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.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

Marc Marquez: “I’m Surprised, If I’m Honest”

08/12/2013 @ 1:07 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Marc Marquez: Im Surprised, If Im Honest marc marquez laguna seca motogp scott jones 635x423

This morning, Asphalt & Rubber and other members of the English-speaking press were treated to a teleconference with Marc Marquez, which was hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Currently leading the MotoGP Championship by 16 points, Marquez down-played his chances for carrying that lead to the end of the season, with the same boyish enthusiasm that he has shown throughout the season.

Talking about his success at The Brickyard in the Moto2 class, Marquez could be a dark horse for the upcoming Indianapolis GP, which has been dominated by the Repsol Honda machines the past three years; and if there is one thing that is certain about the young Spaniard, you can’t count him out on race day.

With IMS providing us with a transcript of the teleconference, you can read Marquez’s response to a wide range of subjects, all after the jump.

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Today our guest is current MotoGP World Championship leader, Marc Marquez.

Just a little background about Marc. Marc is from Spain. He is, as I said, leading the World Championship standings. He has a 16-point lead over his teammate and two time Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Dani Pedrosa and a 26-point lead over reigning world champion and 2009 Indianapolis winner, Jorge Lorenzo.

Marc has won three races this season, including the last two heading into the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, and he also has won twice here in Indianapolis winning in Moto2 the last two years.

Marc, thank you very much for taking the time to join us.

MARC MARQUEZ: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: You’ve won here twice at Indianapolis, but on the Moto2 bikes. What is it about this circuit that suits your style? What do you like about this circuit?

MARC MARQUEZ: You know, generally, I like the American style also, and we go in another circuit that’s in America, I feel so good.

But especially here in Indianapolis, I won the last two years, and that is good news to go there because you feel a little bit different, but Indianapolis, it’s always special from its history. The track is quite particular because you need to be so concentrate because especially on the first practice (inaudible audio disturbance) the track is like (inaudible) and I like it.

Q. You’re leading the World Championship, you’ve won three races and you’re the absolute phenomena of the 2013 season, and Casey Stoner is developing the 2014 bike. How do you feel about that?

MARC MARQUEZ: Yes, thank you very much. You know, I feel, I feel so good. You know, for us it’s quite important. It pays to drive that bike. I think it’s quite important because, you know, sure, I didn’t have information about the Motegi test because I didn’t speak with the Japanese guys, but I would like for them in Indianapolis that, sure, Casey, I feel that he’s so fast and he put the bike on the limit, sure, there in that test, and I think it’s important for Honda and for Dani, for me, because he was there (inaudible) the part, he tested that and all the limits, because sometimes you can test some if you part but if you are not on the correct lap times or you didn’t push a lot, then you cannot feel well.

If I’m working quite good, or maybe we are (inaudible) but testing with Casey there will be important.

Q. MotoGP bikes absolutely fly at Indianapolis, top speed. How fast is your bike going to be at Indianapolis? How fast do you guess?

MARC MARQUEZ: In Indianapolis, yeah, it’s one of the longest straights in the World Championship. I don’t know which is the toughest speedway for the MotoGP bike because I never ride there with MotoGP bike, but sure will be around 340, 350 (km/h), more or less.

I didn’t know exactly, but sure, we will arrive quite quick on the end of the stretch. And also, it’s quite difficult because you arrive with a lot of speed and also the danger of that corner, it’s quite fast, so we have been testing.

Q. Are you surprised by all the success and does it catch you kind of by surprise that it’s gone so well this season?

MARC MARQUEZ: Yeah, I’m surprised; if I’m honest, I didn’t expect that before the season. OK, the target was especially in the races, try to finish the races and try to get some points. And then before to finish the first part of the season, try to get some volume. And then on the second part, to be close on the podium and try to win some race.

But, you know, already I won three races and I finish off the races on the podium. So I didn’t expect that to be before the season, but I think it’s so good to feel like that on the bike, because from the beginning, I feel quite good, I feel quite strong, and then it’s a good news.

Q. Have you been taken by surprise by the reaction that you’ve gotten from people, both from a fan standpoint, I guess mostly?

MARC MARQUEZ: Yeah, you know, when you are at MotoGP bike, it’s a different bike, a different team, because you come in a very big factory, and then the tire is a little bit different.

But also, outside the track, the fans, the people, the journalists, also it’s a big difference compared with Moto2, with Moto3.

