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.

Filippo Preziosi Out at Ducati Corse – BMW Motorrad’s Bernhard Gobmeier Takes Over

11/20/2012 @ 1:36 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Filippo Preziosi Out at Ducati Corse   BMW Motorrads Bernhard Gobmeier Takes Over  duacti rossi peace out hd

Confirming rumors that Filippo Preziosi would be leaving his role as head of Ducati Corse, the Italian company announces today that the man responsible for BMW Motorrad’s World Superbike program, Bernhard Gobmeier, will be taking over the position at Ducati Corse. Reporting directly to Ducati CEO Gabriele del Torchio, Gobmeier will ultimately be in charge of all the racing projects at Ducati, including MotoGP and World Superbike.

Stepping down from his position, Preziosi will take on the role of Director of Research & Development for Ducati Motor Holding, where he will use his engineering and design talents to help develop Ducati’s next road bikes. He will report directly to Claudio Domenicali, the General Manager of Ducati Motor Holding.

On the Corse side of things, Paolo Ciabatti will oversee Ducati’s MotoGP project, while Ernesto Marinelli will be in charge of Ducati’s WSBK racing efforts with Team Ducati Alstare. Both Ciabatti & Marinelli will report to Gobmeier.

The shuffling of the deck at Ducati is one full of interesting choices and maneuvers. With the failure of Ducati Corse’s two-year experiment with Valentino Rossi still fresh on everyone’s minds, the movement of Filippo Preziosi is perhaps unsurprising.

Highly regarded for his technical knowledge in the MotoGP paddock, Preziosi has been vocal about his willingness to do whatever necessary to make changes to the Desmosedici GP bike — this included stepping down if Yamaha’s Masao Furusawa would join the team.

Paddock gossip however suggests that Preziosi and his team suffer from a fatal bout of group-think, where there is not enough competitive thought forming within Ducati Corse’s MotoGP technical team to bring opposing ideas against each other. As such, one singular path has been defined as the most optimal route, with the last two years the product of that hubris.

The appointment of Bernhard Gobmeier is also interesting, if for no other reason than the fact that Gobmeier is German – just like Ducati’s new owners, Audi. Responsible for BMW Motorrad’s World Superbike campaign, the German’s efforts are just now coming to full fruition in the production class, with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies tipped favorably for next season’s WSBK Championship.

Interestingly enough, Gobmeier publicly pointed his finger earlier this year at Honda and Yamaha for making MotoGP too expensive and uninteresting to watch for spectators. At the time denying BMW’s interest in the premier class, Gobmeier commented that an extreme level of funds and resources would be required for BMW Motorrad to get involved with MotoGP, a point he surely revisited when taking his new job with Ducati Corse.

Formerly the head of Ducati Corse’s World Superbike effort, Paolo Ciabatti comes back to the Italian motorcycle company after a stint at Infront, as the Director of the World Superbike Championship no less.

Many paddock insiders see Ciabatti’s return to Ducati as a strong move for the Bologna Brand, and likely it was one of the bigger bargaining chips the company used when trying unsuccessfully to retain Valentino Rossi’s services, though it seems to have done the trick with Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso, and Andrea Iannone.

For Ernesto Marinelli, 2013 is a return to a familiar role, though with a new race bike. If early indicators are to be believed, the long-time WSBK manager will have his work cut out for him this year.

Bernhard Gobmeier appointed as General Manager of Ducati Corse

Borgo Panigale (Bologna), 20 November 2012 – Ducati announces the appointment of Bernhard Gobmeier as the new General Manager of Ducati Corse. Utilising his significant experience in the world of motorsport, including more recently his role as Superbike Director with BMW, the position will draw upon the 53-year-old German’s extensive managerial experience ready to enter the new phase of development for Ducati’s racing activities and to achieve the targets set during the recent acquisition by the Audi Group. Mr. Gobmeier will report directly to the CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, Gabriele Del Torchio, and count upon the experience and professional support of Filippo Preziosi.

Engineer Filippo Preziosi, the current General Manager of Ducati Corse, will now assume the position of Director of Research & Development for Ducati Motor Holding and report directly to Claudio Domenicali, General Manager of Ducati Motor Holding. The prestigious and strategic company role will enable 44-year-old Preziosi to apply the valuable experience of his 18 years in Ducati, 12 of which in Ducati Corse, to the development of new product.

