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.

Red Bull to Enter MotoGP with Honda? Repsol to Sponsor Yamaha?

06/17/2009 @ 6:11 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Red Bull to Enter MotoGP with Honda? Repsol to Sponsor Yamaha? Red Bull motogp

If that title didn’t illicit a “huh?” from you, then let us be the first to say the MotoGP rumormill has kicked it up a notch now that we’re about a third of the way through the 2009 season. The first rumor up to bat is the talk that Red Bull, the maker of the energy drink with wings, is looking to sponsor a MotoGP team. Early speculation places Red Bull flying into premiere motorcycle racing with the factory Honda team, which is currently Repsol Honda.

That brings us to our next rumor in this double-header, Repsol is rumored to be considering a move to Yamaha next year. Displeased with the performance Honda has given them in bringing a Spanish MotoGP Champion into fruition, the Spanish Oil company is looking for new tune at the Piano making company. More bizzaro after the jump.

Making connections between Red Bull and a MotoGP team is an easy feat to do. Competitor, Monster Energy Drink, has already drawn first blood in the MotoGP series, sponsoring first John Hopkins, then the Kawasaki MotoGP team, and then this year, the Tech 3 Yamaha team and Valentino Rossi. Monster is reportedly paying over $3 million for the right to appear on the chin bar and side of Rossi’s helmet, and on Rossi’s cap. Red Bull in turn sponsors both the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca and the Indianapolis Grand Prix, riders including Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, the KTM 125cc team, and the Red Bull Rookies Cup.

Looking to raise its involvement further, as Monster has done, Red Bull is looking for a team to sponsor. Earlier reports indicate that the Austrian company has already talked with Ducati, first as a factory sponsor, and then as a sponsor to the Pramac team. After that deal failed due to who would control picking the team’s manager, Red Bull has started its hunt anew.

Opportunistically, Repsol is rumored to be upset with the way Honda has progressed over the past few seasons, and is looking to leave the company that makes cars and generators for Yamaha. This move would then allow Red Bull to sweep into Honda, where Pedrosa & Dovizioso already reside, thus consolidating its sponsorship effort.

Keen to keep Pedrosa on-board for a new contract, Honda has been doing something very un-Honda like, blaming the bike, not the rider, for poor performance. Part of the motivation for this, besides keeping a talent like Dani around the Honda paddock, is also because of the pressure marquis sponsor Repsol has over the Honda factory team. Repsol has helped fund one of the largest budgets in MotoGP, in the hopes that a Spanish MotoGP Champion will emerge.

The hopes for that outcome have been squarely settled on Dani Pedrosa’s shoulders, but Repsol surely must be noticing the stellar seasons the other Spaniard, Jorge Lorezno, has been having while at Fiat Yamaha. Repsol would love to get some of that action, and had flat out admitted it is not in any rush to sign up again with Honda.

Surely a public statement like this has its negotiating value, but could there be some truth behind that threat? Honda will certainly have to treat it as such, that is of course unless someone like Red Bull can continue footing the very large check Repsol has been willing to cut since the start of the 990cc days. The fact that Fiat’s partnership expires with Yamaha at the end of this year, doesn’t help the chances that Repsol might be able to jump ship.

Source: GPone


  1. Red Bull to Enter MotoGP with Honda? Repsol to Sponsor Yamaha …

  2. Red Bull to Enter MotoGP? Repsol to Sponsor Yamaha – #motorcycle

  3. hjworton says:

    The thing that surprises me about this story is: Repsol have seen enough of Dani boy to think that Jorge is a better bet for them. Fair enough, JL makes for good copy and all Dani does is either win or crash.

    If Repsol do become title sponsors of the Factory Yamaha in 2010(Would it be both bikes ? Would it spark a bidding war with Fiat ?), this then, to me, sees a shift in power away from Rossi to Lorenzo. He would effectively be bringing Repsol over to Yamaha. That, in Motogp terms, is big. Where is VRs big sponsor ? You’d think that with his appeal around the globe that big names would be tripping over themselves to become associated with the doc.

    More realistically, I see VR continuing with a Fiat Yam and Jorge running in Repsol colours, if it happens at all, that is. Imagine the frantic phone calls Mr.Puig is making right now ! Which brings up another point: Where will Dani ride in 2010 ? IS there anywhere else for him to go ? Maybe a change of factory is exactly what he needs to make the big step to become champion. Where would it be though ? Not Yamaha. Seats Taken. Suzuki ? No. Maybe a red bike…..Mmmmmmm

  4. Ducati Desmo says:

    Red Bull to Enter MotoGP with Honda? Repsol to Sponsor Yamaha …

  5. Alex Crookes says:

    Time to think about changing your decals, sportbike riders –

  6. jon says:

    Fiat Yamaha contract is through the 2010 season… no Repsol Yamaha in 2010.

  7. chris says:

    I hope Redbull can influence the media to give m’cycle racing more exposure in the UK and indeed the world.F1 will get a page in a newspaper and BSB,WSB combined get 2/3 lines.
    BBC is the same no results in the sports news.
    I would like to see some pressure on the media in general to achieve more 2 wheeled coverage.