And also, still, I need to adapt a little bit that, because it’s still sometimes it’s too big for me, but anyway, you know, if you have professional persons around you, then it’s a little bit easier.

But it’s so important to have all the fans, because it’s important to be there and have fans in the good moment and also in the moment where I’m struggling a little bit more.

Q. Which transition between classes did you find easier, from 125s to Moto2, or from Moto2 to MotoGP?

MARC MARQUEZ: You know, it’s a little bit different, but almost I feel a little bit easier from Moto2 to MotoGP. Especially because also maybe when I jump from 125 to Moto2, also I was a little bit younger with less experience.

And then if you remember, I crash many times in the beginning, especially in the races. But also, we change, 125 was two stroke and then Moto2 was four stroke engine, and that was a very big difference. Also, the weight was … it’s 70 kilos, 75, and Moto2 was 140, and that difference is maybe was too big.

But when you jump from Moto2 to MotoGP, that difference is a little bit smaller. Just what you need to do is just try to understand all the electronic parts, the style, just the planning of the box, it’s quite important. But also if you have a professional team around you, then it’s a little bit easier.

But I think the key was the preseason, because we work a lot and we did many tests in Malaysia, and from there we try many, many things and I start to understand a lot of things.

Q. And the engine braking is certainly different between the two stroke and four stroke. Now, you guys are going to be heading straight back to Europe right after this race, and a big flurry of races coming on. This is part of the season where things get tiring, isn’t it?

MARC MARQUEZ: Now it’s coming maybe the hardest part of the season. Especially with three races around Indianapolis and Silverstone, we will need to be so concentrate. And I try to keep the team level, but also Indianapolis, I’m curious to see my level with Lorenzo, Pedrosa, a hundred percent recovery.

We have been testing, but then coming against (inaudible) will be tough, but anyway, you know, the pressure is for Lorenzo, Pedrosa.

Q. I know that you’ve been training with dirt track bikes, something that a lot of American riders would be interested in. Why are you using dirt track methods to train?

MARC MARQUEZ: You know, when I was younger, I like it so much and I enjoy it a lot. I’m already with 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, I did many laps on this track bike. And then, you know, in Spain, in America, it’s more popular the dirt track but here in Spain, not so much.

But now this season, I say, OK, I want to start again with the dirt track, because I like it and I enjoy it. And then you feel the bike a little bit different, because you’re going on the bike, you’re going in the corner so fast, and then you need to stop, pick up the bike and go. It’s more or less like in what you use in MotoGP.

Also, the attention in corner, you need to control the slide and you need to control gas, and basically, I think it’s quite good because then you feel a little bit different, and also the reason maybe is because I enjoy it a lot.

Q. Many of the riders, particularly the Yamaha riders, believe the Honda has an advantage in acceleration and that turns into an advantage in top speed. From your point of view, sitting on the Honda, where do the Yamahas have an advantage, if any, over the Hondas?

MARC MARQUEZ: This, what I said depends on the circuit, because sometimes, OK, maybe when they grip, maybe we have a little bit more acceleration. But when the grip when you ride a little bit more, sometimes you cannot use all that power on the grip. Maybe it’s too big of power or maybe (inaudible) the corner driving a little speed with, maybe the bike is a little bit smaller and maybe is a little bit more easier to ride in the beginning.

But then when you find the best spot, you can be there and you can be a little bit faster. But you know, we have been testing to see Lorenzo and Valentino, because looks like they tried the gearbox that is seamless and we will see, but, you know, this year, those bikes are quite close.

Q. From the start of the season, you have spoken a lot about how much you learned, I remember the first race at Qatar, you said you were learning so much by being behind Dani and being behind Valentino. You learn very, very quickly. How much more do you think you have to learn?

MARC MARQUEZ: I don’t know, at the moment, I feel so good on the bike the last few races, I feel a little bit more free on the bike, and this is the most important. OK, in the beginning of the season, I said that I feel I learn many, many things about the other rider, but now, OK, now I think we need to do more laps, try to ride the bike and sure, we will improve a little bit or maybe correct we will try to improve.

But anyway, I will try to keep that level, but now I understand many, many things and will try something at Laguna, I feel so good on the bike. We will see now what is the limit.

Q. What do you think you still have to learn? Is there any one thing in particular, one area, where you think, I still need to understand this to get my full potential?

