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.

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.

WSBK: Althea Racing and Ducati Corse Part Ways

10/28/2012 @ 6:29 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

WSBK: Althea Racing and Ducati Corse Part Ways Carlos Checa Ducati 1199 Panigale 635x421

In a surprise move, Althea Racing and Ducati Corse have parted ways in their World Superbike collaboration. The news sees Carlos Checa remaining with Ducati Corse and on the Ducati 1199 Panigale, though the Spaniard has no team behind him. Meanwhile, Althea Racing will retain #2 man Davide Giugliano, but will have to begin a search for a new manufacturer.

The issue under contention is the level of support Ducati Corse was willing to give the team, as Team Principal Genesio Bevilacqua has said to several Italian publications that Ducati was willing to give about as much support in 2013 as it did in 2012, which wasn’t a lot.

Left to develop the Ducati 1199 Panigale on its own, a large feat given the rumors that the Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13 is not up to par for racing duty, Althea Racing is said to have balked at the idea of having to do all the heavy-lifting while Ducati reaps all the reward, and rightfully so.

While an official response from Ducati Corse is said to be forthcoming, it is said that the company’s main reservation in developing the Panigale itself is the upcoming rules for the 2014 season, which could see World Superbike become closer to World Superstock in the spec of the machines.

With the Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13 needing significant levels of money and resources to be a title contender, Ducati, and its new owner Audi, are allegedly having a hard time justifying the potentially single-year reward for that expense.

While the dust is still settling on this news, it raises serious question marks for Ducati in the 2013 World Superbike Championship. Will the Italian brand be represented at all in the coming season? Will Ducati Corse field a factory team of its own? Could it pick-up the pieces of the Liberty Racing Squad? Could Althea and Ducati Corse still reconcile? And what of Carlos Checa? Davide Tardozzi? And the competitiveness of the Panigale?

Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13:

Source: GPone & Moto.it

Comment:

  1. Cpt.Slow says:

    I can’t say I’m too surprised about the bike. Although the team breaking up is a surprise.

  2. WetMan says:

    I guess the T- Rex that took that bite out of its rear end did manage to mortally wound it.

  3. Silas says:

    Ducati, the John Deere of motorcycles.

    Not going well at all in MotoGP. New bike not up to racing spec and possible they won’t even race in WSBK. 2014 rolls around and Max (or whoever replaces him) is on the new RSV4 which will apparently make 200HP in street guise. Suppose there’s always the Diavel which I hear comes with a free pair of assless chaps.

  4. MikeD says:

    Ducati:

    Stick to racing Super Stock 1000 ? Wait and see what are the changes coming ? Have Checa join the SuperStock team effort only for 2013 ?

    I can see where both Althea and Ducati are coming from….i can’t blame them.

    How come the machine is not good enough ? By what i saw this year it was doing pretty good. It migth not be right there eyebrow to eyebrow with the I4s but is competitive (they still walk away from it sligthly on the straights)…enough to place 2nd in the Championship.

    New RSV4 ? ! WHERE, WHERE ? ! (Mouth Foaming)…hope she stays small and lite on her toes.

  5. Superlight says:

    Not so fast, gentlemen. Don’t be so quick counting Ducati out, especially in WSBK. Think about it. Those who wanted the Panigale because of its new bike hype have already bought theirs. If Ducati wants continued sales on that machine they will have to be successful in racing. They’ll find a way to race the Panigale in WSBK.

  6. dc4go says:

    Run a factory team with Checa and call it a day.. Sure we’ll see the bike running up front with the RSV4 and company…

  7. sburns2421 says:

    No Ducati in WSBK and a factory team unable to crack the top 5 in the dry in MotoGP? Ducati should realize thier reputation is built on racing. Without successfully racing they are just another motorcycle manufacturer.

  8. voodoovaj says:

    That chassis design proved a massive failure in motogp. Ducati bet the farm that it would work on the Panigale, and apparently it doesn’t. The 1098R didn’t need a bunch of time to become competetive since it was built from known quantities. Without racing success, there is no reason to own a Ducati. I wonder if Audi understands that or if they will let the brand die through ignorance.

  9. Superlight says:

    voodoo, I don’t think we know yet if the Panigale chassis design is a success or failure. Certainly I think Ducati needs to prove it works by making the Panigale WSBK successful.

