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 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.

First Shots of Valentino Rossi on the Ducati

11/09/2010 @ 6:33 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

First Shots of Valentino Rossi on the Ducati Valentino Rossi Ducati MotoGP test Valencia 635x455

Clad in only carbon fiber bodywork, Valentino Rossi made the mental switch from blue to red today, as he swung his leg over the Ducati Desmosedici for the first time — a moment Italy, and the whole of MotoGP have been waiting for the entire 2010 MotoGP season.

As such Rossi and his crew from Yamaha will not be wearing the Rosso Corsa just yet (the former Yamaha crew has instead elected to wear some very smart looking yellow sweaters), but Rossi’s yellow “46″ did make it onto the bike for the testing session, which is about all the branding that Ducati & Rossi fans need to see at this point to get in a fervor.

Promoting his VR46 line, Rossi is wearing special one-off Dainese D-Air leathers, which like the D16, is all black with yellow accents, while his AGV helmet has a question mark set between the Italian’s sun & moon logo. We wouldn’t be surprised if a replica version of these became available later this year. Video, lap times, and photos after the jump.

Day 1 MotoGP Test Times from Valencia (as of 5pm local time):

PosRiderTeamFastest lapPrev. GapLead. GapLaps
1Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing1:32.012--48
2Casey StonerHRC1:32.775+0.763+0.76344
3Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing1:32.878+0.103+0.86642
4Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team1:32.912+0.034+0.90035
5Marco SimoncelliSan Carlo Honda Gresini1:32.919+0.007+0.90759
6Andrea DoviziosoRepsol Honda Team1:33.190+0.271+1.17850
7Colin EdwardsMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.513+0.323+1.50149
8Alvaro BautistaRizla Suzuki MotoGP1:33.558+0.045+1.54654
9Nicky HaydenDucati Team1:33.716+0.158+1.70454
10Valentino RossiDucati Team1:33.882+0.166+1.87056
11Randy De PunietPramac Racing Team1:33.914+0.032+1.90254
12Hiroshi AoyamaSan Carlo Honda Gresini1:33.953+0.039+1.94167
13Hector BarberaPaginas Amarillas Aspar1:34.110+0.157+2.09876
14Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 31:34.314+0.204+2.30259
15Loris CapirossiPramac Racing Team1:34.631+0.317+2.61971
16Toni EliasLCR Honda MotoGP1:35.058+0.427+3.04660
17Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing1:35.076+0.018+3.06449

Source: MotoGP


  1. vr46 says:

    finally….thanks for the photo….what the main sponsor for the team? Marlboro, Fiat, Nastro Azzuro?

  2. John says:

    The Age of Aquarious has arrived….

  3. Sam says:

    No coincidence Rossi did 46 laps then :-)

  4. ML says:

    Its still Marlboro.

  5. georGe aka-VintageWrencher says:

    The former Yamaha crew members who have made the team switch are wearing black not yellow shirts per a deal with Yamaha. Or so I have read.

  6. Photos and Alex Briggs suggest otherwise. They are definitely out there wearing yellow sweaters.

  7. Mickey says:

    The air wings on the GP11 are even bigger.

  8. kumo says:

    @ML Rossi is disagree with a tobacco brand as a sponsor. And, surely, with them Ducati could get other sponsors, like FIAT.

  9. gnmac says:

    Yes FIAT should be the lead sponsor now :) A&R, thank you for bringing Christmas to us early!!!

  10. Part of the reason (besides an Italian selling Italian cars) Fiat sponsored Yamaha was to get Rossi in F1 (either for promotions or after his MotoGP career). Fiat owns Ferrari, whose F1 team is sponsored by Marlboro….and Marlboro pays a HUGE portion of Ducati’s MotoGP bill. Marlboro’s dollars aren’t going anywhere, and I wouldn’t expect Fiat to be a sponsor just for kicks.

    That being said, I would not expect to see Fiat sponsoring Yamaha next year.

  11. CBR600RR 09 says:

    Whats with the rub my ass jensen on the still of the video before play starts?

  12. Ken Chang says:

    The day has come. Valentino Rossi on a Ducati.

  13. ML says:

    @Kumo: Don’t forget he was sponsored by Camel on Yamaha.

  14. Doctor Jelly says:

    Is that the big bang version?

  15. BAD. ASS. ERY! (via @asphalt_rubber) #motorcycle #photography

  16. Will says:

    Who’s Jensen?

  17. vr46 says:

    Editor of Asphalt & Rubber

  18. RT @BlueCatMotor: A great article on Rossi testing in Valencia.

  19. Gilberto says:

    Ohhh! VR/46 all the way!

  20. Keith says:

    OH MY GOD HE’S WEARING WHITE WALLS! sheesh, surprised noone else said it…oh and he ran both motors big bang and screamer during the tests.

  21. gnmac says:

    I wish he would run the SCREAMER!!!

  22. Gilberto says:

    Lol i love this dude, he roks!!

  23. Rock says:

    @Kumo. Who cares about Tobacco sponsorship. Are you that weak minded? Anyone who wants to sponsor a bike should be allowed, especially in this economy. You don’t see people jumping to sponsor anyone, and willing to spend all that money. So deal with it and hope that we don’t lose another bike on the grid.