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.

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.

Rating the Riders of MotoGP: Marc Marquez – 9/10

01/06/2014 @ 8:16 am, by David Emmett13 COMMENTS

Rating the Riders of MotoGP: Marc Marquez   9/10 marc marquez laguna seca motogp scott jones 635x423

As 2014 gets underway, we start our build up towards the upcoming MotoGP season. This starts an all-week look back at the performance of the riders in 2013, rating the top ten in the championship, as well as exceptional performers from last year. Later this month, we will start to look forward, highlighting what we can expect of the season to come, both in terms of riders and the new regulations for 2014. The new season starts here.

Marc Marquez – Championship Position: 1st – Rating: 9/10

How would Marc Marquez fare in MotoGP? It was the question on everybody’s lips at the start of 2013, as the young Spaniard left the class he had dominated to play with the big boys. It would be Marquez’s moment of truth: throughout his career in the junior classes, he had always been in the best teams.

Many outside observers also claimed he had been on the best bike in Moto2. In 2013, Moto2 teams who had competed against him were free to concede that Marquez had won despite his Suter, not because of it.

Their words were backed by Marquez’s action. Accepted wisdom holds that a rookie year is for learning, for getting to grips with a MotoGP bike, having a few big crashes, chasing the odd podium and maybe even a win. Marquez did all that and more, but how he did it marked him out as one of a kind.

His first podium came in his first race, the Spaniard benefiting from problems Dani Pedrosa suffered with the dusty Qatar surface. His first win came a race later, smashing what would be one of many records in MotoGP.

Youngest race winner, youngest champion, youngest rider to set a fastest lap, youngest polesitter, youngest back-to-back winner, youngest to win four races in a row, most wins as a rookie, most poles as a rookie, highest points total for a rookie; the list goes on and on. Marquez broke records held by Freddie Spencer, Kenny Roberts, Mike Hailwood. These are very big boots to fill, yet fill them he did.

What impressed most of all was his maturity. Riders are expected to crash in their first year, and Marquez crashed a lot. But he chose his moments wisely, finding the limit in practice, crashing frequently, but staying upright during the race. Only once did he crash during a race, at Mugello. He did not make that mistake again.

He learned quickly, not just adapting to a MotoGP bike in short order (his manager, Emilio Alzamora, said of him, “in the first half of the season, the bike rode him; in the second half, he rode the bike”) but also handling difficult situations well.

Prime example was Phillip Island, where his crew made a mistake and caused him to be disqualified. Within 15 minutes, he had assimilated the situation, got to grips with it, and was his old smiling self. That kind of mental flexibility is Marquez’s strongest point.

Marquez does not earn the full 10 out of 10, though. He made mistakes a plenty, crashing constantly, riding right on the edge of the acceptable, and taking risks when he really didn’t need to. His move on Jorge Lorenzo at Jerez was a hard racing move, seen at that corner many times before.

But his crash at Silverstone during warm up, under yellow flags, scattering marshals who were busy picking Cal Crutchlow’s bike out of the gravel was downright dangerous. A little more situational awareness would not go amiss.

High Point:

Rating the Riders of MotoGP: Marc Marquez   9/10 marc marquez circuit of the americas motogp scott jones 635x422

What was the high point of Marquez’s rookie season? There are so many to choose from. His first win at Austin was obviously impressive, as was winning the championship at the first attempt. But I would rather highlight two other moments.

Le Mans – Marc Marquez had not had much time on a MotoGP bike in the wet. A few wet laps at Jerez in preseason testing, and some time on the bike at Valencia on a drying track, and that was it.

The race at Le Mans started out soaking wet, Marquez struggling to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike in these conditions. It took him five laps before he was matching the pace of the front runners.That was a sign that this kid might be special.

But to my mind, the high point of Marquez’s year came at Motegi. A week earlier, his chances of wrapping up the 2013 MotoGP title had been thrown away after a stupid mistake by his team. In Japan, the weather caused practice to be lost on Friday and part of Saturday.

There was even a minor off-shore earthquake just to shake things up, both literally and figuratively. This was a real test of his mental strength which he passed with flying colors, finishing the race in second.

