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.

Day Two: Who Really Was the Fastest Around Losail?

03/15/2011 @ 7:41 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

Day Two: Who Really Was the Fastest Around Losail? Valentino Rossi pit box Qatar test

Continuing our thought on who really was fastest at the Qatar test, the idea of comparing best lap times again seems more than moderately preposterous, considering last night’s sessions were for testing purposes. That’s not to say however that some basic understanding of how teams are shaping up before the season cannot be divined, and by looking at the individual lap times we can get at least an impression of whom is finding some consistency on the desert track.

Again starting with MotoGP’s listing with the riders ranked by their best lap time from Day Two of testing in Qatar, we see a strong showing by the Hondas, with a Yamaha and a Ducati sprinkled in there for good measure. The Hondas are certainly there as far as speed goes, and Randy de Puniet’s style seems to be meshing well with the Ducati Desmosedici GP11, while the Yamaha effort has seemingly been lead by sophomore Ben Spies, and not reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Pos.RiderTeamFastest lapPrev. GapLead. GapLaps
1Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team1:55.681--46
2Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team1:55.745+0.064+0.06439
3Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing1:56.294+0.549+0.61345
4Marco SimoncelliSan Carlo Honda Gresini1:56.433+0.139+0.75270
5Andrea DoviziosoRepsol Honda Team1:56.439+0.006+0.75858
6Randy De PunietPramac Racing Team1:56.445+0.006+0.76467
7Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing1:56.707+0.262+1.02648
8Colin EdwardsMonster Yamaha Tech 31:56.716+0.009+1.03557
9Nicky HaydenDucati Marlboro Team1:56.726+0.010+1.04568
10Hiroshi AoyamaSan Carlo Honda Gresini1:56.740+0.014+1.05973
11Hector BarberaMapfre Aspar Team1:56.798+0.058+1.11762
12Alvaro BautistaRizla Suzuki MotoGP1:56.931+0.133+1.25063
13Valentino RossiDucati Marlboro Team1:56.988+0.057+1.30750
14Loris CapirossiPramac Racing Team1:57.345+0.357+1.66462
15Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 31:57.730+0.385+2.04928
16Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing1:57.846+0.116+2.16549
17Toni EliasLCR Honda MotoGP1:58.536+0.690+2.85557

However if we reshuffle the rankings, using an ordering system that takes into account the number of laps done at a certain pace (some tweaking was done to account for the number of laps ridden, and obvious last minute runs done purely for posting a good time), a new order emerges that suggests who is capable of sustaining the blistering speeds seen in the desert night. Day Two of testing at Qatar sees the order more or less stay the same at the top and bottom of the time sheet, while the middle sees a bit of a reorganization.

Perhaps most alarming is Valentino Rossi’s position behind teammate Nicky Hayden & satellite rider De Puniet. Meanwhile Lorenzo’s “awful” session doesn’t look nearly as bad, as the Spaniard spent most of the evening lapping around in the 1:57′s, and touching the 1:56′s almost as often as his teammate. Still not a good showing, but not as bad as he made it out to be in the press debriefs.

Most impressive were the Gresini Hondas, with Marco Simoncelli showing potential to keep up with the pace, assuming Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa don’t find themselves at the front of the pack, and able to check-out from the race completely. The newly crowned “factory” riders lapped the most around Losail, and showed not only improvement throughout the night, be eery repetition of lap times.

In other news Toni Elias actually went slower on his second day at Qatar, raising more than a few eyebrows, and bringing up questions as to why he raced in Moto2 last year.

Pos.RiderTeamBest Time1:57′s1:56′s1:55′sLaps
1Casey StonerRepsol Honda Team1’55.681416746
2Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team1’55.745711139
3Marco SimoncelliSan Carlo Honda Gresini1’56.433169070
4Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing1’56.29448045
5Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing1’56.707275048
6Andrea DoviziosoRepsol Honda Team1’56.439215058
7Nicky HaydenDucati Marlboro Team1’56.726186068
8Hiroshi AoyamaSan Carlo Honda Gresini1’56.740262073
9Randy De PunietPramac Racing Team1’56.445182067
10Alvaro BautistaRizla Suzuki MotoGP1’56.931171063
11Valentino RossiDucati Marlboro Team1’56.988141050
12Colin EdwardsMonster Yamaha Tech 31’56.71693057
13Hector BarberaMapfre Aspar Team1’56.79842062
14Loris CapirossiPramac Racing Team1’57.34530062
15Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 31’57.73020028
16Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing1’57.84610049
17Toni EliasLCR Honda MotoGP1’58.53600057

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. mxs says:

    I thought Elias raced Moto2 last year, because he could not get a MotoGP seat?

  2. Johnson says:

    Day Two: Who Really Was the Fastest Around Losail?

    Answer: Casey Stoner!!!

    Duh