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.

Video: Suzuki MotoGP 2013 Testing Goodness

12/02/2013 @ 7:26 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Video: Suzuki MotoGP 2013 Testing Goodness suzuki xrh 1 motogp test bike 635x423

For our American readers, it is time to get back in the swing of things from the long Thanksgiving weekend; and for our non-American readers, well…the last few days must have been pretty boring for you (especially for our Canadian readers, who are probably still baffled about why we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving over a month late).

Anyhoo, it is Monday here at Asphalt & Rubber HQ, and while we let the caffeine soak into our veins, we have some high-energy content to help you get going at the workplace job thing. First up is a little video from Suzuki, which has just concluded its 2013 MotoGP testing schedule.

It is mostly just motorcycle porn for racing fans, but to our knowledge the video is the first time that Suzuki has publicly acknowledged its inline-four cylinder engine design for its XRH-1 MotoGP test bike. Suzuki will be back testing in 2014, with Randy de Puniet now solely committed to test-riding the machine for the Japanese OEM.

High on the team’s list is getting its race program to work on only 20 liters of fuel, as well as switching from Suzuki’s current Mitsubishi-designed ECU to the spec-ECU supplied by Dorna and built by Magneti Marelli. Neither task is an easy one as Suzuki gears up for its 2015 return to Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

Source: Suzuki Racing

Comment:

  1. Phil says:

    Now all they need is a good pilot capable of staying with the current Aliens.
    Who would that be ?

  2. SBPilot says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-hired Bautista after his contract ends at Gresini. It’s no secret that Redding is to take his factory bike in 2015 and fact is, Bautista isn’t all that slow. The results are there, and that’s all while being the lone Showa suspension rider and Nissin brake user which are seen as inferior to Ohlins and Brembo.

  3. L2C says:

    Randy’s looking on good on that bike. Would be good to see him on competitive machinery in 2015. Hopefully that’s what Suzuki has planned for him.

  4. Eugene Laverty signed to ride with Suzuki in WSBK for 1 year with a guarantee to move to the MotoGP bike in’15 if rumors are to be believed.

    As far as an experienced GP pilot to pair with him….Bautista makes more sense than a rumored Stoner/Burgess pairing trying to win it all on a third different brand. Especially after JB and Vale fell on their face post ripping Casey for not developing the Ducati.

  5. Pete says:

    Is there no more design innovation in MotoGP? Every bike looks the same. No one wants to go out on a limb and try something radical. I’d love to see something like the Bimota Tesi 3D or Vyrus 986 make it’s way on to the starting grid and shake things up.

    What ever happened to the Motoczysz C1 MotoGP project?

  6. Stevenk27 says:

    I am not convinced that RdP has what it takes to be at the front of the pack. He is a good rider, just not in the same league as the current aliens.

    Eugene Laverty would also be a risky move as he has no proven MotoGP track record.
    I think the rider would have to be an existing rider who has shown the ability to be up front given competitive equipment. That means Bautista is the most likely given that Crutchlow is tied up until 2015. Interestingly Pedrosa, lorenzo and Marquez have contracts expiring end of 2014 so perhaps big money could lure them away. probably not Marquez but Pedrosa has never delivered while being on the best machinery so his HRC days are numbered and Lorenzo might want the challenge of winning a championship on another manufacturers machine.

    My hope would be a Stoner return but it’s highly unlikely and besides I’d prefer if he Took Pedrosa’s place on a Honda to challenge Marquez properly.

  7. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Given what everyone wishes, Stoner isn’t coming back… Given Marquez’s rise in MotoGP I would say that it’s still Jorge vs Marquez vs Pedrosa unless Rossi can rein it back in ’14. I don’t what Suzuki is thinking having Rdp as a test rider but oh well. I would love to see E. Laverty and Ben Spies on the Factory Suzuki team. Given Rdp’s testing, that’s most likely sealed him a ride in the team; Laverty’s switch to Crescent, he will most like take the GP given the reality that the GSXR 1000 isn’t going to be top 3 machinery right away… I somehow see Pedrosa going either to a satellite RCV214 or to Yamaha and Lorenzo making the switch to Honda in 2014… he hasn’t had a sour innings with Honda yet. I doubt they’ll close the door on him. I’m still a Pedrosa believer but if he doesn’t seal the deal next year I can see Lorenzo taking his spot to take on Maquez. Please Santa let Ben Spies recover and come back on the Suzuki.

