pretty amazing. I broke the scaphoid in my dominant hand in ’11, I was in a cast for a year before they finally decided to due to non-union. Fixed it up with a little titanium screw (doesn’t beep at airports :P) and a bit of bone from my hip. My surgeon said much the same thing about removing it, but it’s only one screw, and tiny. To be honest I was pretty nervous about going under (for a relatively simple op), although the morphine hit me like a truck and I didn’t even start counting backwards from 10.

    But yeah, breaking your scaphoid sucks… no idea how these guys come back from injuries so quickly… The fact that they’re pushing the limit with these types of injuries just show how courageous/mental they are, surely you’ve got to have some self-preservation knowing that your extremities are being held together by metal…