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.

Stoner & Rossi’s Ducati MotoGP Bikes up for Auction

03/12/2012 @ 5:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Stoner & Rossis Ducati MotoGP Bikes up for Auction Ducati Corse RM Auction Valentino Rossi GP10 CS1 02 635x447

It is pretty rare that a mere mortal can buy an actual MotoGP race bike, since at best machines of this caliber end up under lock & key in a museum somewhere, or at worse, in various pieces in the race department’s dumpster. But available directly from Ducati Corse at RM Auction’s Monaco event, lucky bidders will have a chance at buyingCasey Stoner’s race-winning Ducati Desmosedici GP10 and Valentino Rossi’s ill-fated Ducati Desmosedici GP11.

Offered under reserve, any potential bidder will also have to agree to a non-disclose agreement before Ducati will sign off on the purchase, but that seems like a small formality to undertake considering what is being offered. While we wouldn’t mind either Desmosedici decorating the A&R office space, the real question is which bike will command the higher price? Full-credit to The Doctor, but we think that the Ducati Desmosedici GP10 “CS1” would be the better investment piece.

“The release of two very special machines like these is an extremely rare occasion for us, so the lucky buyer must not only enter into a confidentiality agreement, but also become a close member of the ‘Ducati family’!” said Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse’s General and Technical Director. “The Desmosedici GP10 and GP11 were two very interesting bikes in our GP project history and therefore will represent exciting opportunities for serious collectors.”

Casey Stoner’s Ducati Desmosedici GP10 “CS1”
Built in the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale, Bologna 7-11 December 2009, Casey Stoner’s Ducati Desmosedici GP10 “CS1” was first started for bench testing on 14 December 2009 before being track tested by the Australian rider in Sepang, Malaysia in February 2010. Stoner first competed with CS1 in Qatar in April 2010 and raced it to victory in the Australian GP at Phillip Island in October 2010. The machine took pole positions in Qatar, Phillip Island and Valencia and powered the Australian to podium positions in Valencia, Assen and Catalunya. Its final Grand Prix was in Valencia, November 2010 having logged a total of 4,232km.

Valentino Rossi’s Ducati Desmosedici GP11 “VR2”
Valentino Rossi’s Ducati Desmosedici GP11 “VR2” was built at the Ducati factory 6-10 December 2010 and was first started for bench testing two days later. VR2’s first track test for Rossi was carried out in the February 2011 Sepang tests and first competed in the Qatar Grand Prix the following month. It recorded a podium position at Le Mans, France in May 2011 and competed in its last race at the Dutch TT in Assen, having logged a total of 2,342km.

In addition to the two Desmosedici race bikes, RM Auction will also have the private Saltarelli Collection of historic Ducati motorcycles (there are some seriously drool-worthy machines in this bunch). If you have the means, we highly recommend picking one of the Desmos up. For further information on RM’s upcoming Monaco sale, including a frequently updated list of auction offerings, contact RM’s London office on +44 20 7851 7070 or visit rmauctions.com.

Stoner & Rossis Ducati MotoGP Bikes up for Auction Ducati Corse RM Auction Valentino Rossi GP10 CS1 03 635x423

Stoner & Rossis Ducati MotoGP Bikes up for Auction Ducati Corse RM Auction Valentino Rossi GP11 VR2 04 635x423

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. david says:

    that non-disclosure agreement sucks. i’d love to know what these bikes fetch.

  2. The NDA refers to keeping whats under the fairings a secret, not the purchase price. It’s hard to have an auction without people knowing the price (not to mention it’s something RM will surely make a big hubbub about).

  3. Fabricosi says:

    Tragic. I wonder what’s led to their auction. Perhaps the sale of the company or their debt load (?)

    It would have been good to see them take their place in the museum.

  4. It is interesting that the bikes are up for auction right now. Even if they go for a million euros a pop, it’s going to be a drop in the bucket as far as that debt load is concerned. It does generate good buzz about Ducati though, which certainly could help some negotiations.

  5. 76 says:

    strange they are doing this with such current bikes.

  6. Steve Lang says:

    Honey?….Hooohney?….Have you seen my checkbook??? Hoooney???

  7. Keith says:

    hmm, shame I haven’t the dosh. They could keep those in their museum for me. All in all I’d rather their V8 over either one of those.

  8. irksome says:

    Well, okay; Ill take one. But only if I can ditch those damn Bridgestones.

  9. Richard Gozinya says:

    I can see perhaps Stoner’s going into their museum, he won on that bike. But Rossi’s? Wasn’t exactly a banner year for him or Ducati.

  10. BBQdog says:

    Who can check if you are not buying a bike build from spare parts with a nice Rossi or Stoner fairing around it ? I would only believe it’s a true Rossi or Stoner bike if you get it straight after a race and transport it yourself.

  11. Being auctioned off to the highest bidder isn’t necessarily a bad thing… as the article states, it is rare that these used machines end up in private hands. And, the company probably has their reasons. Financial concerns? Company museum too full?!

  12. stric says:

    as someone mentioned earlier, it wasn’t one of the stellar years for Ducati. If these were the actual winning bikes – not that I bad-mouth thee; they must be super awesome – then that auction would be all that much more worth it.

  13. luke says:

    someone take a stab at a price for stoner’s bike. I’ve got no idea what that would go for…

  14. CaptainPractical says:

    I just ran a Carfax and it says here “Salvaged Title.” It indicates that both bikes have been involved in several crashes. I wouldn’t pay anywhere near Bluebook for either of these bikes.