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.

Anthony West Returns to MotoGP on a CRT Ride

11/14/2011 @ 4:39 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Anthony West Returns to MotoGP on a CRT Ride Anthont West MZ Moto2 635x952

After a brief stint in MotoGP riding for the ill-fated factory Kawasaki squad (you do remember when Kawasaki raced in MotoGP, right?), Anthony West found himself demoted back into GP racing’s middle class, riding in Moto2 with the MZ team. Now getting a chance back in the big show, Ant West will make his MotoGP return riding a CRT bike with the Speed Master team for the 2012 MotoGP Championship.

With CRT entries being comprised of both a production motor and custom chassis, there is a tremendous amount of intrigue regarding what combinations teams will field, and acording to our friends at MotoMatters, West will likely be riding an FTR chassis with either a Honda or Aprilia motor in it.

The news adds even more credibility to the CRT movement, which has already lured veteran MotoGP rider Colin Edwards into its format. Edwards will be aboard a BMW/Suter machine with the NGM Forward Racing squad, and will be joined by over 10 CRT bikes in total on the MotoGP grid.

With CRT bikes looking to be the future of MotoGP racing, experience in the class could be paramount in the coming 2013 and on seasons, and perhaps will give these early-adopters a leg-up on teams still running factory-produced race bikes when an eventual all-out switch to the CRT format occurs.

With the shrinking grid currently occurring in MotoGP, it will be interesting to see if any other former-MotoGP riders make an entry back into the big show by signing up with a claiming rule team. With it looking increasingly likely that Suzuki will not participate in the 2012 season, MotoGP will be down to only three factories involved with the racing series: Ducati, Honda, and Yamaha. Make no doubt about it, we are seeing interesting times for Grand Prix racing.

Source: MotoMatters; Photo: Ant West (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. Tim says:

    What does the acronym CRT stand for?

  2. Future of MotoGP

    Sorry, that was snide. It stands for Claiming Rule Team.

  3. Tim says:

    Jesnsen.

    LOL.. Thanks

    I finally got the answer. Where do I find the rules that apply to the CRT? are they on the motogp.com site?

    or basically does it mean non-factory team?

    Tim

  4. The large print on CRT bikes is that they are machines with production-based motors (e.g. engines from Aprilias, BMWs, Hondas, etc) with custom-built chassis. The get more fuel in the gas tank, and more engines throughout the season.

    The fine print is that they’re a response to what’s happening in MotoGP because of the factory teams, rising costs, and diminishing grid sizes. Try googling “CRT MotoGP” there are lots of articles out there on the subject.

  5. Tim says:

    awesome, thanks for the all the information.

  6. Westward says:

    Why, no really, why?

    West could barely hold his own on a factory Kawasaki, then struggles to even score points in Moto2. Slow bikes with pilots that cannot cut it… West will be the poster child that will discredit the CRT effort, and the likes of Edwards with it… Edwards is in a different class than West. West will get lapped repeatedly into embarrassment…

    I’d rather see a professional grid of 17 bikes, than a grid with 3-5 more, of competitors you know, are only there to take up space.

    It’s a farce.

    Right now, Edwards is the only credible talent the gives the CRT project any weight. Along with BMW and Suter, if they fail to be competitive in the next two years, the idea as a whole will fail. Then it would be a matter of how long before Dorna admits it, and ends it all together…

  7. I’m admittedly biased, but here is my hierarchical list of riders that ought to make it into the CRT show:
    1. Hopkins
    2. De Puniet
    3. Melandri
    4. Hayes
    5. Marquez
    6. Checa
    7. Laverty

    As for CRT itself, I think MotoGP has so bolloxed the rules in the last decade — 800cc; electronic wheel-spin control; single-supplier tires — that it has driven out manufacturers at the same time that WSB has shown how much fun it is to have multiple capable competitors, and therefore made CRT a pretty reasonable consideration. I understand the desire to fill the grid, but that desire only arises due to the failure of Dorna to really set rules for Honda and Ducati, and if CRT is properly applied it may act as a counterweight to those manufacturers’ demands. I support the CRT experiment as a means to bring in more manufacturers.

  8. Tony says:

    @ Westward : Racing on the only MZ machine in Moto2 and a sub-par Kawasaki in Motogp hardly proves the quality (or lack thereof) of a rider.

    and you have to be kidding about Edwards. He holds the record of the most GP’s without a win (and for many seasons he was on good machinery).

    The problem with CRT rides is that a potential champion is not going to ride with a team they fear may make them look bad. So Marquez, Laverty, Melandri etc.. are never going to ride CRT bikes. Respectable riders and riders at the end of their careers may see it as a way to get a few bucks and maybe, just maybe on a good day in the rain they might podium and look like a Hero.

