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.

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.

MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso to Ducati with a Two-Year Deal?

08/13/2012 @ 9:29 am, by David Emmett18 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso to Ducati with a Two Year Deal? Andrea Dovizioso Laguna Seca MotoGP Scott Jones

As we mentioned last week, Andrea Dovizioso agreed to take the factory Ducati seat vacated by Rossi’s departure for Yamaha. His signature, it appears, was subject to certain conditions, though. According to reports in the Italian media, Dovizioso demanded guarantees of support and development from Audi before putting pen to paper.

Italian TV station Mediaset is now reporting that Dovizioso has now received those guarantees, and has signed a two-year deal to ride for Ducati in 2013 and 2014. Ducati’s choosing Dovizioso over Cal Crutchlow – Dovizioso’s British partner at the Tech 3 squad had earlier been offered the ride at Ducati – is an indication of the the future direction of the Bologna factory.

The deal appears to signal that Ducati has accepted that they need to focus their development on building a bike to suit a traditional Grand Prix style, as displayed by the Italian. It is perhaps a signal to Ducati’s new owners Audi that they understand the magnitude of the problem, and that the loss of Valentino Rossi is being taken very seriously indeed.

Dovizioso’s signing fits into Ducati’s strategy shift in MotoGP. The switch from a traditional satellite leasing model to a factory-supported junior team strategy is part of this shift, as Ducati MotoGP project leader Alessandro Cicognani told at Mugello. With four near-identical bikes from 2013 onwards, development and feedback should be much faster for the Bologna factory.

Audi will have an important role to play in this, in large part providing assistance in areas such as prototyping and increasing the speed with which new parts can be designed and produced. With two young riders likely to be moved up from Moto2 – Andrea Iannone and Scott Redding are being linked to the rides, as has current CRT rider Danilo Petrucci – Ducati’s strategy is more rounded and complete than it has been in recent years.

Dovizioso’s signing leaves the fate of Cal Crutchlow hanging in the balance. Earlier in the year, Crutchlow had offers from both the factory Ducati squad and his current Monster Tech 3 squad, but was holding on while waiting for a response from Yamaha. The Englishman has a long history with the factory, and was hoping for a shot at the second factory seat.

His patience may have cost him dearly: once it became clear that Rossi was serious about leaving Ducati, the Bologna factory quickly signed Nicky Hayden to provide some continuity – as well as help with sales in the key US market. With Rossi in the factory Yamaha seat, Crutchlow’s options are severely limited.

The Tech 3 deal could still be on the table, though team boss Herve Poncharal has also been involved in talks with fellow Frenchman Randy de Puniet, currently riding a bike for the Aspar Power Electronics CRT team.

The Dovizioso deal will probably be announced officially ahead of next weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Once that has been announced, the rest of the seats aboard factory prototypes should quickly fall into place.

Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. Jes says:

    I’d love to see RDP on the Tech 3 bike. Cal should take his big mouth back to BSB.

  2. AC says:

    @Jes I think Cal is a personality that MotoGP needs. He’s a funny guy and this year he has proven his results on the track quite well. I think he should try to stay at Tech 3.

    Poor Dovi. I find it hard to believe anyone wants to ride the Ducati now.

  3. John says:

    The fact that Dovi would not sign until he received guarantees of development assistance and other changes speaks volumes. The fact that Ducati agreed signals that Ducati is finally accepting that its bike is a real pig. I’m sure that this was a bitter pill for Ducati to swallow, but I think Rossi leaving is actually good for Ducati as well as for Rossi. It was a bucket of ice cold reality for Ducati when it was realized that a ton of cash was not enough for Rossi to ride their bike any longer because he had no faith in their promises of further development. Dovi’s conditions reinforce the fact that riders regard the Ducati as a non-competitive bike. Hopefully they will finally and belatedly get busy and offer a ride that deserves to be on a Moto GP grid. If that happens, it would be great for the series. As a bonus, we get to watch Rossi ride the wheels off a fully developed Yamaha.

  4. MikeD says:

    Just to be safe i think he should buy some form of full coverage insurance against:

    ” I KNOW MY NEXT BIKE and RACING SEASON WILL STINK … but i still took the Plunge “.

  5. Westward says:

    The Audi factor is greatly over looked by many, save Dovizioso, which is why it was a condition in his signing of the contract. Speed at producing parts is one thing, but the major drawback is in the production of a better working chassis, in house or otherwise…

    I do hope Cal and Spies remain in MotoGP. I would find it very interesting if Tech3 ends up with two Brits as pilots. I think it will be Spies or De Puniet that team up with Bradley Smith. Or better yet, Bradley will stay one more year in Moto2 and make everyone happy including himself, especially since Marquez is moving up, as well as possibly Iannone and Redding…

  6. Dc4go says:

    Really hope Dovi, Hayden and Ducati find the right direction and become competitive early next year… Glad Rossi gone cause he was slowly turning the GP12 into a Japanese bike…. want to ride Japanese sign for Honda, Yamaha , Suzuki or Kawi……

  7. MikeD says:


    +1 on the SLOW but UNSTOPPABLE Japanitation that was going on there.
    Haven’t they tried already some derivative form of the Panigale’s new “frame” to make it work on the GP Bike ?
    Besides the Carbon version that is…im talking Aluminium here.

    I know a SuperBike and a GP Bike are very different animals but…Why wouldn’t it work with some lite tweaks here and there ?

  8. Ken C. says:

    I’m glad to see Ducati signing some world class talent, even though Dovi isn’t a great PR move. Dovi (and Ducati) should perform well with Audi support. It will be an interesting season to watch next year.

    I hope Crutchlow finds a way to stay in MotoGP. He’s exciting to watch, and his improvement, season to season, has been nothing short of remarkable.