  8. Jimbo says:

    I think this team screams out for someone like Pedrosa. By the 2015 season he will be starting to get longer in the tooth, and dont know if Honda will re-new his contract. He is a fantastic rider with a wealth of experience so for him a move to Suzuki (a factory team, factory budget) who could use his knowledge for development makes sense. Better that than moving to a Satellite. The other option he may have of course is Yamaha. a) We dont know what is going to happen with Rossi, b) Jorge’s contract also ends next year so you could see him and Pedrosa do a straight swap!
    Suzuki may be the exciting challenge for Pedrosa though. Or Dovi come to think of it!

  9. L2C says:

    The only would-be, might-be threat to Pedrosa’s seat is Lorenzo. No other rider is even close. And Lorenzo and Marquez are just barely. And both are unquestionably unable to deal with him on a good day, when all three are having the same kind of day.

    Mistakes and misfortune are what separate these three riders. Not talent, not speed. Mistakes and misfortune. Name one other rider on the grid who -on his best day- has shown that he can keep up with these three on their best day. This rider doesn’t exist.

    So, please, cut the crap about Pedrosa.

  10. I’d only like to see Pedrosa on the Suzuki if the bike can prove to be competitive out of the gates, which is unlikely. I really don’t get the Pedrosa haters at all. The guy has had a great career so far, and his pace is right up there. As long as he can remain healthy, he’s still got a chance at a championship with HRC. I’d like to see HRC renew Dani’s contract. He certainly has been competitive for them.

  11. Jimbo says:

    @L2C @Trane Francks,

    Dont misunderstand me. I am not a Pedrosa hater, nor do i have any doubts at all in his ability as a Motorcycle racer. My feeling is just that Honda are incredibly cut throat and Pedrosa hasnt won a championship and he is probably an expensive rider. He is one of the aliens after all! Honda wont care – they are a corporation just like any other and are results driven pure and simple. But my point stands that he would be a massive coup for Suzuki to have him on their bike with all the knowledge he brings. I also stand by my comment that i dont believe he will have his contract renewed at honda for the 2015 season. He may well be snapped up by Yamaha to either replace a Lorenzo who has moved on or Rossi should he decide to retire after the “six race test” he set himself.
    My thoughts on this only stand based on this season just past being repeated next season. If dani won 2014 (which is perfectly possible) i would re evaluate.

  12. MikeD says:

    Too much music NOT ENOUGH engine sound.

    Typical/Regular Big Four PR FAIL.

    But the momentary bit of clear sound off that thing pulling away from the pit WAS EPIC.

  13. Norm G. says:

    re: “I can see Lorenzo taking his spot”

    re: “Jorge’s contract also ends next year so you could see him and Pedrosa do a straight swap!”

    re: “The only would-be, might-be threat to Pedrosa’s seat is Lorenzo.”

    the answer is, D. none of the above. jay’s going nowhere, dan’s going nowhere

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “i dont believe he will have his contract renewed at honda for the 2015 season.”

    correct, it’ll be Repsol/BIG OIL doing the renewing.

    re: “I’m still a Pedrosa believer but if he doesn’t seal the deal next year”

    no worries, he will NOT (repeat NOT) seal the deal next year.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “What ever happened to the Motoczysz C1 MotoGP project?”

    turns out, the notion an individual (even a talented one) can build ICE engines to match pace with those created by an army of degreed engineers who do it for a living, is patently FALSE.

  16. PB says:

    Can we please ban L2C from posting delusional/clueless nonsense on every post? Or at least surgically remove his lips from Dani Pedrosa’s butthole?

    Seriously mate, you are making me cringe repeatedly and ruining this site. I can’t be alone here.

    +1 if you agree

  17. MikeD says:

    @PB:

    I don’t approve of L2C removal but i do approve of your jokes. That was just too funny, LMAO.