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 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.

2012 Bol d’Or Final Qualifying Results

04/13/2012 @ 5:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

2012 Bol d’Or Final Qualifying Results Team SERT Bol dOr 2012 qualifying 635x423

Concluding its second day of qualifying, the grid for the 2012 Bol d’Or remains essentially in the same order, as the times on Friday at Magny-Cours were slower than yesterday’s qualifying session. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s legacy of FIM World Endurance Championship domination remains intact, which lead SERT Team Principal to say, “I don’t understand what the competition is doing!” during the press debrief. SERT’s Vincent Philippe was the only rider to break into the 1’39 time bracket. The 76th running of the Bol d’Or 24 Heures starts tomorrow at noon, local time.

Second & Final Qualifying Results for the Bol d’Or 24 Hours at Magny-Cours, France:

Pos.TeamBikeRidersClassTime
1Suzuki Endurance Racing TeamSuzukiPhilippe/Delhalle/ForetEWC1’40.514
2Team Kawasaki SRCKawasakiDa Costa/Leblanc/FourEWC+0.339
3Yamaha GMT94 Michelin YamalubeYamahaCheca/Foray/LagriveEWC+0.564
4BMW Motorrad France TheventBMWGimbert/Cudlin/NigonEWC+0.579
5Monster Yamaha YARTYamahaJerman/Martin/GiabbaniEWC+1.054
6Louit Moto 33KawasakiBaz/Guarnoni/ChevauxSST+1.935
7Bolliger Team SwitzerlandKawasakiSaiger/Stamm/TangreEWC+2.078
8Junior Team Suzuki LMSSuzukiGuittet/Tangre/EnjolrasSST+2.124
9Yamahalube Folch EnduranceYamahaRibalta/Dos Santos/TizonEWC+2.664
10National MotosHondaMonge/Bocquet/MassonEWC+2.690
11Honda TT LegendsHondaDonald/McGuinness/JohnsonEWC+2.880
12Team Motors EventsSuzukiSavary/Dietrich/MoreiraSST+2.943
13Maco RacingYamahaPridmore/Junod/BalckEWC+2.998
14AM Moto RacingSuzukiLoiseau/Denis/MaitreSST+3.114
15Starteam 67SuzukiLucas/Hardt/DiguetSST+3.350
16RAC 41 Yamaha Avenue IponeYamahaBrivet/De Carolis/GantnerSST+3.372
17Team 18 Sapeurs PompiersBMWMolinier/Prulhiere/BriereEWC+3.553
18TRT 27 City BikeSuzukiDepoorter/Hedelin/HouissinEWC+3.634
19Penz13 Kraftwerk HerpignyBMWAuger/Fastre/VallcanerasSST+3.632
20Atomic MotorsportSuzukiMuteau/Lalevee/JondSST+3.845
21Team Raffin MotosMV AgustaSlachaud/Polesso/BuffardOpen+3.998
22DG Sport HerockYamahaVan Keymeulen/Cudlin/VizzielloSST+4.180
23MCS Racing IponeSuzukiDevoyon/Bellucci/SasetaSST+4.200
243D Endurance Moto CenterKawasakiDebise/Delegue/HolubSST+4.272
25Team FMA AssurancesHondaSotter/Mackels/MorinEWC+4.414
26Tati TeamKawasakiPerrault/Deletrez/EchardSST+4.539
27SH Technologie ScrubsBMWPouhair/Teramoto/DemareyEWC+4.602
28TSV Volpke by SchubertBMWAltendorfer/Kispataki/ReichmannSST+4.743
29Moto AIN RacingYamahaHaquin/Mizera/VarescoSST+4.906
30Dunlop Motors EventsSuzukiCharpin/Maccio/WolfSST+5.168
31No LimitsSuzukiSaltarelli/Erbacci/CasasSST+5.198
32DL Moto RacingKawasakiSzalai/Meco/MeyerSST+5.330
33Viltais Racing DivisionYamahaBardet/Besnard/RochetSST+5.404
34AZ Moto ExpertSuzukiMezard/Mau/NavarreteSST+5.989
35Racing Team SarazinKawasakiGerouah/Kokes/BernonSST+6.168
36Team R2CLSuzukiCapela/Dumain/CheronEWC+6.550
37Motobox KremerSuzukiGaziello/Scherrer/PaavilainenEWC+6.733
38Aprilia Le Mans 2 RouesApriliaBoue/Parisse/Le RoyerSST+6.811
39TMS RacingHondaGaillard/Henriques/PalaccioSST+7.115
40Team Racing+Oui FMHondaDubarle/Tabieres/De SouseSST+7.581
41Ecurie Chrono SportKawasakiHerveux/Pibolleau/SeguraSST+7.584
42Flemmbo Dijamant SerbiaKawasakiBosio/Cersosimo/DehayeEWC+7.873
43MotoracingpartsBMWLehnherr/Jourdan/Gigiger/CoiroSST+7.886
44BI-Meca Racing TeamKawasakiFeuillee/Pons/BergeronSST+7.908
45Motos Actives Sport 14SuzukiPigeon/Pigeon/RocheSST+7.986
46Space MotoSuzukiNouvellon/Deneque/GallerandEWC+8.150
47Acro Racing TeamYamahaJean/Grimber/LucasSST+8.968
48PLV RacingYamahaLerat/Sajoux/BessonSST+9.120
49Max et Yann RacingSuzukiThepaut/Cury/LanielEWC+9.183
50Team Racing 85KawasakiGaufreteau/Landreau/PerrinSST+9.762
5124 Racing Lesmotard.comBMWDelage/Romanens/BrunoSST+10.496
52SRET 666BMWDelanoe/Lepand/LeroyEWC+10.996
53YD Racgin CG MotosKawasakiThouxet/Deneque/BelmommeSST+11.147
54Team ACR 74SuzukiHuguenin/Schertenleib/PetitjeanSST+11.180
55Leman RacingBMWVillarroya/Monnot/VinetEWC+11.863

