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.

Nobby Clark Inducted into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

08/16/2012 @ 3:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Nobby Clark Inducted into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame AMA Logo

Well, we can finally put the Nobby Clark saga behind us, as the famed motorcycle mechanic got the nod from his fellow Hall of Famers, and has been inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame with his supplemental voting ballot. A lightning rod for the larger issue of how members were nominated and voted into the AMHF, Nobby’s induction probably doesn’t surprise anyone who has been following the matter.

We imagine that Kenny Roberts Sr., and the slew of other prominent AMA figures who resigned their positions in the Hall of Fame, will backtrack on those statements, and everything will return back to normal, and the way it should be. That is of course, besides the whole part where the AMA and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame continued to like an old boys’ network, which on this issue got their hands caught in the cookie jar.

While we continue to try and figure out exactly what it is the AMA does, check the press release about Derek “Nobby” Clark after the jump.

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Announces Results of Supplemental Vote for Derek ‘Nobby’ Clark Induction:

PICKERINGTON, OH – August 16, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Famed Grand Prix motorcycle tuner Derek “Nobby” Clark has been elected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in a supplemental vote, the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation reports.

“Derek ‘Nobby’ Clark stands shoulder-to-shoulder with roadracing’s most enduring legends, and played a key role in successes that will go down in history among the greatest of the sport,” said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the AMHF. “It’s time for Mr. Clark to take his rightful place among the many legends who embody the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”

For 25 years, Clark was one of the world’s leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to being a part of 17 FIM Grand Prix world championships, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, his teams won three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships. Clark not only excelled at the highest level, but also worked with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history, including Hall of Famers Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Kenny Roberts.

“It certainly was a surprise,” Clark said. “I’m very excited, and I’m looking forward to being in Las Vegas for the induction ceremony and seeing my old friends. I haven’t seen quite a few of them for quite awhile, so it’s going to be like a family reunion.”

Clark also expressed his appreciation for the support he received during the supplemental vote process.

“I’d like to thank everybody who supported me,” Clark said. “I admire them, and I respect them, and I hope they all come back to the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, all of them are legends, and I respect them not just for what they’ve done in racing, but for what they’ve done for motorcycling in general. Motorcycling is a big family, and that is something we are privileged to have.”

Clark joins the late Rod Bush, KTM North America president and industry visionary; pioneering female motocrosser Sue Fish; 1975 AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; world-class bike restorer Brian Slark; the late Al Wilcox, iconic race starter; and off-road racing legend Ty Davis as a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

The supplemental vote for Mr. Clark was implemented by the AMHF, which overseas the Hall of Fame, in response to procedural errors that invalidated Mr. Clark’s inclusion on the original ballot. The supplemental vote did not affect the other 2012 Hall of Fame inductees.

“The members of the AMHF Board of Directors extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Clark for the mistakes that invalidated his original ballot,” Heininger said. “By way of this supplemental vote, we’ve ensured that Mr. Clark’s induction took place with the utmost sincerity and that no one can question his inclusion in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”

The supplemental vote was tallied by the independent voting service Votenet. The accounting firm Plante Moran independently audited the results.

The class of 2012 will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 16 as part of the AMA Legends Weekend. The weekend also includes the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 17, featuring many of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles.

In addition to the current class, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony shines the spotlight on two previously inducted members of the Hall of Fame, reminding the motorcycling community of the amazing careers of these Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends. For 2012, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends will be 1998 inductees Malcolm Smith, a pioneer in off-road motorcycling and a star in the motorcycle documentary “On Any Sunday,” and Mert Lawwill, the 1969 AMA Grand National Champion whose title defense was the central theme of the timeless film.

Source: AMA

Comment:

  1. Campisi says:

    This was still a thing that was happening?

  2. Gritboy says:

    To quote Samuel L. Jackson, “About Mutherf*ing time!” What a fiasco.

  3. Brandon says:

    Former Grand Prix crewman Derek “Nobby” Clark pleaded guilty September 28 in a New York State Court to stealing Honda and MV Agusta Grand Prix racebike parts, falsifying business records and improperly attempting to sell a racebike belonging to Rob Ianucci’s Team Obsolete. Clark was facing trial for five criminal charges for theft, possession of stolen property, falsifying business records and soliciting a bribe when he elected to take a plea bargain deal and “fully admit his guilt to all charges in return for leniency.” (RoadRacingWorld.com July 2, 2012)

  4. Slangbuster says:

    Nice Quote there Branden from RRW, but that situation had nothing what so ever to do with Nobbies (Alleged) charges and the HoF screw up by the AMA. The AMA board has been and continues to be, a collection of pompous, arrogant and inept morons who collectively, could not make a sound decision if their lives depended on it. I will say though, they have been consistent over the last forty years.