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.

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.

MotoGP: Rain-Soaked British GP Shakes-up Championship

06/12/2011 @ 11:05 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Rain Soaked British GP Shakes up Championship 2011 British GP MotoGP Scott Jones

The nice British weather could only hold-out for so long at Silverstone this race weekend, as MotoGP came to the English track for the British GP. Accordingly, Sunday’s MotoGP race was soaked to the bone with rain, as Casey Stoner took his pole position for the day’s start.

Followed by Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo respectively on the front row, the weather showed the potential to make it anyone’s race…that is of course as long as “anyone” doesn’t include Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, both of whom could not compete because of broken collarbones.

Speaking of broken collarbones, Colin Edwards was set to race, just a week after breaking his at Catalunya, though his teammate was gutted about being unable to race in front of his home crowd after crashing in practice.

As the 15 riders launched off the starting line at Silverstone, it was Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo who lead through the first turn. Followed closely by Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso, and Marco Simoncelli, Lorenzo’s lead would not last long as the top riders sorted themselves out.

First it was Andrea Dovizioso who got by teammate Casey Stoner, then a few laps later the Italian got by Lorenzo as well. Lorenzo continued to slip down the order as Stoner passed Lorenzo with ease, followed several turns later by Marco Simoncelli going past his Yamaha rival. Dovizioso’s lead wouldn’t last long either though, as Stoner was clearly a man on a mission at Silverstone.

Two laps into the race, the order seemed to settle a bit, with Stoner leading, followed by Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Lorenzo, Hayden, Spies, Edwards, Elias, Bautista, Abraham, Aoyama, Rossi, Capirossi, Barbera, and De Puniet. From this point foward, Casey Stoner put his head down, and broke away from the field, finishing the race 15 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.

While everyone tip-toed through the wet conditions, Marco Simoncelli showed that he has a bit to learn still in wet riding, as he miraculously held onto his San Carlos Gresini Honda when it lost traction and bucked him. Though Super Sic stayed upright, the moment did allow Jorge Lorenzo to get by him.

This lead to a three-way battle for second between Dovi, Lorenzo, and Simoncelli. That melee would only last for a moment though, as Jorge Lorenzo crashed out with 12 laps to go, hitting the tarmac only seconds after Ben Spies crashed in an unrelated incident. With both its riders out, the factory Yamaha squad finished the weekend on a down note, especially with Lorenzo now no longer at the top of the points leader board. Since Cal Crutchlow was out for the day with his broken collarbone, this incident also meant that Colin Edwards was the only Yamaha left standing on the track.

With Casey Stoner now lapping a full second faster than the rest of the field per lap, the British GP still had 11 laps to go before its almost preconceived conclusion. Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli continued their battle without Jorge Lorenzo, with Super Sic getting past Dovi at one point, and then the Repsol Honda rider answering back at the exit of the turn. Close throughout the lap, Simoncelli would unfortunately find the tarmac a lap later (in the same corner as Jorge Lorenzo crashed just two laps prior), effectively putting Colin Edwards now into third place.

The rest of the race proved to mainly be a parade, as Stoner increased his lead, and eventually lapped Randy de Puniet and Hector Barbera with four laps remaining in the race. The day’s win means Casey Stoner sits at the top of the Championship standings, 18 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, and 33 points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso. MotoGP heads to Assen for the Dutch TT in two weeks’ time.

Race Results from the British GP at Silverstone, England:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Time
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team -
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team +15.159
3 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +21.480
4 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team +26.984
5 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +35.569
6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team +1’04.526
7 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing +1’32.650
8 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP +1’51.938
9 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini +1’52.350
10 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team +2’03.312
11 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 1 Lap
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team 1 Lap
Not Classified
58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 10 Laps
1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing 12 Laps
11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing 13 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. What a ride by Colin!

  2. DucracerX says:

    STONER RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. TJ says:

    Great writeup and great race. It always intrigues me the strategy of the teams and riders to win a 25+ lap race.

  4. 76 says:

    When the bikes are almost equal and its simply left to the riders and setup some interesting things happen dont they?

    Ducati is in a horrible position of constant catchup. I really wish all of those involved the best because I know they are pouring everything they have into it and getting lemons at this point, hopefully lemonade right around the corner.

  5. Chris says:

    Great ride from all the podium sitters. Casey will win the championship this year, he looks unstoppable on the Honda – wet or dry.

    Loved to see Jlo go down. I was getting tired of listening to him whinging this year, so eat some humble pie JLo – and try to keep it down, will you ?

  6. Dave Bardell says:

    How could you hear Jlo whining over Dani’s crying??