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 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.

Rossi’s First Date with the Ducati – As Seen By Gigi Soldano

11/10/2010 @ 4:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Rossis First Date with the Ducati   As Seen By Gigi Soldano Valentino Rossi Ducati Gigi Soldano

Valentino Rossi’s personal photographer Gigi Soldano was on hand for Rossi’s debut on the Ducati Desmosedici this week during the MotoGP test at Valencia. Granted unfettered access to what goes on behind-the-scenes in the Ducati garage, Soldano combined his magic behind the lens with the events that unfolded in front of him, and lucky for us, he shared them with the world on his blog today.

Although the Ducati reared its ugly head and front-end problems ensued, which caused a rocky start to the relationship between Rossi and the Desmosedici, Soldano still seems to have captured the special moments along the way. Ducati will go back to Bologna next week to plan for the upcoming season, while Rossi will be left to contemplate how to prepare for his second date with the GP11.

While we wait until then, check out Soldano’s full gallery on his blog, there’s pages of great MotoGP moments to be found there beyond this week’s GP and test.

Source: Milargo via MotoMatters (Twitter)


  1. Sean says:

    “Valentino Rossi’s personal photographer”
    Who has a personal photographer? How big does your ego have to be!?

  2. Minibull says:

    Had a look at his site, dosnt really look like a hard out, “personal” photographer. Not too the extent of other famous people at least…

  3. Prich says:

    It sounds obnoxious, but if I was VR, I’d be aware that I have a pretty charmed life that I worked hard for and it would be good to have photos of all the important moments in life for posterity.

  4. patron says:

    a lot of those guys have personal photographers. its not ego. its for documentation and nostalgia.

  5. patron says:

    not to mention a lot of thos people give personal photog jobs to friends or relatives to spread a little of the wealth.

  6. prasanth says:


    No need to be rash

  7. Idgy says:

    He should probably take that Yamaha backpack off now!

  8. Personal photographer? Ick…

  9. Fr1z says:

    if i were a superstar like rossi.. i’d like to have a personal photographers too… so what the big deal..
    i have the money… so don’t wine if you’re not a celeb… and don’t have any money to get you’re own personal photographer… and if you’re not rossi’s fan… chill out man… it’s his money not yours…

  10. papavero says:

    the yamaha backpack?….symbolic-ironic – it’s behind him —(you missed it) — and the personal photographer who took that great shot of him NOT looking back? — hell — I’d document every moment as well— can you ride like that? not even in your next life…. …bow to italy you chump

  11. Jeff says:

    I am a Rossi Fan and a retired roadracer. Valentino Rossi is the epitome when speaking of those that have thrown a leg over a bike. If he wants a personal photographer he should have one. If I were of his caliber I would. You are just jealous. Rossi has done more for the sport of road racing than anyone. Maybe he should have a personal movie camera crew, video game crew, clothing design crew….

  12. Keith says:

    anybody consider he has the personal photographer to maybe just maybe thin out the paparazzi? Not to mention at least he can get paid for these shots.

  13. Frank says:

    Racing is a business, a big business with serious money involved and that requires PR and press to make the most of it. Having a personal photographer means having someone who knows how to stay out of the way (while limiting intrusive press) as well as get photos that can be used by sponsors, manufacturers and publications among others. This is also part of the VIP treatment for sponsored guests, in addition to getting to hang out for a few minutes in the garage with all the company graphics you get your photo taken with the racer.
    I hope all of you who race get a chance to have one someday. Until then study the teams and how they treat sponsors and their guests including how the garage looks. It will help you appear more professional. By the way Roger Penske started all this stuff at Indy years ago, until then having an oil stained garage at the track was the way it was.

  14. Gusmar says:

    VR is a star. He does what a star does, and he takes all the consequences, having all those possibles inclusive. I haven’t seen any evidence why we not raise our two thumbs for all the thing he’s sacrificed to teach the people with something.