Paolo Ciabatti (55) has been appointed the new Ducati MotoGP Project Director. The Italian now returns to the Borgo Panigale headquarters in Bologna to take advantage of his extensive experience in the world of motorcycle competition, which has included coordinating the World Superbike Championship as General Director.

After two seasons in the position, Engineer Ernesto Marinelli (39), is confirmed to continue as Ducati Superbike Project Director, with the activities of both Marinelli and Ciabatti coordinated by Mr. Gobmeier. All appointments will commence from January 2013.

“With these new appointments and the 2013 riders announced in MotoGP and World Superbike, we are well prepared to move forward into the new racing season,” said the CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, Gabriele Del Torchio.  “We are confident that with this new organisation and focused strategy, we will achieve our targets and continue with the fundamentally important transfer of ‘know-how’ from racing into production, an element that characterises every Ducati motorcycle.”

Source: Ducati Corse

Comment:

  1. loki says:

    Jensen, I think there’s a little typo there:

    “while Ernesto Marinelli will be in charge of Ducati’s WSBK racing efforts with Team Ducati Althea.” – shouldn’t that be “Team Alstare Ducati”?

  2. calvin says:

    To bad pilipo leaves, he mad several ver very bad performing and ugly bike’s. it always makes me lmfao seeing ducati on track. So now with audi wil it be better. i hope i can lmfao for a few more years. now the only thing to do is get rid of that cheating 1200cc in sbk and ducati wil be history.! a twin that rev’s 12.000rpm stock?! thats almost as much as an cbr1000rr and an gsxr-1000. if ducati would build an 1000cc twin im sure it can rev up to 13.500 rpm. and sbk would be fair again!

  3. Quite right Loki. 2am here and all…

  4. pooch says:

    I think Biaggi and Sykes showed that the Duc in SBK is fair now… So far Carlos aint doing so great in testing on the Panigale either, so don’t be concerned about Ducati in SBK. Or MotoGP for that matter. But I hate the thought of Spies trundling around on a Pramac Ducati in around 6-8th in 21013, cause I think that’s his fate.

  5. pooch says:

    or even 2013. The year 21013 woiuld be a long career indeed.

  6. frod says:

    I’m really glad to see Filipo finally gone from Ducati corse, his departure was imminent. hopefully, we can see changes that help ducati.

  7. L2C says:

    I think the best thing Valentino Rossi did for Ducati Corse was join the team and fail. It was the absolute best thing that he could do for the future of the company and the team. Ducati got their money’s worth. What they got certainly didn’t taste the way they expected, feel the way they expected and it certainly wasn’t sexy, but they got 100% what they were after: a chance to be truly competitive. Ducati will now reap the challenges and benefits of dismantling a losing effort and restructuring in order to actually become competitive. No racing team can ask for or receive more than that.

    Riders are no exception.

    Say what you want about Rossi, but he has always been competitive, and his time at Ducati was no different. He exposed and exploited glaring flaws and weaknesses in an effort to win. But in order for both Ducati and Rossi to win, all concerned had to lose. They had to lose big. Publicly and spectacularly – shock and awe type shit in order for any meaningful progress could be made. Mission accomplished.

    No doubt, Rossi would have preferred to have an opportunity to win on a competitive Desmosedici, but he had to settle for reality: a chance to win again on the supremely sorted Yamaha M1.

    No doubt, Ducati Corse would have preferred podiums and perhaps another shot at a world GP title, but they had to settle for reality: a reboot, regroup, rethink and reorganization of everything they thought they had and stood for. Man in the mirror type shit.

    For all involved, the future is indeed much brighter than it was, but they had to lose in order to arrive at this point. Sometimes losing is the best that can be done. Sometimes it is the only way and best way forward.

  8. smiler says:

    calvin you bitch. Ducati already won a motogp world title. More than Kawasaki have ever done and Suzuki since 2 strokes were banned. As for WSB, if they unrestricted the traditional v twin, then clearly after 4 years because it is so good the 1198 would be up there. Any manufacturer can build a twin, v4 or triple. So how it is cheating exactly?

