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.

Honda Now Has Five Factory Riders – Knights San Carlo Honda Gresini as a Factory Squad

03/02/2011 @ 11:40 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Honda Now Has Five Factory Riders   Knights San Carlo Honda Gresini as a Factory Squad San Carlo Gresini Honda launch 635x414

How serious is Honda about winning the 2011 MotoGP World Championship? At Team Gresini’s MotoGP launch at Monza today, it was quietly confirmed that the San Carlo Honda Gresini squad has been given the keys to the candy store, turning the team into a factory-backed effort. While Marco Simoncelli was already assured factory support from Honda for the 2011 season, the move adds Hiroshi Aoyama to the factory rider list, and likely makes Gresini’s life infinitely less complex by not having to manage between a factory and non-factory split garage.

Team Gresini will now get full access to the Honda’s technical staff and data acquisition from the other factory riders — meaning every Honda rider except Toni Elias. This bodes well for the squad, as Simoncelli looked very promising at Sepang (likely a factor adding in this announcement), and of course Honda is keen not to see its only countrymen in the series (Aoyama) excluded from having the best equipment.

“Today is a factory team a hundred percent,” said Team Principal Fausto Gresini (translated from Italian to English via Google). “And I feel much more official than in the past for the opening of the Honda against us: we now have access to all data and Honda placed his staff between our technical team. If you see the box you understand that our team is official.”

Cramming the MotoGP grid full of factory riders seems like an interesting way to better the Honda’s chances for success, although it remains to be seen how having five hungry mouths to feed with technical support will work for the Japanese manufacturer, and who, if anyone, will get top priority with development efforts.

In addition to its five factory riders, Honda has already had to tip its hand regarding its new faster-shifting transmission, after accusations that Honda was using an illegal DCT arose from the Italian press. At the latest Sepang test, the 2011 Honda RC212V looked assuredly faster when compared to the Yamaha, Ducati, and Suzuki MotoGP efforts. It’s far too early to make analogies to the 2011 season, but Honda has certainly thrown down its challenge. It’ll be interesting to see how the other teams respond.

Source: GPone

Comment:

  1. Westward says:

    It really seems like the best solution for other manufacturers too. Here’s hoping Tech3 gets the same, though I feel that Pramac and Aspar kind of already are…

  2. Pramac is basically a training ground for Ducati Corse mechanics. They all eat together, share info, etc. It’s certainly much more than a satellite effort, but not quite a factory one. Can’t say much about Aspar’s squad, it wouldn’t surprise me though.

  3. Harb says:

    This season looks like it could be quite boring for anyone who isnt a fan of Honda. Hopefully they arent quite as dominant as this preseason stuff suggests…

  4. vonich says:

    I don’t think honda will be as dominant as it was bach then. Whereas all the top rider is riding honda machine. now we have four alien and three hoping to be are in three different manufacturer. This years honda’s strutegy is to launch a four rider attack actually its five including hiro, but soon it will come down to two rider that they will support or focus on half way through the season and that is stoner and dani unless the script has change where we could see dovi and marco having a great year beating out stoner and dani. As for yamaha rider they will be strong no matter how fast the honda bikes now. lol and for Rossi? oh well he is rossi right? so there is nothing to say about the guy. he has done anything and probe everybody wrong countless times. so i won’t leave out in the cold looking in to get hot. he will be there no matter what his position right now.

  5. KK says:

    Well, i guess i better start liking honda now…

  6. William says:

    I think if this is true Aoyama will take Simoncelli, He practiced without full support at Sepang. They were holding up full support there and he did not have the advantage the others did. I like Simoncelli but think with his riding style he will eat those tires up. Qualifying is different than a full race.

    The Japanese have always been looking for one of their own, I cannot remember the Race last year but both these riders battled it out and even after Simo’s rough tactics Aoyama took him. Plus he had a bad accident that hurt his back.

  7. 76 says:

    Sorry, show me the Japanese rider that actually won a championship? They choke, every time, its in the script.

  8. Alberto S. says:

    Honda is going to make a good season in 2011 with these five riders and how they show up in Sepang tests, the RC212V is very fast.

    But, what about Toni Elias? Isn’t he a Honda rider? Why is not going to be supported by Honda factory as Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama as he is the 2010 Moto2 champion? I think Elias deserves that support as equal as Honda Gresini riders.

  9. cn says:

    @76 Didn’t Aoyama beat Simoncelli to the 250cc World Championship in 2009?