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.

Isle Of Man Gives Their Take On TT Zero Replacement Of TTXGP [UPDATED]

02/08/2010 @ 8:29 am, by John Adamo10 COMMENTS

Isle Of Man Gives Their Take On TT Zero Replacement Of TTXGP [UPDATED] TT Zero logo

Late last month it was announced that the eGrandPrix who ran the 2009 TTXGP clean emission race at Isle Of Man TT would be replaced by TT Zero. TT Zero would be run without the involvement of eGrandPrix and instead the responsibilities would be split among the IOM Department of Tourism And Leisure and the ACU. Speculation followed about the FIM’s role in the TTXGP’s departure and the reasons for TT Zero coming into existence.

The Isle Of Man issued a statement in response to speculation on why TTXGP was replaced by TT Zero at the Isle Of Man TT for 2010. We are waiting for a response from TTXGP which we will add to this post. Please check back for updates. Click the break to see the full statement from the Isle Of Man.

Update: A response from TTXGP is posted at the end of this blog post.

Statement From The Isle Of Man Government Regarding TT Zero And TTXGP Ltd:
Following speculation and unsubstantiated claims regarding The Isle of Man Government’s decision to run their own clean emissions event as part of the 2010 TT races, The Isle of Man Government’s Department of Tourism and Leisure wishes to put on record the facts regarding their decision.

The Department began formal negotiations with the TTXGP Ltd team in July 2009 with a view to running another clean emissions event on The Isle of Man in 2010. On 2 September 2009, the Department formally agreed in principle to run an event and this was confirmed in writing to TTXGP Ltd. A proposal, including a financial support package, was communicated to the TTXGP team on 7th October, 2009. This proposal was rejected by the TTXGP Ltd management team. Subsequent to the original proposal TTXGP Ltd announced in late November, 2009 – without prior consultation with the Department – their plans for an event in Paris which conflicted with the TT period and effectively prevented TTXGP from participating in the allotted schedule in TT 2010.

On 21st December 2009 TTXGP Ltd advised the Department that due to their plans for Paris and their consequent inability to participate in the scheduled race in TT 2010, they proposed not to have a clean emissions race in TT 2010 and would aim to come back to the TT in 2011. TTXGP were advised that if they could not reschedule their proposed Paris event, in order to attend TT 2010 for the scheduled date, the Department would develop and manage its own clean emissions race. This was confirmed to TTXGP Ltd on 24th December, and subsequently a meeting between the Department and TTXGP Ltd was held on 15th January 2010.

TTXGP Ltd were invited to reconsider their position regarding the Paris event to enable their participation in TT 2010 on the scheduled date, but declined the opportunity to do so. The Isle of Man Government then confirmed its intention to organize its own clean emissions event and would provide a press release to TTXGP Ltd for any comments. At the request of TTXGP Ltd, the Isle of Man Government deferred the issue of its press release. Immediately after 15th January, the Isle of Man Government initiated its contingency plan in order to organise its own clean emissions race.

The Isle of Man Government made a significant investment in the TTXGP in 2009, both financially and through officer time across a number of departments. In order to protect this investment, the Isle of Man Government’s Council of Ministers decided that if the Department was unable to reach agreement with TTXGP Ltd that it should run its own event. Regulations for the new event, TT Zero, were issued this week. This race will be run as a stand-alone class as part of the 2010 Isle of Man TT races meeting.

The Department is confident that with the support of the teams and riders, and the experienced third party agencies that are involved with running the TT Races, they can build on the 2009 TTXGP race.

The teams and riders will now have direct access to funds from the Isle of Man Government to assist with their travel and other costs associated with their participation and will also benefit from the integral association with the TT races that the event will now have.

The Isle of Man Government remains totally committed to clean emission motorcycle racing and the development of the technology that is associated with clean emission machines.

TTXGP’s Azhar Hussain’s response to the Isle Of Man statement:

I can only say that we are sorry that we won’t be there. I want to say deep heartfelt thank you to the many many people from the Isle of Man who have sent us messages of support and encouragement.