    If Ducati are just so aweful then where are: Aprilia, BMW, Illmor, Kenny Roberts. Kawasaki and Suzuki?

    Without Ducati in motogp it will become like moto2 with Honda outspending all and everyone but with even less excitement. As for WSB without Ducati, same.

  9. Westward says:

    Ducati’s plans for Iannone and Spies with Pramac team are essentially advance testers in real time situations. They could potentially be better than the actual Ducati Corse team of Divizioso and Hayden.

    Pirro also gives them a better test rider to help speed progress of development. All and all, Ducati could surprise everyone, and Spies could very well be the beneficiary of good fortune to balance out his time spent on the M1…

  10. smiler says:

    I’m not sure what to make of this. It seems to play right into Dorna’s idea to dumb down MotoGP, bringing 2 WSB people into the arena. One who clearly dislikes the Japanese factories and wants to see the series dumbed down.
    Is this a good thing?

    Apart from that, one German surrounded by so many Italians…..I still think that Ducati’s fundamental problem was simply not building a bike with any configuration that would consistently win. They had too close a link between needing to build a motogp bike and one that they could sell and use the tech off for other parts of the range. Perhaps with pilipo leaving to focus on production bike tech this is the bolster the production bikes need and Ducati Corse can be left certainly in motogp to build a consistent winner. Lets not forget it has not done badly for a company that is the size of Ducati.

  11. Westward says:

    As for WSBK, Kawasaki has proved that it’s bike only lacks the A-class talent to ride it. I would bet someone like Haga could win it all on that machine. BMW on the other hand finally found the talent to prove their engineering is on par with the best of the league…

    The “cc” of a bike are a misleading benchmark. The type of engine make all the difference in the world (In-line 4 vs. V-Twin). If the “cc” really mattered then the Harley 1200cc Sportser would be WSBK ready and the Yamaha V-Max should be a worthy challenger to the Hyabusa…

    Ducati would only be cheating if they had an In-line 4 with 1200cc, which they don’t, and the whining should really stop, or people should brush up on their engineering or physics…

    It’s kind of like the old debate a decade ago of which was better AMD or Intel. Intel had higher MHZ and GHZ, but AMD had faster chips… I had G4 Powerbook that was only 500 Mhz with an IBM Power PC processor that was faster than an Intel 1.5 Ghz Centrino notebook.

  12. Halfie 30 says:

    @ Calvin: You obviously know little to nothing about motorcycles. You would know Ducati raced the 999 against 1000cc i4′s and that they had to run the bike at such a state of tune they were cloning engines twice as much as the Japanese brands. An i4 has twice the cylinders, and when doing the math the 1200 twin is the equivalent of a 1000 i4.

    Do a history lesson on Ducati and displacement before trolling and talking trash. You just made your self not only look ignorant, but really dumb as well.

  13. Ken C. says:

    As much as I admire Preziosi’s determination, he tried everything in his arsenal to fix “the problem” but failed miserably. Whether he stepped down of his own accord, or was shown the door, it was the right thing to do. Ducati Corse will be able to start over and look at things with fresh eyes.

    Not sure what a WSBK guy is going to accomplish in a prototype world, but at this point, anything is better than whatever they’ve been doing.

    I look forward to seeing what they do next year.

  14. Tyler says:

    so much lol in the above comments

  15. MikeD says:

    “Stepping down from his position, Preziosi will take on the role of Director of Research & Development for Ducati Motor Holding, where he will use his engineering and design talents to help develop Ducati’s next road bikes.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Not holding my breath or waiting for anything…i would gladly be mistaken. (^_^)

  16. frod04 says:

    Well said MikeD…man oh man! if Preziosi puts his talent on the next generation of Ducati bikes then God be with Ducati…all I see ahead is years of fail

  17. MikeD says:

    @Frodo4:

    Is like my Dad says:

    Everyone can go and try as hard as they can/want but everyone is not cut to be a Brain Surgeon or The Guy(s) that designed and put togheter The Mar’s Rover, Curiosity.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Im a firm believer of stick to what you know and perfect it, be the best you can be at it (specially when there’s so much riding on your shoulders)…however that fit’s Ducati and company.

    Xperiments ? Do those on your own dime and money.