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.

The Most Awesome Thing You Will See Today

07/22/2013 @ 8:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

The Most Awesome Thing You Will See Today luke yoda marc marquez valentino rossi star wars

Regular readers will know that Asphalt & Rubber is littered with Star Wars references — we are a bit dorky like that. Speaking for myself, I am an equal opportunity sci-fi nerd, giving healthy viewing times to the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Babylon 5 franchises, just to name a few (David for some reason enjoys Farscape…no one is perfect).

If you read enough of our articles, a Boba Fett, Deathstar, or Bothan Spy reference is more than likely to crop up (dear I say, they are even expected??!) — so for the kids who were cool in high school: deal with it.

With that disclaimer being said, we bring to you the most awesome thing you will see this Monday: Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi photoshopped into the iconic movie frame of Yoda mentoring Luke Skywalker in the swampy forests of Dagobah. Thanks for the tip Gigi!

This is where Luke learned to control his emotions, deal with Vader being his father, and transformed from lightsaber apprentice to Jedi master. “Control, control, you must learn control!” Yoda implored to young Skywalker. We imagine MotoGP’s Race Direction has likely said the same to Marquez many times in the past few years, as the Repsol rider showed amazing talent coupled to less-than-amazing judgment on the track.

Monterey, California may very well prove to be Marc Marquez’s Dagobah though, as the young Spaniard is now halfway through the 2013 MotoGP season, and currently leads the Championship by 16 points. Showing an amazing talent and aptitude on a race bike, what is really impressing pundits lately is the rate at which Marquez learns from his mistakes.

This is not the Moto2 rider from a year ago that we saw crashing every other race; but instead a two-wheeled Jedi master, who on any given Sunday (or Saturday, if we are racing in Assen) is able to compete and best the giants of this sport. He is the droid we are looking for.

As Luke did on Endor, Marquez still has to shake his reputation and claim his position, as many were quick to point the finger at the Spaniard’s safety record during his now infamous pass on Valentino Rossi in the Laguna Seca Corkscrew.

As David carefully and accurately analyzed though, Marquez was not at fault for the pass, as Rossi ran the entry wide. If anything, the Honda-man avoided what could have been an unfortunate racing collision. For those still not swayed, look at it this way…at least he didn’t try to score with his sister. Awkward.

Source: Reddit; Photo: PoofBam


  1. proudAmerican says:

    Phucking Awesome!!! The wife and I are on the floor laughing!!!

  2. TheSwede says:

    10/10 – would laugh again

  3. Blue Cord says:

    I cannot get over the fact he looks like Sebastian Vettle with the mop top.

  4. Gutterslob says:


    You should do one with that Dorna boss (forgot his name …. Caramel Espresso or something) looking like Jabba the Hutt

  5. TexusTim says:

    so who is the yoda face ? is that david emmit ?…the jeid looks like vettel not marquez… or the hair is photo shopped too…i was thinking before the jump there would be one of stoner being told by the jedi ” looks like you got out just in time as you cannot match the force of marquez”

  6. Tim, Rossi’s face is on Yoda…obviously.

  7. Dan says:


  8. Sebastian says:

    Absolutely fabulous!

    Cheers from sunny Paris, France!

  9. smiler says:

    It was interesting to see Rossi at the pre race press conference. He looked like a father with his children and his best mate Edwards.

    Brilliant cartoon.

    If Rossi now senses that he cannot win, which might be the case after Laguna. A prime opportunity with Lorenzo and Pedrosa not on top form.

    So Rossi the team owner and manager? A huge opportunity to remain competitive and keep his legendary status.

  10. TexusTim says:

    lets do a poll on which rider would be the best team owner/manager or combination. here is my choices in order of prefrence.
    1- collin edwards
    2- valintino rossi
    3- nicky hayden.
    Collin and Rossi would be great combination rossi as owner and collin as manager, money and color reminds me more of the king in intensity I think he would be great but would probably have to run the whole thing himself…and then there’s assen 2006 collin may still not be over it….bawawawawawawawahaha

  11. Damo says:

    That is amazing Jensen.

  12. sigsegv says:

    I’m dying XD

  13. L2C says:

    LOL! That is perfect.

    But what does that make Lorenzo? Count Dooku? Hahaha…

  14. Norm G. says:

    The Most Creepy Thing You Will See Today.

  15. Zano says:

    Frelling Shiny!!!!

    you forgot Firefly and Farscape rocks!!!!

  16. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    mad artistic skills. It took me a second to find Rossi’s face in Yoda. hahaha Very funny.

  17. irksome says:

    I’ll need to see a picture of Marquez’s sister.

  18. Starmag says:

    Jensen, the title is perfect. It WAS the most awesome thing I’ve seen today. This deserves to go viral. As suggested above, this should also be the start of a series, Espaleta as Dukoo or the emperor, etc. Your great site was already one of my favorites even without this. Kudos to the artist and his/her timing.

  19. sideswipeasaurus says:

    Impressive, most impressive.

    At the beginning of the season during testing and after Qatar it’s this Star Wars image that readily comes to mind with VR46 and MM93.

  20. Zano, Firefly…yeah, obviously. I still can’t watch Farscape though.

  21. Mchael says:

    “That boy is our last hope.”

    “No…there is another.”

  22. DP says:

    Awesome, my new desktop.. Marquez does look like Vettel in the pic, lol

  23. pooch says:

    wait…someone actually watches FArscape ? hahahha,,,, that’s funnier than the picture!