Low Point:

Rating the Riders of MotoGP: Marc Marquez   9/10 marc marquez sepang motogp 635x421

There can be little question of the real low point of Marquez’s season: the disqualification in the shortened race, after he failed to pit within the two lap window for the compulsory pit stop. It was the kind of event that has broken riders in the past, but Marquez shook it off quickly.

Yet Marquez’s crashes also deserve a mention, none more so than at Mugello. The highest speed ever recorded for a crash, it was yet another record broken by the Spaniard, though one he would rather forget. He saved a locked front wheel after braking too hard just after the crest of Mugello’s main straight, but that put him on a collision course with the wall.

Before he got there, Marquez decided to bail out, jumping off the bike at around 300 km/h. As silly as the cause of his crash was, having the courage, the presence of mind, and the ability to analyze the situation in a split second speaks of his ability. Marquez’s low point is as remarkable as the rest of his season.

Photos: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved; HRC

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


  1. Moto Bell says:

    WHAT? i dint even read the article – 9/10? he is 11! first article I didn’t read on asphalt and rubber – ok I will come back and read very word and agree with david emmett on his rating – but suffering from lack of motogp news through these months – i expect this to draw me in with a 11/10 rating.

  2. L2C says:

    Marc Marquez really puts Dani Pedrosa to shame.

  3. Jw says:

    When it comes right down to it, I really don’t care who wins in 14. I wish for everyone to stay healthy and compete well. This is the greatest show on earth, so to all, put on a good show!

  4. smiler says:

    Well Dorna and Repsol must be so relieved. After forcing Hinda to keep Dani on and having annoyed Stoner so much that he left MotoGP. Dorna dropped the rookie rule to ensure a Spanish winner. The number of crashes and comments by his seniors clearly back up the fact that ht eRookie rule is there for Dorna to use at their discretion. He even managed several utterly stupid publicity nightmares as well.
    He is also very lucky Simoncelli did not make it to 2014. Simoncelli was dangerous but unlike Merguez has a character and charisma. Trying to argue he was not on by far the best bike in Moto2 is irrelevant. He is clearly and absolutely on the best bike last year.

    Even managed to nerf his team mate off the track.
    Dorna and Merguez have ensure that MotoGP just got much worse.
    WSBK has riders from 10 nations and no less than 8 manufacturers competing next year. 2 years ago the margin for the winner was 0.5 points.

  5. H.L. says:

    No doubt, MM has incredible talent, fearlessness and gifts. He earned the championship and I’m fine with the 9/10 rating but pound for pound, season for season, I believe J. Lorenzo had the better season considering the inferior Yamaha compared to the Honda plus the comeback from injuries. He won more races than MM on the Yamaha and his masterful, flawless race at Twin Rings Motegi was unbelievable. Add in the last lap battle for the win at Silverstone once again on the inferior bike and it goes down as the best season in my book. Mark will be scary in years to come though.

  6. Jw says:


    Ok I am not aware of this stoner Pedrosa relationship, I thought stoner was unhappy with Dorna. How is Dani part of his exit from the sport? Please do tell

  7. crshnbrn says:

    @ smiler

    re: Even managed to nerf his team mate off the track.

    Bad karma lingering since 2006.

  8. Damn says:

    crshnbrn. So karma??? nice.! mm has alot of karma to catch up i quess. !! if he gets all the karma back at once….. his wounds wil never heal.!

  9. L2C says:

    Jensen, someone has posted in this thread under my name. If you check the email address of my previous posts, you would see that the second post here – following Moto Bell, and previous to Jw – was not made by me. Have it deleted, thanks.

  10. Johnny Five Alive says:

    L2C, You’re not too bright are you? Someone was, obviously, just having a laugh over your (slightly unhealthy) obsession with Dani Pedrosa. Your request is the equivalent of “telling the teacher”, instead of dealing with the problem yourself.

  11. L2C says:

    @ Johnny Five Alive

    Still no release date from Bellevue Psychiatric, huh?

  12. crshnbrn says:

    L2C, Johhny Five Alive

    If you two can’t get along, you’re going to the principal’s office.