    You have been told

  9. Damo says:

    The one thing (I hope) that everyone can agree on is that the first season with CRT will be a wash. None of the CRT teams are going to keep up with Dani and Casey, hell I doubt the factory teams are.

    That being said some of the best racing I have seen this season was in the Moto2 class, by far. You had a class were 7-8 riders could win on any given day as apposed to 4.

    I think the CRT effort is a step in the right direction and I hope it helps reel in costs to get more bikes on the grid.

  10. Minibull says:

    I dunno, I have to agree somewhat with the remarks Casey Stoner has made. In my mind it takes the piss out of prototype racing. MotoGP is not in any way a production class, so why start bringing it in and diluting that “brand” as they call it. You sit down to watch these bikes as they are the F1 of the bike world, unobtanium technology, ridiculous rpm limits, huge horsepower, with the best riders onboard. I know the Valencian test isnt really a good judge of next years bikes, but for the fastest CRT to be 5s behind is huge. The GP bikes that are crippled with fuel and engine regs up the wazoo can still run rings around them.
    Costs in racing, especially prototype racing, are always going to be high. If 6 engine limits for the year are applied, the money goes into the reliability testing to get the same power and make sure the engine does not break. If official testing time is cut, money goes into more private testing and hiring out tracks to get more varied and relevant data. If a fuel limit is in place, money goes into efficiency work so they can get the most power while still making race distance. All the while this constant shifting buggers up some of the teams. Look at Ducati, the engine being part of the frame. So thats 6 frames in the year…wow, way to kill off innovation and working towards solutions for their interesting bike. Meanwhile someone on here threw around the tidbit that Honda had had about 36 frame revisions during the year…hmm
    Factories decide when they think racing is needed in their company. Kawasaki pulled out a couple of years back, maybe they thought it wasnt relevant anymore and hey presto, they release a cracker of a roadbike and start trying to focus on their superbike and production racing schemes, the classes that bear some resemblance to what we see on the dealer floor. Seeing Hondas V4 800cc machine winning the GP’s does not make me think “hmmm, that Fireblade is pretty decent…” I look at road tests to see what living with the bikes is like and what their road manners are like, and then its down to the look, sound, colour…btw, I think the Fireblade is bloody decent…so do the riders in the litre bike shootouts…
    For the last few years in this cost cutting business the GP has raced in the USA, left the country, and then it comes back again for the 2nd race in the year. Think of the travel costs associated with that. Finally it looks like they have scheduled it better for 2012… Removing electronic aids and the staff associated with it, while not the best for development, would lower costs and probably bring in more spectators. Go and look at a mid 90′s WSBK race or a 500GP if you haven’t… The greatest cost saving would just be keeping the rules as is for a while and let the teams settle for once, get 6 years of uninterrupted development under their belts without the constant threat of regulation changes.

  11. Minibull says:

    Also forgot to add that talking about cost cutting in the current economic climate seems kind of redundant. When the fortunes change, as they will eventually, and the world moves back into a boom time then factories will most likely return to racing. Why the heck wouldnt they, when they are turning in record profits…kinda like in the 80′s-90′s…
    Certainly Moto2 is some amazing racing. Hearing the possiblity that the engine regs might be opened up for prototype stuff is certainly exciting. Well at least thats what the rumor mill is telling me…

  12. Brandon says:

    I guess if it helps you think better of it; think of Moto GP’s CRT system as a two class race like when Lemans cars race at the same time as GT cars. It’s like two races in one, and the slower races may slow down the run away leaders, making it more competitive and strategic.

  13. @Minibull – good points. It is also frustrating to see small companies innovate towards an engine size only to have the rules change relatively quickly.

    Prototype racing should be much more wide open at the top class. Say to the teams and the engineers: “here’s the season’s worth of tracks & corresponding # of laps, go build the motor and chassis that you think your rider and team can get around the fastest, all year long (motor not to exceed x cc capacity).”

    You’re correct..costs will always be high in prototype racing but which type of costs are keeping the field small? Travel costs (which you mentioned) have got to be prohibitive. i.e. Small engineering teams can innovate with their designs, but traveling the world to all of the events is much more difficult. So why would someone invest in their design when they can’t take it anywhere? If the travel costs are addressed smaller companies might get more involved & subsequently increase the field size. Look at what Vyrus is doing, but last I read they are still looking for a team.

    There’s got to be some clever partnerships in the travel & transportation industries that could make something of this situation over and above the small teams sponsors.

  14. Westward says:

    I agree,

    The only tech rule in Motogp should be the “cc” capacity, followed by a budget cap (like in American Football), not to include travel, hospitality, or pilot salary. Budget cap for technology only…

    Also, the schedule could also help a lot. In 2013 there is going to be three circuits in the US. I think I heard they will all be scheduled in succession…