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.

Nicky Hayden’s Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery

02/25/2014 @ 4:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar Team livery 05 635x423

The 2014 season marks a new chapter for American Nicky Hayden, as he switches back to Honda machinery for the upcoming MotoGP Championship. After toiling away at Ducati for the past five seasons, the former World Champion will ride with Team Aspar on HRC’s Open Class race bike, the Honda RCV1000R.

The moves means a switch from red to green livery, though considering the paint scheme chosen by the Drive M7 Aspar Team, we doubt you will have a hard time spotting Nicky on the starting grid. Just in case, we have a few high-resolution photos of Nicky Hayden, and his teammate Hiroshi Aoyama, after the jump.

“It is a new season and a new challenge for me but I am healthy and very excited. I have been very impressed with Mr. Aspar and his professionalism – it’s clear he really wants results and is behind all his guys,” said Hayden.

“I think it’s great we have a new sponsor and one of such a high level as Drive M7. Not only is it good for us, I think it’s good for all of MotoGP to see new sponsors coming from different parts of the world and this can be great for the future.”

“The challenge of competing as an open bike and the new rules will be interesting to see how it all plays out and if it really will become the future of MotoGP. The first test we were not as competitive as we need to be but I trust HRC will help us very soon and find us more power,” the Kentucky Kid added.

“I must get everything out of this new test to learn the bike and the new team and be ready to for the opener in Qatar. I have great fans and great sponsors and hope I can make them proud this year.”

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar Team livery 01 635x545

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar Team livery 02 635x423

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar Team livery 03 635x952

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar Team livery 04 635x952

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery 01 635x422

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery 05 635x422

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery 06 635x434

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery 07 635x422

Nicky Haydens Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery Drive M7 Aspar Team MotoGP Livery 09 635x422

Source: Team Aspar

Comment:

  1. Bob says:

    Nice Paint Scheme , hell we might even see it on the TV if it’s quick enough to get near the front of the race , i am surprised it was so far off the lap times in testing .

  2. Ax1464 says:

    Drivel?

  3. mutanic says:

    Good luck Nicky… but what the heck Nazri Aziz doing there?

  4. meatspin says:

    i always thought motogp bikes ran out of traction way before they ran out of power. Did HRC neuter the bike that much?

  5. Pinktoe says:

    Nick does not look too happy in most of these pics.

  6. David says:

    Sweeeeeetttt…..I’m glad to see crappy worn out jeans,just like I wear,are part of the team uniform!

  7. Crumplefoot says:

    David – he’s probably paying top dollar for those pre-distressed jeans.

    Those tears you got for free from doing things, probably cost $450 on designer jeans.

  8. Peter G says:

    Ax1464 .. ” Drivel “….. that’s what I thought as well.

    I wish Nicky all the best, but, it’s been 10 years since he won a race . !

  9. MotoSoup says:

    Those sure aren’t Ducati models in the background.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “we doubt you will have a hard time spotting Nicky on the starting grid”

    right then, take a picture, it’ll last longer. in their battle with Dorna, Honda’s assured once the lights go out you won’t be seeing much of him.