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.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV-R

08/25/2011 @ 4:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV R Elena Myers Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Indianapolis Motor Speedway Scott Jones 3

Elena Myers got a bit closer today to her dream of racing a MotoGP motorcycle, as the young AMA Pro Supersport rider got a chance to ride one of the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R race bikes around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway GP circuit. The outing started with a rocky start, as the Suzuki GSV-R cutout after Myers finished her out-lap, and was on her first proper lap of the session. Getting it started and riding back to the pits, Elena got back out on the track, after her tires were thrown back on the warmers for 20 minutes, and gave the Suzuki a proper go of things.

Taking a slew of laps around The Brickyard’s GP layout, Myers, to our knowledge, is the first rider on a GP bike to go around the newly paved infield section (Nicky Hayden lapped last week on a production Ducati Superbike 1198 SP). Eager not to crash one of Álvaro Bautista’s race bikes, the 17-year-old rode a smooth and consistent pace around IMS, but still managed to open up the Suzuki a bit with a top 306 km/h (190 mph) speed down the front straight. More of a chance for Myers to try out the MotoGP machinery than an actual test, her GSV-R was race-spec sans for some steel brake rotors (MotoGP bikes typically run carbon fiber brake discs).

“Wow! I can’t really say anything else; it was such an incredible experience ! I can’t thank the guys at Suzuki MotoGP enough — they have been awesome!” said an ecstatic Myers. “This makes me so hungry to come out here and try it someday for real on a race weekend — well I guess this is a race weekend, but I mean for real next time. I can’t say enough about the bike either, it does everything 20 times better than I ever would have imagined — this has just been amazing, and I think I’ll slowly realize what just happened over the next couple of days. The GSV-R just blew me away!”

“It was great to see Elena out on a MotoGP bike and very cool that — as the Suzuki MotoGP team — we could help her fulfill one of her dreams,” said Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Paul Denning. “At 17-years-old, and judging by her performances in the AMA Pro SuperSport Chamionship, she has a significant amount of ability that is only going to develop as she gains experience. She treated the run today with great intelligence and maturity, but nonetheless it was impressive to see that she wasn’t afraid of either the speed of the power!

“Thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for helping us to make this happen, and the boys for preparing the bike and to Álvaro for letting Elena use it!” add Denning.

Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV R Elena Myers Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Indianapolis Motor Speedway Scott Jones 2

Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV R Elena Myers Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Indianapolis Motor Speedway Scott Jones 6

Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV R Elena Myers Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Indianapolis Motor Speedway Scott Jones 7

Source: Rizla Suzuki; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. John Magnum says:

    Dad, lock up your daughter…….
    I hope they or someone brings her up into GP, awsome to see. Best of luck.

    and without sounding politicaly incorrect, when she is over 18 and sitting on pole (no pun intended) she goin on my wall.

  2. Odie says:

    This is great to hear. And she still is only 17-18!!!! It would be so cool to have her race in MotoGP.

  3. MikeD says:

    Ok…allow me…after reading the first 25 words it started to STINK AND WREACK, this was a total Publicity Stunt by, about, for and only Suzuki.

    Well, at least the girl got something nice(her opinion? or just paying back to Suzuki) out of it all. Good for her. Did she get a kick off of it…? Fabulous then.

    Ahhh…Suzuki…can u try harder and better ? (-_- )’

  4. Mike of course this is about marketing for Suzuki, MotoGP is marketing for Suzuki! It’s also about a young talent in AMA getting one step closer to her goal of riding in MotoGP.

  5. Westward says:

    I’d Like to se her in Moto2 or Motot3 first… I bet she could show up quite a few of those guys…

  6. Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV-R – http://aspha.lt/sa #motorcycle

  7. Wired Monkey says:

    She must be happy!!
    I’m sure she could do better than Randy de Puniet if she had a little bit more practice on this bike.
    But it mustn’t be hard, she would only have to pass the finish line…
    Damn, I’m French and I don’t even support the only French rider in GP.
    Perhaps that I’m tired of seeing him fall and exposing himself with his Paddock girlfriend!

  8. Nice job Elena! RT @asphalt_rubber: Elena Myers Rides The Brickyard on the Suzuki GSV-R – http://aspha.lt/sa #motorcycle

  9. Mike – Of course it’s a PR experiment for Suzuki. They need all the help they can get before they go the way of Kawasaki…

    As for ‘paying back’ Suzuki I think anyone would be chuffed to have a ride on a MotoGP bike, on the newly-resurfaced Indy and would relish the experience.

    I can’t possibly not comment about the lovely Miss Myers too. She’s a PR dream and will probably be appearing on thousands of teenage boy’s walls very soon. And on my garage wall too… *blush*

  10. adam says:

    Jensen, theres a difference between marketing and a publicity stunt, and this does look like a publicity stunt.

