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.

WSBK: Checa Edges Biaggi for Superpole at Phillip Island

02/25/2011 @ 10:31 pm, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Checa Edges Biaggi for Superpole at Phillip Island Carlos Checa Superpole WSBK Phillip Island 635x452

Lapping by a very narrow margin over reigning World Champion Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa won the pole position for the 2011 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island today. Though the Spaniard dominated the testing and practice sessions this week, Biaggi continued to improve his times, and was only .013s slower at the end of qualifying session. Also showing strong results were Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam, who complete the front row for Sunday’s races.

Jonathan Rea rallied after a severe testing crash and his second crash of the day to qualify twelfth, while Leon Camier, suffering from glandular fever, qualified sixteenth and did not make Superpole, a blow for the Aprilia factory team even as teammate Biaggi unveiled his #1 plate.

Checa was fastest in the qualifying practices, leading both sessions. He was followed by Biaggi, Tom Sykes, Guintoli, and Rea as the fastest five in the combined times. With the new rules for 2011, the sixteen fastest riders from the qualifying practices moved on to Superpole, while the slowest six at Phillip Island were knocked out after the final practice. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Leon Camier, 18. Bryan Staring, 19. Maxime Berger, 20. Ayrton Badovini, 21. Roberto Rolofo, 22. Mark Aitchison.

Superpole 1:
Guintoli and Biaggi were the fastest with ten minutes to go in the fourteen minute session, when all riders had completed one fast lap. Checa quickly took command, gaining a half second on his second fast lap while Sykes, Marco Melandri, Ruben Xaus, and James Toseland were down in the knockout zone with Superpole 1 half gone. Melandri moved up to eleventh, dropping Yoshimura Susuki wildcard Josh Waters into the kockout zone when five minutes remained. Sykes jumped up to ninth with two minutes remaining, putting Haga into trouble as well. Melandri moved forward on his final lap. When Superpole 1 ended, Biaggi had closed the gap to Checa (1:31.237), who was still fastest. Guintoli, Haslam, and Laverty completed the fastest five. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Joan Lascorz, 14. Noriyuki Haga, 15. James Toseland, 16. Ruben Xaus.

Superpole 2:
Checa led five minutes into the twelve minute session, with Fabrizio, Waters, Rea, and Smrz in the knockout zone. Biaggi had led for a moment, but Checa’s fastest lap was two tenths quicker than the Champion’s. With Smrz and Rea crashing and have to return to the pit lane, Michel Fabrizio drug himself out of the knockout zone with two minutes left, but only into eighth place. Smrz, after rejoining, moved up to eighth, dropping Farbrizio back into the knockout zone. Rea also returned to the track on his second bike, but made little progress. Superpole 2 ended with Checa fastest (1:31.105), leading Biaggi, Guintoli, Leon Haslam, and Laverty as the fastest five. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Michel Fabrizio, 10. Tom Sykes, 11. Josh Waters, 12. Jonathan Rea

Superpole 3:
Haslam was on pole four minutes into the final ten minute session, though not all the riders had yet posted a flying lap, while Troy Corser, Laverty, and Checa completed the front row at that point. Biaggi soon went fastest, only to be overtaken by Checa, with .013s separating the two riders with five minutes still remaining in the session. Despite the extra time, Checa and Biaggi remained in that order, with Guintoli and Haslam completing the front row with two minutes remaining. Biaggi then Checa headed into the garage without time to complete another run, ending the session with Checa fastest and starting on pole but Biaggi very close to the Spanish rider.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Phillip Island, Australia:

Pos.RiderTeamTimeDiff.
1.Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing1:30.882-
2.Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:30.8950.013
3.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Racing1:31.2930.411
4.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport1:31.4290.547
5.Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team1:31.8580.976
6.Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Racing1:31.9801.098
7.Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport1:32.1821.300
8.Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1:32.6621.780
Out After Superpole 2
9.Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare1:32.1531.271
10.Tom SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:32.2041.322
11.Josh WatersYoshimura Suzuki1:32.2401.358
12.Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda1:32.7081.826
Out After Superpole 1
13.Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:32.3461.464
14.Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia1:32.3911.509
15.James ToselandBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:32.5471.665
16.Ruben XausCastrol Honda1:32.7881.906
Not qualified for Superpole
17.Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:32.8471.965
18.Bryan StaringTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:32.8832.001
19.Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Team1:33.0792.197
20.Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:33.1612.279
21.Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:33.2862.404
22.Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:33.4132.531

Source: WSBK

Comments are closed.