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.

SF: Could Andrea Iannone Be at Your Next Track Day?

04/12/2013 @ 5:38 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

SF: Could Andrea Iannone Be at Your Next Track Day? Friday Qatar GP MotoGP Scott Jones 13 635x423

Graduating from the Moto2 Championship, which does not come across the pond for the US GP at Laguna Seca, Andrea Iannone is one of a few riders in MotoGP this year that have never seen the Corkscrew and the Californian circuit’s other ten turns.

Not wanting to be at a disadvantage come race day, the Ducati rider will take a page out of Stefan Bradl’s playbook, and participate in a track day at Mazda Raceway this week, ahead of the Americas GP in Austin, Texas.

With both Keigwins and the California Superbike School on the calendar for next week, it is not clear which day Iannone will be riding (we suspect it won’t take long for the word to get out though), but the Pramac racer will have a Ducati 1199 Panigale R at his disposal for the day.

Like Bradl, we expect that Iannone will embarrass a few amateur racers on their decked-out race bikes, while the Italian tinkers away on his stock machine and DOT tires.

Source: GPone; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. KFG says:

    Im going to stuff him in the cork screw….. ok that didnt sound right…

  2. mike says:

    What about Marquez???

  3. MikeJONES says:

    I hope someone fast catches footage of him flying past!!

  4. ADG says:

    SF? WTF?

    Streets of San Francisco?

  5. smiler says:

    Many a wannabe going to be humiliated.
    Remember going to Assen and have a brilliant time. Put some slicks on and took 10 secs off my lap time. Godlike performance…….15 secs behind the WSBK boys…..bump.

  6. JohnEE says:

    You west coast guys have all the fun. I’ve always wondered if the MotoGP guys did this, I’m surprised DORNA doesn’t have a rule against it.

  7. Norm G. says:

    somebody named crazy joe’s gettin’ OWNED into T1…!!!

  8. Chad27 says:

    Who cares!! He’s a VR46 copycat wannabe!! Loser

  9. pooch says:

    Chad27, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, thanks for making that perfectly obvious.

  10. Keigwin says:

    We’d love to have him!! Tell him to call us. :-)

  11. ircsmith says:

    not many racers on their “decked out race bikes” go to laguna. sound limit is stupid. turn workers can pull up on their HD putting out 103 Db but not the bikes on track. besides who would want to go to a Keigwins day!!! Kidding!! L&L put on the best days in CA. love you two!!!

  12. oh tman says:

    Watching AI29 aka Crazy Joe on a Panigale would be a great day at the dry lagoon. I think the kid will be force once the D16 gets its feet right.

  13. Rob says:

    The 1199R comes with with a full termi exhaust system that I’m all but positive will not pass the 103DB sound limit at Laguna. Honestly, the 1199 is so loud that even if stock form it may be too loud to meet 103DB

  14. Damo says:


    Are you saying you went that fast or Iannone went that fast at Assen?

  15. grahluk says:

    gonna stuff him in the corkscrew? Own him at turn 1? Yeah, right. Maybe the local weekend warriors can feel their moment apart from obscurity during his sighting lap. After that it’ll be the race of your life keeping up while he won’t even know you’re racing. He’ll just be modestly learning the track. Dream on y’all.

  16. Chick Webb says:

    Well, he wasn’t there today. Just as well; wind was howling. And, that Bradl guy? Not that fast. I was ahead of him on the front straight last summer …

    For about another 0.1 seconds! :-) Frankly, I was flattered that he trusted me enough to pass that close.

  17. Damo says:

    @Chick Webb

    Props for the raced up RC51. (Got a 2005 SP2 at home myself)