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.

Proposed Circuit of Wales Could Host MotoGP & WSBK

01/31/2013 @ 3:57 pm, by David Emmett7 COMMENTS

Proposed Circuit of Wales Could Host MotoGP & WSBK Circuit of Wales 635x394

The prospects of both MotoGP and World Superbikes visiting Wales took a step closer yesterday. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and Events Managing Director Javier Alonso flew to the UK earlier this week for a series of meetings about the proposed Circuit of Wales, a new facility that is to be built near Ebbw Vale, in South Wales. The Dorna bosses met with several key figures involved in the project, including Lord Kinnock, former UK Labour Party leader and now ambassador for the circuit, and Welsh Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology, and Science Edwina Hart.

Ezpeleta and Alonso also met with media, including MCN and local news organizations. Ezpeleta expressed how impressed he had been with the plans for the facility, which include an FIM and FIA approved race track, a motocross track, a karting track, as well a technology park, hotel facilities, and a motor sports racing academy, aimed at providing training for young riders and drivers.

Having another track in the UK was a positive thing for racing, Ezpeleta told the Gwent Gazette. “For me, I will say that out of all the races we have in the year, for us and all the people involved, we feel British people know much more about racing,” the Dorna boss said. Once the track receives planning permission – a hurdle the facility still has to clear – the track could be ready to host a MotoGP or World Superbike round as early as 2015, Ezpeleta told MCN‘s Matt Birt.

Also present at the presentation were WSBK men Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies, both of whom were similarly enthusiastic about the circuit. Haslam has been providing input on the design of the circuit from a rider perspective, at the request of the people behind the project. The nature of the terrain – hilly, with a fair amount of elevation differences on the site – meant that the track will be ‘fast and flowing’ according to Haslam, who compared the track to circuits such as Portimao and Istanbul.

Davies was similarly enthusiastic. Both Davies and Haslam have had to travel abroad to train from a very young age, but having a race track near by (Davies lives an hour from the proposed circuit) would have made it a lot easier for them as young riders, and would help breed a new generation of British riders, the two men told the press, helping to boost the profile of the sport. “We have football academies, and centres of excellence for our successful sports, but motor sport hasn’t had that in the UK,” Davies told Wales Online.

Comparisons could also be drawn to the Motorland Aragon circuit. Like Motorland Aragon, the Circuit of Wales was built in a region that is economically deprived, and is aimed at providing long-term support to the local economy. The addition of a technology center, business units, and an educational facility are all part of providing a robust infrastructure in the area.

Both regions are geographically isolated, though Ebbw Vale is closer to large urban centers such as Bristol or Cardiff than Alcañiz is to Zaragoza or Barcelona. The development could bring some 9,000 jobs to the region, Ezpeleta told the South Wales Argus, and a MotoGP race could be expected to bring in some £2.5 million per event.

Javier Alonso was keen to draw parallels with the positive experiences of the Motorland Aragon circuit. The lessons learned from Aragon were applicable to South Wales as well. “It’s not just about racing, but about providing industry and improving education,” Alonso told Wales Online.

The Circuit of Wales project has deep roots within the motorcycle racing community. Former HRC communications director Chris Herring is a member of the team running the Heads of the Valleys Development Company, the organization behind the Circuit of Wales. That company also has a stake in FTR, the engineering company responsible for the FTR chassis being used in alll three Grand Prix classes.

And the circuit is to be built in part by FCC Construcción, a Spanish company who were also responsible for the rebuilding work at the Jerez track in the winter of 2001/2002, which helped create the iconic “flying saucer” VIP lounge which straddles the front straight of the Spanish circuit.

The cost of that work had been a source of problems for the Jerez circuit. FCC had gone unpaid for a very long time, CIRJESA, the Spanish company running the circuit, even being forced into administration over non-payment of the sums owed to FCC and Serviobras for the work done at Jerez.

Source: Circuit of WalesGwent GazetteMCN, & South Wales Argus

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Yeah, it all seems very good and dandy…let’s wait ’til is all said and done…then we’ll see what’s up.
    Reminds me a lot of the Texas Track soap opera entourage…what’s it’s name again ?

  2. South Wales? That’ll be a wet race then.

  3. Ian W says:

    “Both Davies and Haslam have had to travel abroad to train from a very young age, but having a race track near by (Davies lives an hour from the proposed circuit) would have made it a lot easier for them”

    Yeah because one thing we’re short of here is racing circuits. I would wager that you could be anywhere in the UK and be less than an hour’s drive from a track. This isn’t even that far from Silverstone. The real problem is that the weather is irratic so testing results are difficult to collate. Usually it’s cold and pissing it down, mostly in the west ie. Wales.

    Not that I’m complaining, a modern race circuit thats got good facilities (unlike Donington) and is good to watch racing at (unlike Silverstone) will be greatly received. I’m off to look at the feasibility of opening an umbrella shop somewhere nearby!

  4. WetMan says:

    I am all for new and exciting circuits. But claiming that it is going to bring 9000 jobs to the region is ridiculous. Especially if they are going to bring in Spanish workers to do the construction.
    Then again if MotoGP is involved I guess that fits.
    They probably fly in toilet paper from Madrid for their races.

  5. Potreroduc says:

    I’ve been to this part of the UK. It’s an underwater bog most of the year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very pretty. But it’s an underwater bog.

    WRC? Wales makes perfect sense. MotoGP and F1? Like Julian said, just bring the wets.

    I hope the grandstands will all be covered…

  6. smiler says:

    Handbags girls. Any new circuit is to be welcomed. It is in a deprived, depraved & depressed area so I have a feeling the locals will be pleased.
    It is also not a flat circuit. Having riden at several European circuits & then Brands, there is a such a difference in the experience. Much more fun. So undulating is good.
    Great idea and if it attracts bike makers like Silverstone has F1 then it will creat some jobs other than moving boxes in warehouses.
    By the time it is finished global warming will also have ensured it is in an area of permanent sunshine.
    Can you imaging all those Welsh voices singing before the race start!!

  7. irksome says:

    Wales? Better teach them to speak English too.