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.

Lambretta Returns to 125GP Racing for 2010

02/01/2010 @ 6:06 am, by Jensen Beeler26 COMMENTS

Lambretta Returns to 125GP Racing for 2010 Lambretta 125GP racing 560x361

After a 60 year hiatus, Lambretta is finally returning back to the 125GP racing stage. Entering as Lambretta Reparto Corse, the team has already confirmed Marco Ravaioli as one of their two riders. The move seems to be primarily to help get the iconic Italian brand back into the public limelight as Lambretta is set to start production of its first new range of scooters since the 1970′s.

According to Lambretta, the team will hold a racing department in Bologna at the workshops of Engines Engineering, despite Lambretta being based out of Milan. Nicola Casadei will serve as the team’s Sporting Director, while Giancarlo Cecchini will develop the bike’s rotary valve engine, which is expected to show up in new Lambretta designs.

“It’s is a wonderful day for Lambretta and one we’ve been working towards for nearly two years. We’re delighted to be back on the racetrack and to compete in such an exciting and expanding sport. It’ll be fun to compete with the big boys and see what happens,” said the brand’s Marketing Director John Scully.

“We’ve been talking to Engines Engineering for quite a long time about this and it’s pretty much a joint project at the moment, which we own. We see it as potentially a way for our technical director and all our technical people to develop innovations for our on-road products. Lambretta has an Italian heritage and we’re very keen to maintain that at the centre of everything that we do. We want authenticity and that’s the reason we started talking to Engines Engineering in terms of MotoGP. They have a great reputation and are a great engineering company, and very importantly for us they are Italian,” Scully continued.

While we don’t follow 125GP that closely here on Asphalt & Rubber, we’re excited to see what the team can do in the field, and what sort of life it can breath into this great Italian company.

Comment:

  1. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Lambretta Returns to 125GP Racing for 2010 http://bit.ly/amf1X7

  2. Lambretta Returns to 125GP Racing for 2010 – http://bit.ly/amf1X7 #motorcycle

  3. Eric Grobb says:

    Lambretta is not returning to 125GP racing because they were never there. They announced a 125 racing bike in 1949 and even showed a prototype but it didn’t go anywhere. From 1951-53 they had a 250cc V-twin racing bike but it was a flop and didn’t made it to a world championship event, although it did race several times, plagued by mechanical failures. The last serious event it participated in was the non-championship Grand Prix of Locarno in 1952, but both the entries did not finish.
    This is really just one of the organisations that now calls itself Lambretta sponsoring what last year was the Loncin Chinese-backed racing team – with what looks like the same hardware.
    The “great Italian company” that was behind the Lambretta – Innocenti of Milan, disappeared long ago and stopped making two-wheeled products in the early seventies.

  4. Thomas says:

    Eric

    Great answer mate!
    Thanks for the info!

    I drove a Lambretta and it indeed showed me it had no succesfull racing history running through its veins :-).

  5. Beau Nilsson says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Volkswagen Motorcycle Concept http://bit.ly/aGymER & Lambretta 125GP http://bit.ly/amf1X7

  6. Barry Glading says:

    One hopes they persevere longer than the fiasco last year. And does Witteveen still have a place in the development team?
    I suspect they’ll be persistent non-qualifiers or back markers this year again.
    I presume Lambretta is a competitor to Aprilia (Piaggio) and Derbi(Piaggio) so they can’t go the rebadged Aprilia route.
    Rotsa ruck, you brave fellows.

  7. Jan Thiel says:

    Witteveen did not work for Loncin, he worked for the even worse Haojue!
    The ‘Lambretta’ was first called Malaguti, then Loncin, however they were
    always among the last and slowest, and many times among the first to
    break down.
    There is no hope at all to do better in 2010!

  8. Peter says:

    I believe Romolo Ferri was entered in the 1951 Hockenhiem race on a 125cc Bitubo racing Lambretta. So it could be claimed Lambretta is returning to 125cc racing but whether these new 125cc could be called Lambretta is questionable

    Peter.

  9. Jan Thiel says:

    First race: both retired in the first 2 laps.
    As expected!

  10. Peter says:

    I suppose it is better than the 1951 Isle of Man TT when all 3 Lambretta entries failed to show!!
    Peter

  11. Jan Thiel says:

    failing to show at least saves some money!

  12. Jan Thiel says:

    Le Mans: Same failure again, slow, unreliable, no progress at all.
    Aprilia winnig hands down without developing their bikes for the last 2 years!
    Shame on Lambretta!

  13. Jan Thiel says:

    Now that Dorna is making special regulations for Suzuki, why not do the same for Lambretta?
    Let them start a minute ahead of the others and give them double pionts!

  14. Jan Thiel says:

    Now the sponsor finally understands the uselessnes of this project and pulls the plug

  15. nfm102 says:

    Two words guys,Danny Kent.

  16. nfm102 says:

    Ok maybe two more,Harald Bartol.

  17. Jan Thiel says:

    still 16 km short on topspeed! and 5.75 sec. on laptime
    Kent seems to be an excellent rider
    If Bartol works for this team his main attention should
    be to getting paid as this is not one of this teams good habits!

  18. Jan Thiel says:

    big improvement at Philips Island:
    last, and one lap behind!

  19. Jan Thiel says:

    slowest of them all!
    again!

  20. Jan Thiel says:

    Dear Harald,
    If you decide to work for this team, always keep your hand on your wallet!
    And take care always to be paid in advance!

  21. nfm102 says:

    Rumour has it Bartol is working in the background,second rumour is the team may be under the Bartol name next year.Could be an all out assault on the fnal 125 two stroke title as it ends next year to be replaced by four stroke singles. Either way Danny Kent is just a little bit special and worth keeping an eye on.

  22. Jan Thiel says:

    Valencia: again no bike at the finish.
    totally unreliable and slow!
    Kent is a good rider.
    hope he finds a better bike for next year!

  23. Jan Thiel says:

    Kent has already found a better bike for next year!
    Does Lambretta want to be ridiculous one more year?

  24. Jan Thiel says:

    Yet another name chance coming?

  25. Jan Thiel says:

    So now the once Malaguti, once Loncin and once Lambretta named shitheap will now be called Mahindra?

  26. CarlosD says:

    Jan Thiel is one of the biggest two strokes technicians in 60′s-70′s-80′s decades. Your Jamathi was one of fastest 50 cc in this times in front of Derbi and Kreidler factorys; an then won de World Champ with Bultaco’s, Minarelli’s and Garelli’s in 125 cc; all bikes are made with his brain and hands allways toghether with his friend and briliant works mechanic Martin Mijwaert. Why not Mahindra takes Jan Thiel for another World Champ 125 in 2011?… is the last FIM-WCH two strokes and I’m sure Jan likes theese las title is your pocket for the history… ¿not realy Jan?