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.

Video: Ask Me Something, with Dani Pedrosa

04/01/2013 @ 1:44 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Video: Ask Me Something, with Dani Pedrosa dani pedrosa leathers cota 635x422

For just a simple three-day test at the Circuit of the Americas, it is astounding how much marketing material that has poured out from the camps that surround the Honda and Yamaha factory MotoGP race teams. A true testament to the notion that if Dorna loosened its tight grip on recording video at MotoGP events, it could greatly benefit the sponsors, and thus the teams, and thus the riders of the sport.

Take our latest example with an Alpinestars’s “Ask Me Something” video installment that features HRC rider Dani Pedrosa. A simple four-minute promotional clip shot atop the observation tower at the Circuit of the Americas, Pedrosa gets some much needed fan interaction (and humanization), and Alpinestars has a cool promotional video to help justify the millions of dollars its spends in MotoGP each season.

If this had been an “official” test, where Dorna’s media bosses could impose its draconian rules about video, this short segment for one of the paddock’s greatest sponsors would never have occurred (or worse, Alpinestars would have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get permission to film its sponsored rider).

But instead since the COTA test was a “private” test, we get a glimpse into how the MotoGP paddock would function if it was a well-oiled media machine. We have never seen so much marketing material made for the US market come from MotoGP before now. It makes you wonder about something, doesn’t it?

Source: Alpinestars (YouTube); Photo: Circuit of the Americas

Comment:

  1. pooch says:

    Carmelo is from a different generation… a generation of controlled media and censorship, he clearly has no understanding of modern media – it’s astounding just how much of a huge fail this is for the sport.

    Was interesting to listen to Dani talk about how the airbag feels etc. All these little things help to make up the whole… such a pity Dorna have their head up their a***.

  2. This is something that should happen a LOT more often. The feeling of connecting with a rider (or driver) is essential to promoting the sport. Other sports excel at this by giving people real characters with whom to identify. A cold, quiet paddock amounts to the crews and pilots appearing as little more than skilled robots. While I understand and sympathize with the problem of poor ambassadorship for a corporate identity, the potential payback in letting people emotionally closer to the teams is, I think, invaluable.

  3. frod says:

    it’s quite a disappointment seeing that this video just got 235 views, I am certain if Carmelo/Dorna would understand media content of today this video would be in the hundred thousands.

    Here in the USA finding any kind of content motogp or Superbike related is minimal, I wish Dorna would get some kind of terminal cancer so we could move on. man sooooo many marketing opportunities they’re missing just because of their ignorance.

  4. Paul McM says:

    In watching MotoGP races on Speed TV I am continually astonished at how little info is provided to us gear-heads. You watch a F1 race and they tell you about horsepower, KERS numbers, they show close-ups of chassis parts and aero body parts. You get intelligent commentary from past champs and chassis designers. MotoGP is just the opposite. I mean jeez you can watch the entire hour of coverage, and a first-time viewer won’t even learn how many cylinders the bikes have, how much horsepower, or even the top speeds. Heck SPEED should be screaming about HP and speeds to rivet viewer interest. Speed TV coverage doesn’t provide interesting factoids, like how much the tires and motors cost, or how frequently the engines are rebuilt. Motor racing is NOT just about going around in circles. Gear-heads want to know some details. Dorna and Speed channel coverage of MotoGP is sorely lacking in this respect… and I also agree that Dorna has done very little to connect the riders to the audience.

  5. “Gear-heads want to know some details. Dorna and Speed channel coverage of MotoGP is sorely lacking in this respect…”

    I can’t speak for the latter, but MotoGP.com has pretty darned good coverage, IMO. Of course, MotoGP’s pre-race run-up is anything but. SkyTV has a full 90-min. show prior to a Sunday race. The pre-race “show” for a MotoGP race amounts to chats about qualifying and the like. That’s one of the reasons why I watch qualifying sessions: A lot of the good stuff is talked about during QP.

  6. Paul McM says:

    @Trane
    Can’t get SkyTV in my area. As for MotoGP.com, yes they had more stories than Speed, but it still was weak, with little technical information. Where are the spec sheets on the bikes… Where is even a statement of the rules and class limits? Where are some good 3d renderings of the engines, chasses. Where are corner by corner speed comparisons (of the riders) and meaningful interviews with riders. Overall, I give Speed TV a D-minus and MotoGP.com a C-minus. I ended up dumping MotoGP.com, because over the course of 3 weeks three different Dorna business entities billed my credit card for the full price of an ANNUAL subscription (meaning I got TRIPLE-billed). No response from MotoGP.com, so I had my CC company reverse the second and third billings.

    As this point I would only use MotoGP.com if I could pay “by the race” and if billing was handled by a reputable third party will a responsive customer support. As far as I am concerned, Dorna is run by misguided clowns, who are more than willing to systematically rip off the MotoGP audience.