    As cute and impressive Elena has been FOR A GIRL in AMA, her results are only impressive because SHES A GIRL. She had one win last year, and thats it. She’s not won a championship. She’s done nothing, relatively, in the sport. So why does she get to ride a GP bike when, if Suzuki are serious about honing the next generation of talent, there are many other deserving riders ahead of her.

    No, this was a stunt and a favour for John Ulrich. Good for them all. It adds flavour to GP weekend, it gives the kid a taste of the big leagues, and gives us guys another opportunity to gaze into those beautiful eyes. But lets not pretend it was anything more than it actually was.

  11. Damo says:

    Not sure why people always hate on females in racing. You can’t say she wont be able to control the bike…I mean look at Pedrosa. He is smaller than she is.

    Don’t get me wrong she is no Marc Marquez (for an age group comparison) , but she is only 17 and has a bright future ahead of her. Stop hating.

  12. When did publicity stunts stop being considered marketing events? Or are we debating on how to pronounce “potato”?

  13. Sloan says:

    I think it was a good idea for Suzuki and MotoGP as well. I took my family (wife and boys age 7 and 9) to Birmingham, AL this summer to watch AMA racing. Walking around the grounds you would hear “Myers” just as often as Hayes, Eslick, Haydern, and the others. I’ll say that Elena was VERY popular with the younger crowd especially. When they hear that there’s a young rider out there AND a girl, they’re all interested. Remember that to a 9 or 10 year old, some guy in his 20′s is still old, but a 17 year old is still an older kids in the younger one’s eyes and they feel they can relate. At the Suzuki tent when they were autographing photos, the line of kids waiting to see Elena was impressive. So if some “stunt” gets the kids interested, then it’s freaking awesome.

    We also got to see Elena during the fan-walk on pit lane and she was awesome with the kids. She asked each kid a question, even if it was only “are you enjoying the races” and asked for the kid’s names to put on the autographed picture. And today it’s hanging up in my boys’ room along with the others. Ask my 9 year old what his favorite thing about summer vacation was, and he says “going to the AMA races” (and we did a LOT of other fun stuff this summer)

  14. adam says:

    Jensen: No one is debating how to spell anything. I’ve been in marketing 25 years and won several awards for my efforts. And I’ve never had to resort to ‘stunts’ to do so.

    “Stunt: something unusual done to attract attention : feat, exploit, trick.”

    But whatever, it gets page views for ya so it really doesnt matter what you call it.

    Sloan: Thats a great story. Nice to here she is such an ambassador for the sport. We need al the help we can get at breeding new fan and its acts like this that will win the next generation over.

    Damo: Who’s hating on women. I didnt read one comment that suggested that. I’d love to see more females racing, or at least one good one that could you know, actually win something. For now female racers are just a novelty. There is that asterisk next to their entry almost. You know, they’re pretty good, *for a girl. Look at Melissa Paris. Great ambassador, great role model, someone to inspire the next generation of girls. But she cant even finish a race higher than her race number. Take away her gender, and she’s really not that good. I can’t wait for a girl to get in there and really get results and mix it up. Maybe in a few years it will be Elena Myers. Maybe this ‘publicity stunt’ will get her noticed by a Moto2 or a Moto3 team and she go to Spain to really hone her craft. She sure aint going to do that in DMG.

    Your point about Pedrosa is well taken. It clearly isnt about strength, as I’m sure Meli Paris could bench more than Dani. If not about strength what is it about? Opportunity? Desire? Guts?

  15. irksome says:

    And “Marketing: Something done to attract attention”; other side of the same coin. Notice that you know it was Suzuki? This marketing/publicity stunt is good for them, good for her, good for Indy and good for racing in the US.

    Only a small percentage of riders win races and an even smaller number become champion. Two facts; she HAS won a race. And she’s faster than you.

  16. smoke4ndmears says:

    motorcycles are exciting, and racing more so. there is a dearth of females involved in the culture as a whole, so it’s always great to see things like this, and hopefully by extension the future will be less of a sausage fest.

  17. Damo says:

    @ adam

    The woman hating comments was a product of me stopping by the crash.net comments section. We are quite classy at asphaltandrubber by comparison :)

  18. Richard Gozinya says:

    @ adam

    Going by the current standings, there really aren’t many riders better than her. She’s fifth currently in SuperSport West, if she were on the other side, she’d be in third. Last season, she ended up in a very respectable second place.

  19. Kurt says:

    You go girl!!! How many guys on here would even have the testicular fortitude to open a bike up to 190? I say, Good for her!!!