    I’m still waiting for news about where Ben Spies will be next year though.

  9. DareN says:

    I do not think it is bad PR move on part of Ducati – after all, they signed 2nd best Italian rider available and it is a must for Italian company. I was hoping for Iannone (since the rookie rule is no more) but Dovi should be much better to devolop new bike with his experience. Crutchlow stays at Tech 3 where he belongs…

  10. Jes says:

    @AC – Cal has his moments, but I had a hard time swallowing his ‘ I deserve a factory ride’ bit. Dovi had 7 podiums last year, how many has Cal had?

    I think Rossi resigned himself to riding around in 7th place long ago. Dovi NEEDS to push the limit to remain in MotoGP, whereas Rossi can toil around in last place and still make huge cash. With that said, hopefully Dovi, Nicky and the Ducati will be a bit more competitive next year.

  11. Gutterslob says:

    A warm welcome to Ducati, the great sinkhole of Italian riders. May you follow in the footsteps of other greats like Loris Capirossr, Marco Melandri and Valentino Rossi.

    Joking aside, I hope Dovi and Hayden have a better bike under them next year. Not a Ducati fan (Bayliss being the only exception, cos everyone loves Bayliss), but more bikes competing for podiums is always good.

  12. “Dovi had 7 podiums last year, how many has Cal had?”

    Fair enough, but Cal was a rookie last year. Dovi wasn’t. I sure hope that the Ducati is competitive next season. I’d hate to see Dovi getting walk over by Tech 3 (no disrespect intended; I’m a huge Tech 3 fan).

  13. Mike Lewis says:

    @Trane — That is true but Cal was on his 2nd year on the bike; Dovi his first. In the end, Dovi is a bit of a mystery to those of us outside the paddock: He’s everyone’s fastest third choice as a rider. (It’s weird, everyone has overlooked him at some point, Honda, Yamaha, Ducati at first. I suspect Suzuki might come back just to deny Dovi a contract before talking to everyone else.)

    The fact is Cal overplayed his hand — a trait he carries onto the track. I love the guy and I’m hoping to see a pissed-off Tech3 Cal crawling up the tailpipes of the factory bikes next year. And on a related note, please Herve, I beg you, don’t give that sweet ride to RDP. I don’t want to see you have a coronary when Le Yardsale wads up his third bike in the first three races.

  14. @Mike: Crutch debuted in the premier class in QAT 2011. He was racing WorldSBK in 2010. Despite riding a Yamaha in Superbike, it’s a serious stretch to suggest that what he’s riding in MotoGP is even remotely the same bike. My assessment of Cal as a rookie stands, with all it implies.

    I agree about Dovi and can’t quite figure out why he gets passed up. He seems like a really nice guy in addition to being one of the fastest on the grid these days. Crazy, innit?

  15. BBQdog says:

    @MikeD: Haven’t they tried already some derivative form of the Panigale’s new “frame” to make it work on the GP Bike ?

    The Panigale inherited this ill fated ‘frame’ from the GP bike …. that’s the big (marketing) problem.

  16. Mike Lewis says:

    @Trane I’d agree with you if only the facts did too. ;) I don’t think anyone in this thread suggested that Crutchlow’s WSBK experience gave him a leg up. At least I didn’t. At the MotoGP level, switching manufacturers IS a big deal. (Don’t believe me? Ask Lawson, Rossi, and Stoner as the only people who switched companies and won another championship.) So Cal, as a slower rider in year 2 on Tech 3 than Dovi is in year 1 on a new bike does say a lot about both riders.

    Mainly, it says Dovi’s quicker. One indication is Dovi’s number of podiums (4) and Cal’s (0). But let’s say for discussion’s sake that Dovi’s more extensive MotoGP experience is a factor. (I think that is what you are asserting anyway.) Let’s compare:

    Dovii 1st year, 2008: Fifth in the Championship, 174 points, one podium, average finish of 6th. (17 races completed.. I did not factor the DNFs into the average..)
    Cal 1st year, 2011: 12th in the Championship, 70 points, no podiums, average finish of 9th. (11 races completed. DNFs not factored although there were 5 with two non starts.)

    Dovi 2nd year, 2009 after 10 races: average finish 4, one win, (7 races completed, three DNFs)
    Cal 2nd year, 2012 after 10 races: average finish 5, no wins/podiums (10 races completed, no DNFs.)

    And the comparison is more valid still as both were/are on what was considered the top satellite bike of the time. So I guess I’m not sure I agree with you. And I don’t think the results do either.

    But in the end, if I had to pick a rider to have a beer with, to bring the fans out and to sign on the bike I foolishly funded with lottery winnings, I’d still take Cal. On that we can agree.

  17. “But let’s say for discussion’s sake that Dovi’s more extensive MotoGP experience is a factor. (I think that is what you are asserting anyway.)”

    Yep, that was the point I was making, and I do think it’s valid. We’re also in agreement that Dovi is currently the faster of the two. The difference in Cal’s performance year-on-year has been tremendous. I just think that Dovi’s greater experience in the premier class counts for more than his lack of experience on a particular brand. Opinion only, though. :)

    At the end of the day the question has to be: Will Dovi adapt to the beast that is the Ducati as well as he’s done with the Yamaha or will it turn out to be his undoing? I don’t know, but it’ll sure be worth breaking out the popcorn to see.

  18. Jes says:

    I think Audi and the guys at Ducati will be more pissed off than ever after this whole Rossi debacle. Hopefully it’ll drive further and faster development and we’ll see Dovi and Nicky much closer to the podium next year.

    I think next year will be a defining moment for many riders in the paddock. Pedrosa is running out of time to fight for a title and he’ll be back to the #1 rider spot, so he better bring it. Rossi is also on the same boat, not much time left to redeem himself after the Ducati experiment.