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.

WSBK: Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa

05/18/2009 @ 2:34 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa xerox ducati wsbk kyalmai 2009 560x371

This weekend, World Superbike Championship racing returned to South Africa at the Kyalami circuit, much to the delight of local motorcycle fans. The Kyalami track, which had been scheduled to be demolished, and then have housing built in its place, features vast elevation changes and sweeping bends, and has been much improved since the removal of the chicane at Turn 12. So interest was high in how the racing would turn out on this tight twisty circuit. Continue reading for a full race report on Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa.

Fastest off the line in Race 1, Noriyukia Haga lead the pack into the first turn, followed closely by Max Biaggi, and Ben Spies. Spies got past Biaggi in Turn 2, but Xerox Ducati teammate Michel Fabrizio soon entered the fray. By the end of the first lap, it was a 1-2 Xerox Ducati race. Haga, Fabrizio, and Spies soon had a gap on the rest of the field, as they had done in Monza just last weekend.

Haga’s lead would not be long-lived, with Michel Fabrizio taking over first place on the second lap. The Ducati’s proved to be too fast for Spies, who slowly lost contact with the pair. Haga, able to hang with the pace Fabrizio was pushing, patiently waited for his chance for the next 10 laps, seizing the opportunity when it presented itself on lap 12, taking back the lead.

Once past Fabrizio, Haga pushed hard to leave his Italian teammate behind. With Spies pushing hard, soon Fabrizio was in the sights of the American. By lap 17, Spies was close enough to attempt a pass, taking 2nd place from Fabrizio as the pair entered the final corner. Answering back, Fabrizio passed Spies, with the American returning the favor right back, once again. As Spies and Fabrizio battled over 2nd spot, Haga took advantage of the situation, and built enough of a lead that he could defend comfortably.

Fending off Fabrizio, Spies had a big moment going through Turn 5, and watched as the Italian sped past, set on catching Haga. Haga took victory in Race 1, ahead of Fabrizio, with Spies forced to settle for 3rd. Ten Kate Honda’s Johnny Rea came home in 4th, just holding off Max Biaggi at the line. The Emperor had chased Rea down in the second half of the race, but could not get past him in the final moments.

Result of World Superbike Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa:

141N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R 
284M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R0.950
319B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R13.391
465J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR8.914
53M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory9.019
67C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR14.812
756S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory14.971
871Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K915.723
967S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R21.529
1066T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R121.795
1136G. LavillaESPDucati 1098R29.872
129R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR34.216
13132S. MoraisRSAKawasaki ZX 10R34.275
1496J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R38.280
1523B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R40.885
1610F. NietoESPSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K944.841
1799L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R49.075
1831K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K949.702
1933T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR50.065
2025D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R50.391
2149S. WhyteRSAYamaha YZF R11 Lap
2217S. MartinAUSBMW S1000 RR2 Laps
RET91L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR10 Laps
RET111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR23 Laps

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