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.

World Superbike Online Video Pass – $95 for a Full Season

02/14/2014 @ 2:32 pm, by David Emmett25 COMMENTS

World Superbike Online Video Pass   $95 for a Full Season wsbk television 635x423

Dorna has revealed the pricing for its online video pass for the World Superbike Championship. The price for a full season of coverage via the website is to cost €69.90, or around US $95.

Included in the price is live access to all World Superbike races, as well as the ability to play them on demand after the race is over. There will also be access to a highlights package of each race, and rider interviews, and exclusive features. There is also an archive of race and season reviews going back to 1993.

The online package is very similar to the one offered by Dorna for the website, with suitably revised pricing. Since Dorna was handed the running of the World Superbike series by Bridgepoint, it was only a matter of time before WSBK would also be available via some form of online video streaming.

Leveraging both the experience which they had gained in TV rights negotiations and in running the video streaming platform, Dorna could put the World Superbike races online with relatively limited effort.

The new subscription package should be a boon to fans around the world who cannot see the World Superbike series. WSBK has struggled to find TV broadcasters in some large markets, and having an online video package will make fans of the sport less reliant on the packages offered by their cable suppliers.

It should also add a useful (if limited) income stream for the struggling series.

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. H.L. says:

    Huge MotoGP guy but I need more. I will be getting into WSBK for the first time. I’m at peace with $95. Nice job Dorna and thanks. The MotoGP video pass is top notch stuff and I hope this is at least close to it.

  2. Matt says:

    $95? I guess I’m going to have to start reusing my catheters.

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “Huge MotoGP guy but I need more. I will be getting into WSBK for the first time.”

    well what kind of bike do you own…? maybe you aren’t getting into WSBK for the first time. grandprix doesn’t homologate so maybe you’ve been a Superbiker all along…?

  4. Tom says:

    Some website somewhere will stream it online.

  5. Chad D. says:

    Good luck with that. Dorna is crazy serious about rights. Have you ever tried to find GP race streaming?

  6. philly phil says:

    I signed up for BeIn Sports with Comcast since the sports package that includes the channel is only $5/month…
    HOWEVER, it seems that Bein Sports isn’t actually showing the races… They list it on their website that they cover the series, but if you look at the TV schedule, …iiiiiits not there.
    WTF gives….

    Anyone else notice this?

  7. MajorTom says:

    Concerning the Comcast thing; last year, when I read/heard that Bein was carrying SBK I called Comcast and asked what channel Bein was on in my area. The woman told me and I looked. Low and behold there was the race in SPANISH. I watched several races with the sound down. Then I called Comcast again and asked for the channel for Bein and the woman told me there were 2 channels. One in Spanish and one in English. Bingo. Live feed, with Mr Green and Martin; at three in the morning. No problems. DVR. Now all is good.

  8. Philly phil says:

    Majortom, what do see on the schedule for this year though? According to their Facebook page, the first round isn’t in the tv schedule because they haven’t finalized a schedule. They made it seem like they’re still working on it….i really hope so

  9. H-man says:

    Hurray! And about f”in time! I’ve been hoping for something like this for the past 3 years. Even inquiring about the possibility of such a package through the Energy Zone at the WSBK site. Oh well, it’s here. And costs less than MotoGP’s full season pass.

  10. JKEDSNAKE says:

    I purchased the Moto Gp package last season after Speed channel turned gay, and doing it again this year so to also have Wsbk is going to make me a happy fan!

  11. vuman says:

    DORNA is disgrace to this sport.

  12. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Finally live streaming. $95 isn’t bad for a full season with bts stuff and extras. Good goin’.

  13. Laurencio says:

    Does this mean I will not be able to catch up with the races on youtubes?

  14. Jw says:

    If one takes out their worthless cable / satellite bill per month this is a healthy alternative

  15. MajorTom says:

    @Philly phil
    according to Bein’s web page the first race, Phillip Island, will be shown on Friday at 10.45pm; live. I live on the west coast so your times might vary some.

  16. philly phil says:

    The race isn’t until sunday (23rd)…so i’m pretty sure that’s qualifying or something else…

  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “DORNA is disgrace to this sport.”

    i recognize some of you guys are access limited and have been for some time so I’ve deliberately stopped short of calling for an all out boycott, but until i PERSONALLY hear the outcome of the law suit Schwantz Vs. Ezpelata/Cota…? Carmelo and his PPV website can pound sand.

    i mean we wail and nash teeth over Honda’s dominance of grandprix, but last i checked, nobody from INSIDE the motorcycling community’s served Nakamoto with a subpoena…?

    fyi to the e-zine world, the case was scheduled to go before jury like a week ago (2/10/14), and yet nobody seems to have reported anything…? not even if it’s been delayed/rescheduled/settled out of court, on-going, etc…? always good to see bikeworld on top of it’s game.

  18. Bob says:

    Thanks for letting us know about this. I don’t get B-in or whatever it is they were using for TV broadcast and have been annoyed that there was no web coverage. Now I am happy :-)

  19. New trial date is May 5th Norm. Beat your horse elsewhere.

  20. Norm G. says:

    re: “New trial date is May 5th Norm. Beat your horse elsewhere.”

    don’t be hatin’. no subpoenas in my breast pocket. :)

  21. philly phil says:

    Ok, finally. It scheduled on BeIn and in the Comcast guide to show. I guess we’re a day ahead of Australia because the race will be shown live on BeIn on Saturday at 730 and 1000.

    So for $5 a month, I’m getting the superpoles and races. I will be a happy man

  22. CRC Cola says:

    Can anyone confirm that the video pass includes WSS?

    @philly phil: I’m a philthadelphian as well, but I gotta say BeIn looks like crap on comcast.

  23. philly phil says:

    Great…I guess i’ll see…but I hope they’re not treating it like SPEED channel did… They would put the races on SPEED HD and shit looked like 420p

    as a matter of fact…BeinSports doesn’t have a HD designation…

  24. Jim says:

    Races looked good on WSBK Videopass this weekend, I streamed them on my ipad to my Apple TV in HD and it looked great.

  25. Singletrack says:

    Really – $100 for 14 races. I like it, but $7 a race…?
    And then another $100 (??) for MotoGP? What about F1, or Lemans, or AMA Roadracing, or MX/SX etc.

    Is this to become the new normal? Where does it end?

    I know I’m not alone in hating cable; and the $800 a year it costs pisses me off, but at least I feel it’s amortized over 600 channels (Ok really only 100 unique ones). And the whole family can pick and choose different channels.

    If I have to start subscribing to Premier League Soccer, or the Women’s network I’m going to lose my mind.