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.

At the First FIM Women’s Road Racing Training Camp

11/01/2013 @ 8:18 am, by Shelina Moreda15 COMMENTS

At the First FIM Womens Road Racing Training Camp FIM Women Road Racing Training Camp 19 635x423

Today’s guest post is written by our good friend Shelina Moreda (Facebook & Twitter), an FIM eRoadracing rider for Team Parker Brammo, an AMA Pro Harley Davidson Vance & Hines rider with Team Spyke’s H-D / She’z Racing, and the first female to have raced a motorcycle at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Having just got back from the FIM Women’s Road Racing Training Camp in Albacete, Spain, we asked Shelina to share with us her experience teaching at the girls training camp, what she learned in attendance, and how the sport of motorcycle racing is being invaded by these talented ladies. -Jensen

The first ever FIM Women’s Road Racing Training Camp in Albacete, Spain was better than any of us could have hoped for. The camp sold out, with 24 girls from 10 different countries in attendance.

The Women in Motorcycling Commission organized this camp as one part of their larger goal of promoting women in all motorsports, and I was honored to be asked to instruct at this camp.

My fellow teachers include Mr. Ismael Bonilla from Spain – former Grand Prix rider in the 250cc class from 1996 until 2001, as well as guest instructor Melissa Paris, of AMA Pro Daytona SportBike road racing fame — an athlete many female riders look up to.

The goal of the camp was to give female riders from all over the world the opportunity to train with high-spec motorcycles and professional coaches on a major racing circuit, and to give them the tools to make them better riders. The FIM hit it out of the ballpark.

When Circuito de Albacete and BMW Motorrad caught wind of the camp, they stepped right up to offer support. The Circuito de Albacete provided us with a venue and a prime weekend during the FIM European Road Racing Championship races.

Since girls would be flying in from around the globe, we would need bikes, and BMW Motorrad also helped out immensely in this regard. Providing the camp with an 18-bike fleet of BMW S1000RR superbikes, as well as two trained BMW mechanics, we had all our needs taken care of.

All of the standard school curriculum applied; we did warm-ups, body-position talks, went over braking technique, did no-brakes drills, and race starts drills, all to help the girls improve their skills as racers.

For me, no-brakes drills sounded a bit scary, and it is scary at first. We went around the whole track in groups, and could not touch our brakes unless we needed to for safety. It taught us we could use less brakes going into corners, that turning in actually helps slow you down on its own, and that we can use more of the track, which helps us carry more corner-speed.

For the starts drill, I held the green flag and three at a time, the girls did mock-race starts. It was great to see the girls get a little competitive with the starts, show that they were learning the feel of the bikes, and improve upon this important part of a racecraft.

Beyond what training camps normally offer, this camp also focused on other important aspects of racing that are often overlooked: we held seminars on sponsorship, racing as a career, and media and marketing.

There were highly accomplished female roadracers as guest speakers to share personal experiences on how to obtain sponsorship and make sponsors proud to be a part of your racing program. They shared with us how to interact with the press, social networking, and tackling the intimidating task of putting yourself out there.

We talked about things like how important it is to look professional, and to take the time to talk to your fans and people who support you. We were lucky to get some inspirational tips and advice from Ana Carrasco, Maria Herrera, Katja Poensgen, and Maria Costello, ladies who have raced in Moto3 and at the Isle of Man TT, and have qualified and raced against the guys in world-level competition.

Before the camp, none of us girls were 100% sure what to expect… I mean, let’s be honest, gathering that many competitive females in one small space? It could be catty, and dramatic…However, it was anything but. It was competitive and supportive, as everyone was eager to learn and to go faster. Friends were made and skills were shared. Everyone was having fun!

By Day One, we knew we had to step up the pace and the challenge. We incorporated more drills and a workout that the girls could do while traveling for racing. By Day Two, we were already talking about having a second camp, and by Day Three, we were talking about a Women’s Cup, a real, world-level race.