Source: FIM

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Like someone mentioned before:

    There’s something C00L about race bikes with headlights. It makes me feel more “conected” to it.

  2. Neil says:

    don’t seem to be any Ducatis in this? Can’t they last 24hrs?

  3. MikeD says:

    OMG…u Sir are going str8 to Rider Hell for that one…what a BLOW, ROTFLMAO.

  4. Anon says:

    No Ducatis because everyone knows that Italian Electrics are not going to work in the dark. Not sure how long the lone MV and Aprilia are going to survive, maybe they plan to stay in the pits overnight.

  5. Neil says:

    Well you have to ask the question, why is the most successful superbike manufacter of all time not represented? Not even by a privateer team of punters froma duc club? They can’t be that bad electrically these days or still have a 24 hr reliability problem, surely? And expense shouldn’t rule it out by someone?

  6. 76 says:

    Electronics isnt what makes a Japanese bike the weapon of choice in a endurance race, lets start with something alittle bigger, just maybe the engine. How many club racers have their japanese bikes engine blueprinted? now ask yourself the same question about a duc? Oh yeah nothing like cracking an engine just to insure that tolerances are at there ideal measure as per OEM spec

  7. Neil says:

    Look I’m honestly asking a reasonable question given the race history of this brand (that I have experienced in ownership), why are they not represented?

  8. The simplest answer might be because Ducati doesn’t support a factory team. The maintenance of the desmodromic head is a reasonable guess as well.

  9. 76 says:

    The best answer you will get (other than what jensen just said) is that the ducati engine in racespec vrs a japanese is that it will degrade faster, that does not work in your favor in a endurance race esp at this level.

    I’m not talking streetbike riding here and your 15k valve check, a 24 hour endurance race puts a some serious wear on a bikes engine and a Duc is not know for that so all of the focus and development from the teams go to what they know and what they trust. Ducati would have to step in and actually be proactive in helping these teams and that does not seem to interest them

  10. Neil says:

    Thank you gentlemen for that explanation. Seems a shame that there is no representation by Ducati. Nice to see that bm’s are there and that MV. The euro manufactures are back with innovation, technology and design, who would have thought that 10 years ago?