I can confirm the question of Paris or issues of financial packages were not factors in the decision making and am disappointed that it is being suggested so. We remain surprised about the decision as we did everything possible to make this happen. The decision to downgrade the zero carbon class and replace it with a vintage bike parade was made solely by the Isle of Man.

Moving forward, we are totally committed to the success of all our stakeholders and are building partnerships to spark a thriving and self sustaining eco-system around zero carbon motorsports and transportation. The economic and technical dividend in working with TTXGP is tangible, achievable and timely. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing with you what that means. TTXGP is an open invitation to be on the grid for next generation of motorsports. We welcome all to be part of it.

Source: Plugbike

Comment:

  1. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Isle Of Man Gives Their Take On TT Zero Replacement Of TTXGP – http://bit.ly/ccqnlf #motorcycle

  2. do you think we are stupid? says:

    i smell BS… tinged with desperation. TTXGP 2009 took place on the morning of friday, the senior race day with two practise laps on Monday and Wednesday… roll forward 2010 – the Paris event is scheduled the weekend before the main race week of the TT; i can;t see a clash? Would seem to me to make perfect sense for teams flying in from all over the world to benefit from double exposure at two major EV motorsport events over two consequtive weeks. Paris on Saturday, move all bikes and teams to IOM on Sunday, followed by IOM practise on Monday and Wednesday and race on friday – wouldn;t the TT also benefit from the addional exposure the paris event gives one of their classes? Or am i missing something?

    TTXGP has yet to make any offical statement beyond expressing their utter disppointment at the IOM decision – and this is yet another release trying to explain/justify the IOM position… why are they so defensive? it is because they know they are in the line of fire and the TT zero looks likely to be a major flop – are they already lining up excuses.

  3. Brammofan says:

    TTXGP did release a statement. (Jensen – check MCN).
    The Paris event is all about cars. Any motorcycles that were going to appear would have been those that, for one reason or other, couldn’t make it to IOM. It was an exhibition event, not part of the racing series – no points, etc.

  4. Isle Of Man Gives Their Take On TT Zero Replacement Of TTXGP http://bit.ly/cRuzst

  5. TTXGP_stays_classy says:

    Somebody at TTXGP responding to Isle of Man, from MCN.

    “I can only say that we are sorry that we won’t be there. I want to say deep heartfelt thank you to the many many people from the Isle of Man who have sent us messages of support and encouragement.

    “I can confirm the question of Paris or issues of financial packages were not factors in the decision making and am disappointed that it is being suggested so. We remain surprised about the decision as we did everything possible to make this happen. The decision to downgrade the zero carbon class and replace it with a vintage bike parade was made solely by the Isle of Man.

    “Moving forward, we are totally committed to the success of all our stakeholders and are building partnerships to spark a thriving and self sustaining eco-system around zero carbon motorsports and transportation. The economic and technical dividend in working with TTXGP is tangible, achievable and timely. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing with you what that means. TTXGP is an open invitation to be on the grid for next generation of motorsports. We welcome all to be part of it.”

  6. RT@asphalt_rubber:Isle Of Man Gives Their Take On TT Zero Replacement Of TTXGP – http://bit.ly/ccqnlf #motorcycle

  7. Brammofan says:

    My apologies to skadamo… I told Jensen to check MCN because I thought this was his article. Sorry.
    To @TTXGP_stays_classy: that “somebody” at TTXGP was the Czar… Azhar.

  8. Matt Hubbell says:

    If the IOM can not fix this, I think the TTXGP should take their teams and look at promoting a new endurance race like the IOMTT at a new venue, maybe Nova Scotia. Endurance needs to be a part of the series.

  9. Sean Mitchell says:

    I’m amazed at how worked up everybody is over this. Guess I’m just an ignant redneck who thanks ‘lectric racin’s kinda dum…

  10. Isle of Man issues statement responding to speculation on replacement of TTXGP http://tinyurl.com/yhpjyzo