I personally felt a huge bond between all the girls in attendance. We talked about how much fun we had, and how much we would miss each other.

At our “graduation” type ceremony at the end of the camp, each of the girls was presented with a certificate of completion and a pin, and I was presented with a couple of pages of autographs and notes from all of the girls, two papers that mean the world to me.

These girls really loved being a part of the camp, loved their learning experience, it was a success, and a seriously worthwhile experience for all of us.

The FIM Women’s Roadracing Camp opened eyes to the fact that there are more strong females in this sport than we think, even more than us racers thought. Every girl in attendance was surprised with the level of girls at the camp:

“Big thank you for this training camp!” writes Anastassia Kovalenko, “I am glad to represent Estonia and to be first of the participants of such an event”

“We knew that the girls are fast but we had no idea that they could do so extremely well. Ismael, who in 2010 was the first rider in the world to win an official race with a BMW S1000RR at this very same track, highlighted that he really had to push hard to stay at the pace of the fastest riders”, said Nita Korhonen, FIM Women In Motorcycling Commission Director. “Now we know that we are on the right track in our efforts to bring more women into racing and that we can also fascinate spectators as these girls showed that they can really race and go fast.

The FIM accomplished their goals and then some. I don’t think even they knew the waves they would cause. This entire group of girls is passing around photos on Facebook, emailing each other, planning to visit other countries to race each others’ motorcycles and series, and looking forward to the next FIM Women’s event.

This is a huge door opened for all of us as racers, a worldwide networking of female competitors, and a seed planted for opportunities. All of us girls are proud to be a part of its beginning.

Participants in the first ever world level FIM Women’s Road Racing Training Camp:

Alisha Abdullah (India), Peggy Appelmans (Netherlands), Avalon Biddle (New Zealand), Kimberly Brouwers (Netherlands), Elena Diez Lopez (Spain), Anna-Maria Eriksson (Finland), Natalia Florek (Poland), Sheila Garcia Agudo (Spain), Loumari Grobler (South Africa), Monika Jaworska (Poland), Cristina Juarranz Chamarro (Spain), Anastassia Kovalenko (Estonia), Laura Martinez Hernandez (Spain), Clarissa Miebach (Germany), Janine Mitchell (South Africa), Shelina Moreda (USA), Ricarda Louisa Neubauer (Germany), Estelle Noclain (France), Melissa Paris (USA), Jasmin Sarjos (Finland), Celina Scheffler (Germany), Nadieh Schoots (Netherlands), Andrea Sibaja Moreno (Spain), Alina Cristina Udrescu (Romania), Nicole Van Aswegen (South Africa), Jolanda Westrenen (Netherlands).

At the First FIM Womens Road Racing Training Camp FIM Women Road Racing Training Camp 01

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At the First FIM Womens Road Racing Training Camp FIM Women Road Racing Training Camp 16 635x423

At the First FIM Womens Road Racing Training Camp FIM Women Road Racing Training Camp 17 635x423

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Photos: © 2013 David Clares — All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. vman2957 says:

    Nothing hotter than a chick on the track…

    Nothing more dangerous during an actual race….

  2. Jimmy Midnight says:

    Sorry but I thought the point was to be treated as equals? Not segregate yourselves from the rest.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for promoting women in all motorsports but training “just for the girls” and a women’s only cup race. That’s not a real world level. Sounds more like womens hockey to me.

    I’ve seen the girls only classes before and that’s fine for the rookies but it doesn’t answer the question every girl wants to know…Am I as fast as the boys? How will you find out if your only racing against other girls?

    I know Melissa wants to compete against her husband on the same track in the same race. Which she has! Besides there’s a ton of rich kid wannabe guy out there who need to have their asses handed to them by the girls.

    So come on girls! Watch G.I.Jane starring Demi Moore and compete equally don’t set yourself up to be treated differently.

  3. BrianZ says:

    No Elena Myers?

    Awesome experinece and glad to hear of this! I hope this bears fruit into more women in racing as well as more of these schools for you gals.

