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.

Video: Ben Bostrom vs. Roger Lee Hayden at Homestead

11/15/2012 @ 4:04 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Video: Ben Bostrom vs. Roger Lee Hayden at Homestead Ben Bostrom Roger Lee Hayden National Guard Jordan Suzuki 635x357

One of our favorite parts about MotoGP’s recent coverage are the slow-motion shots of riders going through corners, especially when the Dorna folk in the switchroom line-up a few riders through the same turn, giving us a sampling of the different riding styles that exist in the premier class. It is through this sort of coverage that you begin to see the real art behind riding a motorcycle at speed, not the brute force brawl that it looks like in real-time.

Here we have another side-by-side comparison, quite literally actually. Dropping a 1-2 qualifying session at Homestead this year, Roger Lee Hayden was fastest on his National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1’22.746), while Ben Bostrom qualified 2nd on his Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1’22.857). What is interesting in this video is the subtle differences between the two riders, which results in over a one-tenth of a second difference at the finish line.

With the camera located in the rear and facing forward, we get a great shot of how Roger and Ben move their bodies on the bikes. Roger doesn’t get too far off the seat, but also minimizes his body movements, whereas Ben gets more of a butt cheek off the seat pad in the turns, but often does a double-movement when coming back off the corner. You could watch this video a dozen times and still not pick it all the way apart.

Interesting stuff. Leave your notes in the comments.

Source: Jordan Motorsports (YouTube)


  1. MikeD says:

    Ahhh ! YES, our lovely Dade County Skies…those clouds white like cotton, it’s a rain-forest swamp paradise down here !

    I guess this went on like 1-1/2 months ago…………fricking rain wouldn’t let go not even for a day. Frigging rain forest weather.

  2. CMRAsloguy says:

    this is awesome! i wish teams with riders this close would do more of these! great idea!

  3. buellracerx says:

    What’s really mind-blowing is how two very different styles on two different suspension setups can converge on the same lap time. While other forms of racing become more dependent on strategy or $$ in the vehicle, motorcycle road racing will always be about the rider

  4. Jason says:

    buellracerx says:
    November 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM
    What’s really mind-blowing is how two very different styles on two different suspension setups can converge on the same lap time. While other forms of racing become more dependent on strategy or $$ in the vehicle, motorcycle road racing will always be about the rider


  5. Homesteads sucks, half-ass NASCAR track converted to a third rate road race track. There never were any decent tracks in South Florida. Sebring is about as good as it gets and it’s just a rather crappy converted airstrip.

    Florida is flat as a pancake, no hills whatsoever, so there are no elevation changes in any of the local club tracks. Moroso in Palm Beach County was the only one we had when I was growing up, and it still can’t get an FIA certification. Maybe something new has opened up in recent years but I’m not aware of it.

  6. Video: Ben Bostrom vs. Roger Lee Hayden at Homestead – #motorcycle

  7. RJ says:

    Hey Aaron, there’s always Jennings, though that’s not really South Florida…

  8. Craig says:

    Yep…. there is always Jennings… but when you live in the point of the US that furtherest South East of anything; you are stuck with what you have unless you are willing to travel.

    That little course isn’t great, but it’s better than running the on-ramps on 95 for sure… cheer up man!

    Nice vid… Now if only they could actually do that right next to each other… :)

  9. MikeD says:

    Craig said:

    Yep…. there is always Jennings… but when you live in the point of the US that furtherest South East of anything; you are stuck with what you have unless you are willing to travel.

    That little course isn’t great, but it’s better than running the on-ramps on 95 for sure… cheer up man!

    ^………this guy, he pretty much nailed it. The only thing i know as a curve down here is the junction of The Palmetto with I-75, BIG ASS FAST CURVE (~90MPH)…both ways…and the only others being the on-off ramps, some with some significant elevation changes.
    Besides me being a lazy bum that’s one of the main reasons i found myself riding less and less every month…no real incentive to go out there…JMHO.
    And then people ask themselves why the kids around here all they do is haul ass on the freeways.

    So…..if any of you have any good twistys and mountains near home, go on and rip’em good…(^_^)

  10. Kelso says:

    Tallahassee has the best riding roads in FL, but at that point its basically GA

  11. rms says:

    If I recall correctly, Ben was a Keith Code kid and the way he moves his but on the bike sort of fits with that style. Rodger hardly moves at all, and when he does it is fast and he gets planted immediately. He doesn’t sit up much when braking either which is unusual for me at least. Seems like Roger is totally focused and part of the bike while Ben is riding it.