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.

Ian Hutchinson Wins the 2013 Macau GP

11/16/2013 @ 11:23 am, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

Ian Hutchinson Wins the 2013 Macau GP ian hutchinson michael rutter macau gp GCS 635x422

Defying the odds against him, Ian Hutchinson has won the 2013 Macau GP, beating fierce competitor Michael Rutter in the shortened race. Hutchinson took the lead from Rutter on the fourth lap of fifteen, though a crash on the eleventh lap by Dean Harrison brought the Macau GP to an early end.

Thankfully Harrison was unhurt by the crash, though his bike was in the middle of the course, and forced race officials to red flag the race. Despite the premature ending, there can be no question that it was Hutchinson’s day, as the man from Bingley had a solid two-second gap over Rutter.

Coming off an eighteen month recovery period, Hutchinson’s win reconfirms the young Yorkshireman as a true talent in road racing, with today’s Macau GP win adding another impressive entry on Hutchinson’s already illustrious resumé, which includes a clean sweep of the 2010 Isle of Man TT’s five solo-class races.

“It’s probably one of the most special wins I’ve ever had with what’s gone on in the last few years, but hopefully now I can move on to carrying on back where I left off three years ago,” said Hutchinson after the race.

“I had about 10 plans of what to do whatever situation happened before the race, and I didn’t really have a plan for the one that did happen but I knew that once Michael got past Gary I needed to get past Gary and to go with it.”

“I got past on the same lap and worked away. I’d rather have stayed behind Michael for a few more laps to be honest as the laps just got faster. I took the lead and just put the hammer down for a few laps to see where we were at.  Michael came with me and I didn’t really expect to pull away from him massively, and I think he was a little bit unlucky with the backmarkers.”

“It’s definitely one of toughest races [I’ve had] here,” said Michael Rutter. “I tried as hard as I could. I led for a bit and tried to make a bit of a gap, but wasn’t surprised when he came past. I thought I’d just try and hang on the back of him and he just pulled a massive gap. ”

“I thought ‘this is going to be a bit of a fun race’, and I’d get my head down and try and start catching him. I made up a bit of ground but to be fair to Ian, he looked dead smooth. I made a bit and lost a bit and tried as hard as I could.”

Gary Johnson rounded out the podium, a first for the popular TT rider, while John McGuinness had to settle for a fourth place finish. American Jeremy Toye finished an impressive sixth on his BMW S1000RR, while his fellow Americans Mark Miller and Brandon Cretu improved upon their grid positions by the race’s end, getting 11th and 20th respectively with the EBR 1190RS.

Race Results for the 2013 Macau GP:

1Ian HutchinsonMilwaukee YamahaYamaha YZF R1-
2Michael RutterSMT RacingHonda CBR 1000RR+2.418
3Gary JohnsonQuattro Plant MotorsportsHonda CBR 1000RR+8.741
4John McGuinnessHonda TT LegendsHonda CBR 1000RR+23.018
5James StorrarDMR RacingBMW S1000RR+24.271
6Jeremy BMW Racing TeamBMW HP4+26.969
7Martin JessoppRiders Motorcycles BMWBMW S1000RR+27.209
8Didier GramsHeidger-Motorsport.deBMW S1000RR+44.791
9Lee JohnstonEast Coast RacingHonda CBR 1000RR+50.568
10Stephen ThompsonT&R MotorsportSuzuki GSX-R 1000+52.893
11Mark MillerSplitlath Redmond RacingEBR 1190RS+1’07.675
12Dean HarrisonRC Express by MSS PerformanceKawasaki ZX-10R+1’14.854
13Andre PiresSBK/IncortcarSuzuki GSX-R 1000+1’18.101
14Jamie HamiltonVRS Racing TeamHonda CBR 1000RR+1’24.573
15Hervé BMW Racing TeamBMW HP4+1’35.196
16Ian LougherILR/Barnes RacingHonda CBR 1000RR+1’48.289
17Paul ShoesmithIce Valley by Motorsave TradeBMW S1000RR+1’58.659
18Allan Jon VenterQuattro Plant MotorsportsKawasaki ZX-10R+2’15.557
19Sandon BitterQuattro Plant MotorsportsKawasaki ZX-10R+2’39.724
20Brandon CretuSplitlath Redmond RacingEBR 1190RS+2’40.969
21Ben WylieIce Valley by Motorsave TradeBMW S1000RR+2’41.065
22Graham EnglishTIVA Engineering LtdBMW S1000RR+2’41.304
23Brian McCormackTAG RacingHonda CBR 1000RR+2’41.737
24Nuno CaetanoKD Team of PortugalKawasaki ZX-10R+2’49.814

Source: Macau GP; Photo: © 2013 GCS / Macau GP – All Rights Reserved


  1. KSW says:

    As the last time I saw Ian was his first attempt at a comeback and he looked more than fearful on his ride at the NW200 then IOMTT. It was something even picked up by his crew. Seeing him finally comeback strong and take not only the challenge to Michael but this win is indeed a massive accomplishment. Congrats Hutchy. It was at Lemans for the 24 hour race I last saw John McGuinness get relegated to backup rider after the younger Michael Dunlop (missing in macau) out paced him it’s also a pleasure to John back on bike and pushing as hard as always. So to the entire field and a certain Mr. Cretu who improved his pace this year a might hi-ho and cheers to all on another great Macau GP. The beer certainly flowed if Johnson and Miller where anywhere in the vicinity. Will we see a certain Mr. Johnson at the Daytona 200 2014? Hmmmmm

  2. tony says:

    congrats hutchy, long time coming son- what a gentleman ! but fuck, toye in 6th! thats news! whens the last time an american finished that high in gp or wsbk? congrats jt …

  3. birchtree says:

    Wow! Nice guy finished first! It’s sooooo good to see him on the top again! Can’t wait for IOM TT 2014! Go Hutchi!