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.

Fiat-Yamaha: Rossi Announcement Wednesday

07/12/2010 @ 9:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

After first sending a press release that Rossi would make an announcement after his testing session today, Fiat-Yamaha has issued another statement saying that Rossi won’t make a decision on this weekend’s race until he arrives at Sachsenring on Wednesday. Heightening the anticipation of his return, Rossi has seemingly delayed making a decision to race, and wants to wait another two days before making it public what his intentions are for the weekend.

We assume this also means that we won’t hear an announcement from Rossi or Ducati about the 2011 season until the German GP as well. As such, Sachsenring will be an interesting round as both Rossi and Wataru Yoshikawa will have to prepare to race on Sunday, but also there will be the added fervor of the impending Rossi/Ducati announcement.

Valentino Rossi completed 46 laps (fitting, ehh?), over multiple sessions, at Brno today. Rossi used a Yamaha YZF-R1 that was provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team, and much to Crutchlow and Toseland’s dismay, Rossi took the WSBK R1 around Brno with a best time of 1’59.135, which is quicker than both Yamaha WSBK riders did in last weekend’s races.

Many outlets are comparing this time to race pace at Brno, but a more analogus comparison would be to the qualifying times from this weekend (Editor’s Note: Lap records are only counted during race conditions). Compared to the Superpole pace, Rossi was about a second off Cal Crutchlow’s pole setting pace of 1′58.018, while being nearly half a second faster than Toseland’s 1′59.699. Rossi was rumored to be on Toseland’s YZF-R1 today.

“Today was good, I felt better than in Misano but I still feel quite tired after a few laps and a race will be a much bigger question,” said Rossi. “We haven’t made the final decision yet, I need to have some more x-rays on Wednesday, and then my doctors and I will consider whether I can ride at Sachsenring. Once I’d understood my physical condition today, I had great fun riding the R1 and even did some work on the settings! I want to say a big thank you to the WSB Team for staying on here another day and making this test possible for me.”

Yamaha awaits Valentino’s final personal decision as to when he feels ready to ride again, and the team’s priority is a full recovery to fitness for Valentino rather than a quick comeback. If Valentino decides to ride in Germany, he will need final approval from the FIM Chief Medical Officer before he can participate in a Grand Prix.

Source: Fiat-Yamaha

Comment:

  1. eze1976 says:

    can you imagine that being a racer, heres your bike back you’ve been riding all season, yep the guy with the broken leg on it was faster than you, he also said it needed setting up so we took care of that too…. cheery O

  2. Fiat-Yamaha: Rossi Announcement Wednesday – http://aspha.lt/15s #motorcycle

  3. gloverka says:

    Fiat-Yamaha: Rossi Announcement Wednesday – http://aspha.lt/15s #motorcycle http://ow.ly/186RCv

  4. deckard says:

    According to you guys: “Asphalt & Rubber has received word from a trusted source that Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year agreement with Ducati, that’s set to be announced on Monday [7/12/2010]…”

    Rossi may have signed, but clearly he and Ducati would not announce this humongous signing at a Yamaha test. Credibility can be fleeting, as you now know.

  5. Brandon says:

    I agree with deckard, A&R needs to keep their Ducati pipe dreams to themselves until the facts are out in the public. It’s becoming as annoying as Entertainment Tonight. I don’t get why you would think Rossi would leave for a different team with a lesser bike that will be less supportive of him personally. Besides the financial squeeze Yamaha seems to be taking good care of Rossi, giving him a bike made for him and using all of their resources to aid his return. I also think Rossi still has some unfinished business in the Lorenzo rivalry at Yamaha, he has to prove he is the better rider on the M1 without any crashes getting in the way of either rider. I suspect a 1 year renewal of his contract with Yamaha as a sign of appreciation, besides, Ducati’s money will likely be their in 2012 if the itch is to much to resist.

  6. Yes. We made it all up for kicks and giggles.

  7. jamesy says:

    Here’s a scenario Brandon; What if Vale is hearing Jorge’s footsteps? What if he is blinking? If you have ever been seriously injured at race pace, you know that it can do stuff to your mind! Its supposed to after all. First you begin to question the very moment of the off… what was it? what tiny infraction against the laws of physics caused this extremely painful moment to both body and ego? What could I have done differently? Jorge didnt crash, he’s getting faster isnt he, what shall I risk? Or was it …shudder.. something beyond my control?
    If he does go to Ducati and wins it all again, it would certainly erase any last doubters of his ultimate greatness. If he loses straight up battles with the young lion, we will ALL rationalize for reasons of equipment difference.
    This is no slam, trust me, as I consider him the G.O.A.T. Just sayin, he is very very intelligent and the same mental strength that created his success will someday help him down from the throne. We could be witnessing either scenario… aint it great?