MARC MARQUEZ: Still I need to improve a little bit, I try to use all the performance from a new tire, because on the qualifying track, still with the new tires, I’m struggling a little bit. I didn’t use all that performance, and then with the new tire, I feel much better.

But with the new tires, I need to try to understand, try to use all the performance and try to push only for one lap in the qualifying practice.

Q. You mentioned earlier that you don’t feel as much pressure as maybe Dani and Jorge do, but normally we would see someone in their first year with the freedom to take each race as it comes and no pressure. You are now leading the championship by 16 points going into the second half. Does this affect your approach to each race as it comes along?

MARC MARQUEZ: No. At the moment, the target, the mentality, it’s completely the same than the first part of the season. You know, OK, I feel a little bit, a little bit the pressure because we are leading the championship, and, you know, we did a very good race. So you feel a pressure that you need to keep the level. But anyway, I will try to prepare and to keep the thing level, but our mentality is completely the same as the beginning of the season.

Q. Just as a follow up to that, certainly thinking about your race at Estoril in 2010 when you came from the back of the pack on the restart to run second at one stage, your team put out a board saying, P2 is OK. Did you see that board before you took the win, and if you did, what did you think?

MARC MARQUEZ: Yeah, many times I saw the board and you know, always the team, Emilio tries to give to me what they think. But they don’t know if I feel good on the bike or if I feel a little bit on the limit or a little bit but anyway. Yeah, I see on that time, I see many, many times.

But sometimes it’s important to see that for them, for the championship, they are seeing a little bit different than me for the championship, looks that P2 is OK, but always I feel that, ‘OK, if I can win that race, why not, I will try, if you feel good with the bikes.’

Q. What specifically have you been doing for rain train since Laguna Seca? A lot of guys ride bicycles or has it been dirt track?

MARC MARQUEZ: First I did one week completely off. For one week I try to disconnect a little bit, try to take some free time, tried to relax, and then I come back and, you know, some bicycle, some running, some gym, some dirt track and overall, I did all those kind of things. A little bit I try to keep the same work as in the preseason, because since now, working well, so why try to change that?

THE MODERATOR: With that, Marc, I want to thank you very much for taking the time today to call in to talk to us, and special thanks to Rhys Edwards with Repsol Honda for helping to make this call happen.

We wish you the best of luck and we are looking forward to seeing you here in weekend in Indianapolis. Thank you, Marc.

MARC MARQUEZ: Thank you very much.

Source: IMS; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. twoversion says:

    very modest for a +12 level sorcerer #witchcraft

  2. TexusTim says:

    refreshing.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    The number of times the kid uses “you know” kinda makes him sound like a Spanish McGuinness.

    Looks like he’s taking things as they come. Interviews like a gem, yet rides like a wild child. Good lad.

  4. Seb says:

    “And the engine braking is certainly different between the two stroke and four stroke. ”
    lol

  5. JW says:

    He makes me wanna be a better fan

  6. crshnbrn says:

    “Marquez could be a dark horse for the upcoming Indianapolis GP”? More like an odds-on favorite.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “MotoGP bikes absolutely fly at Indianapolis”

    yeah they do…

    http://s62.photobucket.com/user/shamarone/media/indygp09123_zps4513df6c.mp4.html

  8. “very modest for a +12 level sorcerer #witchcraft”

    A most excellent comment, sire. That definitely made me crack a smile. The kid really IS like that, too. Damn.

  9. Silas says:

    He’s not in the least bit surprised. Hence the need to add in ‘if I’m honest’.

  10. @Silas:

    The title was reworked. He didn’t “add” anything. He said: “Yeah, I’m surprised; if I’m honest, I didn’t expect that before the season.”

    I see no reason why a rookie wouldn’t be surprised to be where he is come mid-season. That, however, doesn’t mean that he’s not planning a run at the championship. I’ve no doubt he’s going to carry on being MM93.

  11. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Dani and Jorge be worried.

  12. Westward says:

    He may not have expected it, but I’m sure he thought it was possible, which is why he is where he is in the standings…

    I would sure like to see Marquez win the title if it’s not going to be Rossi this year…

  13. twoversion says:

    I joked about him being a wizard, when in fact it’s pure confidence tempered by skill and hard work that got him there. He might say he’s surprised but at the top level of any sport no one “really” is.

    When he signed for HRC he had to “know” and I’m not saying “think” but really “know” he deserved to be there.

    And the proof as they say is in the points standings.