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 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.

Add WSBK to the List of Series Thinking About Russia

01/11/2011 @ 10:03 am, by Victoria Reid4 COMMENTS

Add WSBK to the List of Series Thinking About Russia xaus haslam 635x423

With red-headed lady spies, the Winter Olympics, a Formula1 race in 2014, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it is time to trot out some more James Bond references, and turn to thoughts of Mother Russia. Word is spreading that Infront Motorsports has begun talks to take World Superbike further afield than Western Europe with a future round in Russia. The 2011 WSBK season has only two flyaway races (Miller Motorsports Park in the US, and the season opener at Phillip Island in Australia). Thus, a future round in Russia would help expand both the physical and marketing reaches of the series.

With no track built yet, it is clear that there is still a long way to go before racing could happen. Then there are the always tricky negotiations that could easily scupper plans, no matter how public they might be. Once the F1 track is completed at least one of the obstacles to this dream will be removed, though a F1 circuit built around a Winter Olympics site (yes, that is exactly what is going to happen, complete with February to autumn turnaround) might not be the first choice for two-wheeled racing enthusiasts.

Despite the worldwide economic downturn, many racing series are looking for ways to expand into markets with potential new race fans while their core audience numbers recover. F1 recently arrived in South Korea, will hold a round in India this season, and is planning on a Russian event in a few years. After an unsuccessful attempt to spread into Hungary, MotoGP is rumored to be looking into expansion in India, having turned much of the rest of the globe into Lorenzo Land or a sea of bright yellow.

While even these early discussions are not official yet, there are some very powerful people in Russia heavily invested in motorsports. Over in F1, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov has had his second season drive secured through a deal brokered by President Vladmir Putin. This could be a great move for the series who views MotoGP as its main competitor, despite the latter having already expanded far beyond its home Spanish and Italian base. WSBK could be looking for a little love from Russia, but it’s still too early to know if the world is enough.

Source: GPOne.com; Photo: © 2010 Dan Lo / CornerSpeedPhoto.com

Comment:

  1. Will says:

    Russia, why not hold it on the moon?

    What is it lately with holding major races in no fun locales anyway? Abu Dhabi, China, Qatar. Anybody want to be on the street in Istanbul really late after having a few too many? Hell effin’ no, if you ask me. What’s airfare to Qatar anyhow, can you buy a beer there, will you get beheaded? How about Canada? Canada needs a WSBK/MotoGP round. No? what about Finland, the Finns are serious gearheads. Sweden ain’t had a GP in years, they’re due. Screw these gangsta republics, start holding events in places people want to go, and not just for those who can afford their own private security force.

  2. gnmac says:

    I hate that the F1 podium can’t even drink the bubbly in the UAE because Mohammed forbid Allah might come down and throw a 737 into your garage and launch a Jihad against motorsports! Screw Allah, if I won the damn Abu Dhabi GP I’m drinking champagne wether your cult says to or not! Better, ef Qatar and Abu Dhabi and let’s get to Canada, eh!! There’s F1 in Montreal so why not MotoGP? How about MotoGP in Rio??

  3. SBPilot says:

    I agree with both Will and gnmac. However they brought it to China because there was a huge market there. You use to be able to ride bikes in big cities in China, but the government has banned bikes in big cities because it’s too dangerous. So no more market there (no more races) Not to mention the cities in China are very modern, clean, and civilized. Races generally go to where the population want to see it, or where people ride lots of motorcycles. Don’t be surprised to see MotoGP in Indonesia. Reports say millions of people watch MotoGP there. Repsol Honda went there to do some PR stuff.

    I don’t understand the whole no drinking champagne in the F1 Dubai, that’s utter BS, to force some stupid religious crap onto a sport is disgusting. But UAE is rich and people have money. It’s a great place to hold an F1 race. Ferrari and what not can show boat their F1 cars.

    I also think the races should come to Canada. But we’d need a new track. I think MotoGP can’t race at Montreal because it’s not quite up to safety standards. There are many sections that have zero run off, and it’s just wall. Turns 4,5, 7 and 9 are dangerous as they are quick provide little to no run off. For bikes its dangerous. F1 cars can bounce around. I hope WSBK or MotoGP will come to Canada soon though as the word on the street is we are getting a brand new world class track (Oval), with a ‘street section’ in the centre. So it’d be like Indianapolis. Suppose to be completed by next year.

  4. Alex says:

    Not very well traveled, are you? Fans are united with their love for Motosport and the spirit runs high here in US and there in China, Russia, etc. Gangsta Republics…laughable. Man up and buy a plane ticket.