  4. loumari says:

    Was very awesome to be apart of this awesome camp!!!! Thank you all of the ladies was super awesome and talented! !! Hope the next one is soon :)

  5. Mitch says:

    Well sure Jimmy, you’re not wrong. However, there is a lot of ‘glass ceiling’ stuff that hamstrings women that would like to try, and events like this act as a good start. In the far future, where being a man or woman won’t really matter to racing, then an all-girls race school will be laughable. But for right now, they need that finger hold to sort of get the ball rolling on constant enrollment of new riders, to establish a kind of normalcy.

  6. SBPilot says:

    @Jimmy:

    I think this event is not to be taken as a race series or even a real race. It’s a gathering for women with the same interest and for them to explore this interest in a safe and controlled manner. Hence why it’s called a training camp. Girls like to do things with other girls obviously, they can share information and understand each other better, on and off the bike. In the end, women bodies work differently than men, so to have women coaches and all your classmates as women, they can share ideas and understand each other better, trying to improve in a way that suits them.

    When it comes to full fledged competing, when they are as good as Elena Myers, than they will have that choice where and with whom to race against.

  7. Jimmy, I think you have to cultivate the one to have the other. Camps like this help promote women in the sport, and give them resources to be successful in their local series, which in turn opens more doors and creates more opportunities for other girls who want to race professionally.

  8. vanduc996 says:

    I really hope that this leads to more women competing in national and international motorcycle racing.
    Motorsport is one of the few sports where women are allowed to compete alongside men on an equal footing, and I would personally love to see more women being competitive in motorcycle racing.
    Partially because I think it’s a hoot to see how some men just can’t handle it when a woman is on equal competitive terms, and partially because I think leathers in general are sexy and a woman in leathers is the perfect package!

  9. TexusTim says:

    mitch.did you have to go there with the “glass ceiling thing”? why? there isnt such a thing in any place on this planet anymore and i am sick of all this pc crap…if there was a women fast enough in any class they would there.end of story..I raised a girl and she had every opertunity in every sport nearly thrown at her to see which one she could accel at and there was more than enough support in fact most sponsors fall all over themselves when they find a women that can compete…but in every sport on the planet they have there own leaque they cant and usualy wont compete head up..this is not to say there isnt a ton of rich ass men out there pretending to be roadracers and usually get in the way but in two laps there backmarkers and there is women that are very fast and kick there buts but the dont get in the top ten with the fast guys,,buyt that is not because there is some glass ceiling..that would suggest a whitemans club the would what..set up a couple riders to block them form the frotn group ? what you suggest is more propaganda that pushes this divide father apart.

  10. jet says:

    I wish them all the best.The passion for a 2 wheel between the legs is admirable….Cool

  11. MikeD says:

    Great for the Girls ! If she’s happy you’ll be happy (wink wink) LMAO.

  12. Mr.X says:

    …and think of what they save in knee pucks and fuel!

  13. I’m really pleased to see the success of this event as well as the great press. There are plenty of fast and competitive women in the AMA and on the grid internationally that will only get faster and receive sponsorships and rides due to their skill level and professionalism. To all of those naysayers posting here, let’s see you put your bike on the grid next to one of these girls, and let’s see how well you fair.

  14. D says:

    Another step in the right direction….

  15. Shelina says:

    This camp helped us to realize how many super fast girls there really are out there, and one major goal is to build the Motorcycling Sport as a Whole. Bringing attention to motorcycle racing is a great thing. A camp like this helps push us girls to compete at a higher level, it’s great when we are not the “novelty item” out there, the only girl on the track. As a guy, have you ever had to deal with that? Imagine how much that hurts the learning curve as well as sponsors taking you seriously, it’s not simply “easier” as a female racer.

    These aren’t just girls on bikes. Most of the girls in attendance compete at their National Level… With the guys, and could be serious contenders in our AMA series. The idea isn’t to be segregated. The idea was to light a fire. And I think it’s working.