  10. Silas says:

    MikeD – Biaggi let it slip a month or so ago at a press conference.

  11. Silas says:

    And of course, Honda have announced a V4 as well.

  12. ” Without successfully racing they are just another motorcycle manufacturer.”

    Sure, but with the Diavel and a pair of assless chaps (thanks for the giggle, Silas), they’ll still sell a gazillion bikes in North America. Not many North American riders think about racing beyond NASCAR. The rest of the world would notice. North Americans? Not so much.

  13. smiler says:

    Wait a minute. The Panigale came a very close 2nd in superstocks. So clearly the chassis is fine. The test Checa made also seemed to go well as well.
    It has received great reviews. Altea is a satelite team. It has been entered in WSb for 2013. Ducati is no longer a small manufacturer producing 20,000 bikes and reliant on 2 models. It is now a global manufacturer. Its sales are spead over more markets. Audi still hasn’t let its intentions be known publically. And there are what 7 months until the start of 2013 season.
    Aprilia have farted about for many years in WSb and failed completely in MotoGP. Ducati have 2 titles in MotoGP.
    The fact that finally they have a bike riden by, clearly one of the best riders WSB has ever had, is good. But that does not affect Ducati.
    So I cannot see why Checa or another would not be entered on a factory bike. Audi is not short of money and being German they have a habit of making things work. Look at the 911, started off as the Beetle with engine in the worst place for a car…….

  14. SuperD says:

    I could not agree more with smiler.

    Well said.

    and Happy 4th birthday to this great blog!

  15. Silas says:

    Smiler, what you say is of course 100% true and I’m sure the previous successes that Ducati had in MotoGP and WSBK with Carl, did a lot to shift bikes. However, that is in the past. What they are currently facing is the best rider the world has ever known, saying he has no chance of winning on a Ducati in MotoGP in the next two years and Ducati themselves not wanting to invest in the Panigale in current form to take it to WSBK spec with the (likely) upcoming changes in 2014.

    The issue for Ducati is, in 2014, the Panigale will not be facing the 2009 RSV4 or the 2008 Fireblade. It will be a brand spanking new Aprilia, V4 Honda, probably a new 3 pot Yamaha and already the Ninja looks damn good.

    There is a much wider spread of rider ability in Superstock and the bike plays nowhere near the role it plays in WSBK. The truth IMO is that Ducati want to invest in getting the Panigale right for 2014 and will leave the cost of a 2013 pure SBK up to the teams.

    Along with the Audi purchase come the stricter financial controls. I don’t see it being a purchase for them to suddenly chuck in millions of dollars so the lads in Bologna can continue to swan around the world losing races.

  16. Cpt.Slow says:

    Ducati factory 2013- just Carlos. Shame, because Davide is a talent!

  17. Faust says:

    I really don’t think people should compare the GP chassis to this one and claim that it’s a failure. They are structurally different, and it’s just not the same bike. If someone has a twin spar chassis that doesn’t work well with a specific spec tire, then that doesn’t mean that all twin spars would then be suspect. This is not the same bike, and some more time is needed to see what will happen before people just arbitrarily write off a bike that is still in the development phase.

  18. J says:

    All,

    A few comments:

    1: Correction to Smiler- Ducati only has 1 MotoGP title. (not picking a fight here, just correcting!)

    2: Both Parties have very fair reasons for the split

    3: Superbikes are VERY far from Superstock. Their marketing is working if we all believe they are similar, but trust me they are not at all. Hence why the 1199 is solid in Superstock but isn’t ready for SBK. If there is one thing Ducati knows about, it is developing these things so when they say it isn’t ready then it really must not be ready.

    4: Carlos is over the age limit for Superstock so we won’t see him there. Pure speculation but I’d venture him to be the best possible MotoGP test/development rider (albeit expensive!) that Ducati could hire…

    5: This is an real conundrum as Audi can’t just cut a check and put a bike on the grid. Ducati does not have a workshop, trucks, mechanics or any other infrastructure in place. (they can’t just bleed off the MotoGP project) Feel Racing, who ran the Xerox team, is now Goldbet BMW Italia so they can’t just hand it off to them either. They need a partner team or to start from scratch- which isn’t worth it for a 1 year investment, or a kneejerk reaction to not having a 2013 partner.

    Should be interesting to see where this goes