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.

Hopper Turns Down Tech3 and Repsol Ride Offers

06/06/2011 @ 3:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Hopper Turns Down Tech3 and Repsol Ride Offers John Hopkins British Superbike 635x423

With two riders out of MotoGP right now because of shoulder injuries (Dani Pedrosa & Colin Edwards), the number of riders in the premier class has dropped down to just 15 expected to compete at the British GP. With that news comes pressure from Dorna for the teams to find replacements, and with a limited talent pool, the usual suspects are being bandied about. One of the people on the short list is former-GP rider John Hopkins, who raced for Rizla Suzuki at the Spanish GP in Jerez after Álvaro Bautista broke his femur at Qatar and was unable to compete.

Hopper has apparently been contacted by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and Repsol Honda, as the Anglo-American tweeted, “I’m so honored to have even been considered for such top level Moto GP rides and yes a full time Moto GP ride is my future goal but I am contracted to Samsung Crescent Suzuki and I believe remaining 100% loyal and honoring my current commitments will pay off in the end !”

With no schedule conflicts existing with his current British Superbike ride with Crescent Suzuki, we imagine the team is less than keen on Hopper riding for another manufacturer, especially when a channel from BSB to the Suzuki MotoGP team seems to so prominently exist with Hopkins and Paul Denning. Who will actually replace Edwards and Pedrosa is a matter of much gossip, more on that as we get it.

Source: John Hopkins (Twitter)

Comment:

  1. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Hoppers loyalty to Suzuki, while admirable, has limited his career dramatically. Not sure what kind of a deal keeps you stuck at one manufacturer for close to 10 years, but I sure hope it’s lucrative cause I believe Hoppers got the goods to run up front, and has for a long time, but been limited by the sled. Spies was a Suzuki rider through AMA, and did a wild card ride at Laguna and Indy. My guess is that he rode the GP and said “Nope, that’s not gonna get me where I can go”. The switch to Yamaha and the WSBK tour was the right path. So, when I hear Hopper saying “A full time ride in MGP is my long term goal” while professing loyalty to Suzuki, a couple sayings come to mind: “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.” and “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result.”

  2. Hopper had some stints with Kawasaki and Triumph in those 10 years you know. I think Hopper knows his only ticket back into MotoGP is with Paul Denning, and his not keen on ruffling any of his feathers, or the feathers that oversee the Crescent Racing team.

  3. 76 says:

    Andrea Iannone lets see what that italian missile can do on a Respsol Honda

    Jonny Rea, seems like an obvious choice for the Honda fill in, he already tested

    Eugene Laverty is a GP hopeful in the future

    Leon Haslam is hating life at BMW and would skip town in a heartbeat if he could.

    Of course I dont know these guys contracts but I would like to see what they could do on a gp bike

    Hopper on the other hand also had that huge fallout between Ulrich saying he basically lied about his health last year, I’m guessing his word is a fragile thing in the racing worlds eyes or at least his own.

  4. raymond17 says:

    @76

    Here we go again……Hopper did not lie to Ulrich when he signed contract. As far as Hopper knew his surgery had been a success until a while later (after signing ) He found out the Doctor had secured pins through his tendons (by accident) and killed off his tendons.
    Hopper rode several races in pure agony and was then told to retire by same doctor. Thank God he didn’t listen and we all know what the end result has been there. PODIUMS for Ulrich. Who I might add got his money 100 fold out of Hopkins over the years.

  5. raymond17 says:

    Oh and Beeler,

    I don’t believe Suzuki will be Hopper’s only option back to Motogp. If that was the case why was he Repsol and Tech 3′s first choice as replacement rider??
    He has a lot of credability in the paddock, he is well liked and respected. I would guarantee a couple of offers for next year. not just Suzuki.

  6. GeddyT says:

    If only half of the CRT bikes that have put their deposit down make the grid next year, Hopper will have at least a dozen full-time MotoGP rides to choose from so long as he doesn’t mind racing for 10th place. But with the bikes he’s been on, he’s used to that anyway.

  7. 76 says:

    @raymond17

    I was just reiterating what Ulrich’s accusations were, I dont know ether. Its was a big hoopla though when it went down and I’m sure neither has forgotten, it just seemed to me that Hopper was keen on stating hes keeping his word/ 100% loyal. Not that he ever did anything wrong but definitely seems to make it a point here in his statement.

    sidenote, with all that hoopla it did seem to me that Ulrich blew his lid and was rather determined to hurt Hopkins career with his very public statement, his actions were unprofessional simple as that

  8. lord_tizzle says:

    I say what about Josh Hays for the Tech 3 slot. at his age that will be his only shot. Not that he is not awesome. but even he will tell you that late 30′s is kinda long in the tooth for a full motogp ride. may be is last chance to ride with the big boys. plus it may help him get to World SBK. He’s got friends there plus the age thing won’t be an issue. i say use a wild card in moto gp to get into SBK. worked for Spies and R.L.Hayden.

  9. ipso says:

    It was reported/confirmed (in his own words) that Hopper has addressed an earlier alcohol problem. Although he is thankfully over that, I suspect his “recovery” requires undying support from his current management – full stop.

  10. raymond17 says:

    Well, Ipso. That is an idiot thing to write. What has that got to do with current management?? Hopper quit drinking almost 2 years ago.

  11. ipso says:

    Well, Raymond; sorry you have to revert to name calling. (Did it hurt you that bad? ..It only hurts if it’s true ya know.)

    His drinking is subject in major journalism within the last couple of months. It is not a forgotten 2 year old issue; probably nor will it ever be. Perhaps you don’t understand how current management can poison the well of future management’s perception of Hopper as a risk? It wouldn’t take much would it? If you don’t see the need for increased loyalty, which is exactly what he is saying in various interviews, then maybe you’re post is the more idiotic.

  12. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Let’s not all forget the guy was in his early 20′s, GOOD for him to be partying! That makes me like him more, and he is still one of my favorite riders! He’s growing up a bit, and he’ll be back.

  13. raymond17 says:

    Way to go, Alex…..someone with a clue. The only thing Teams and Managment and Whoever else in racing are concerned about is if you can deliver the goods. Otherwise, most racers would not be racing. Not everyone is squeeky clean!

    It seems like John can handle himself and Team managers are calling him……….