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.

Mat Mladin: Spies Better Than Rossi

03/17/2010 @ 6:13 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

Mat Mladin: Spies Better Than Rossi Mat Mladin talks Ben Spies 560x313

The crew over at On The Throttle TV have been doing a multi-part interview with AMA legend Mat Mladin. OTT asked Mladin what he thought about former rival Ben Spies as a racer. Mat’s response: the best rider of our time, or not far behind Rossi himself. That’s high praise a from a six time AMA Champion, and even higher praise from the Aussie rider. You can find the whole interview here, and the clip after the jump.

Source: On The Throttle TV


  1. DjDATZ says:

    I don’t get it, the title of the post and what is said in the post are completely contradictory…

    “Mat Mladin: Spies Better Than Rossi”
    “OTT asked Mladin what he thought about former rival Ben Spies as a racer. Mat’s response: the best rider of our time, or not far behind Rossi himself.”

    So which is it?

  2. MotoJP46 says:

    If you watched the video, Mat talks about Ben’s abilities as a road racer and the amount of raw talent he has. There is no question as to Ben’s ability to ride a bike. As you can see with Toseland and Crutchlow on the Yamahas this season, Ben absolutely strangled the neck of that R1 last year, rode around a few bike issues and walked away with the title in his hand.

  3. caRRera says:

    You should be cpmpletely drunk to say Ben Spies is better than Rossi.

    For sure he is a great rider, but from that to being better than Rossi …. no comments

  4. DjDATZ says:

    I’m gonna have to agree w/ caRRera…lol

  5. keet says:

    rossi is great, but only because his competition has been mediocre. he’d get his ass handed to him if he raced in the days of doohan, schwantz, rainey, lawson, & spencer.

  6. Dave says:

    Watch and comprehend the interview. He doesn’t say Spies is better then Rossi so don’t get all upset about it. The title of the article is misleading.

  7. Mat Mladin: Spies Better Than Rossi – #motorcycle

  8. Harumph says:

    @keet: You think Rossi has had mediocre competition for all of the last 14 years? I’m sorry but that’s preposterous. Not to knock Doohan, Rainey or anybody at all but Rossi should have more than proven his abilities to anyone, regardless of whether you like him or not.

  9. skadamo says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Mat Mladin: Spies Better Than Rossi – #motorcycle

  10. Daydreamer says:

    Let Spies win 9 world titles and then make any comparisons.. to claim beforehand that he’s better than the greatest of all times is foolish.. sure he’s good, but let him prove it first in head to head battle.. :P

  11. keet says:

    my comment stands… who has rossi beaten in the last 10 years? (i’m only counting the big-leagues, 500GP/motoGP) what great racers has rossi beaten? biaggi? gibernau? melandri? wow… BFD!

  12. Maxx says:

    I agree with keet who has he beaten really the only one to give him a real run for his money is “Lorenzo” and then monkey boy spits his dummy out and demands that “Yamaha” doesn’t resign “Lorenzo” I think monkey boy should have a season or 2 in world superbikes I think then we would see how good he really is…..

  13. RC51sp1 says:

    i think the headline overstates it a bit…but it is, after all, a headline. mat certainly states that ben may be as good as or better than rossi, but not in a definitive way. i think it’s certainly possible, especially over time. what i thought was most interesting was how different post-retirement mat is from the mat we saw in interviews prior to his retirement. he’s always been somewhat matter-of-fact and not given to complimenting other riders, which has given him something of a reputation. i have always liked his unwillingness to pull a punch, but it’s also nice to hear him give ben his due. mat’s on the shortlist of guys i’d like to have in the commentary box when i watch races, and this clip certainly didn’t change that wish.

  14. don_zielke says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Mat Mladin: Spies Better Than Rossi

  15. BRose says:

    Matt is is a bigmouth, I’m shocked that would even continue to quote him on anything. Being bi-polar is not his fault, but I think we can all see that anything can and will come out of his mouth and its not all factual. Spies is going to be something to watch. Massive potential is a little different than massive results. That is why they run the races !

  16. Valendino says:

    I would love to see Rossi in the WSBK paddock and on the Aprilia RSV4 of coarse! On that bike I am quite sure that he could add a WSBK title to his already massive list. As for him not having any competition, I thing people seem to forget that he was a winner on the RCV and then went straight on to be a winner on the uncompetitive M1,with all the other best riders in the world available at the time, and he rode the wheels off that thing to win on his first race on it.
    I haven’t seen the name Keet winning in the Moto GP or WSBK , and yes the people you name are some of the greats for sure, but no of them have as many titles as MR ROSSI.
    I also think the lap record to his name might mean something too!

  17. keet says:

    “uncompetitive M1″ …i see you’ve memorized rossi’s biography. thats BS… it was crap BEFORE, but with rossi’s developmental help (probably more to do with burgess than rossi though), that M1 was probably the second best bike on the grid!

    thanks, you support my claim… rossi HAS won so much because of the mediocre competition around him!

  18. GaryT says:

    This is soundling like Mladin upping his own value since he was beaten by Spies. Can’t have some motivated AMA rider beating him. It has to be an AMA rider that’s better the Rossi. All told I expect good things from Spies but Matt would’ve had to get out there and play with the big boys to become an icon. He chose not to $$$$.

  19. Maxx says:

    The trouble with all this is that nobody can say anything against “monkey boy” on one hand we have the likes of “keet & Me” basically saying what we feel and then on the other hand we have the likes of “Valendino” who has been brain washed and wont have anything said against “monkey boy” theres a lot of people like this who also have been brain washed, looks like it’s going to be another boring season in gp’s I only watch it when theres no WSBK on the tv mind the new moto2 looks interesting (just a rip off of WSS…IMHO) we’ll have to see how it go’s I mean the moto2 bikes have less power than the WSS bikes so whats the point of this type of racing they say that it’s going to bring close racing but we’ll see…….anyway that my 2pence worth……..

  20. Valendino says:

    Sorry Maxx, I am not brain washed, I can just reconize talent and I think that all the world titles and lap records prove it. We will have to see if Ben can outdo Valentino on the race track and have more world titles to his name before he retires! I do respect that everyone is entitle to an opinion and it doesn’t mean that we all have to agree!
    As for Moto2 I am not excited about the class and truly beleive that it was invented to kill off Aprilia’s dominance in the 250′s.

  21. Maxx says:

    Come on man admit it who has pushed “monkey boy” for all of these years..???? mmmmmmmmm…………???????? I can’t really think of anyone really yes there are good racers in gp’s but no ones pushed him and that just makes him look good I suppose. Lorenzo will be back again this to push even harder I hope other wise it’s just going to the usual S**T..!!.

    (I’m not doing this to wind up anyone it’s just a friendly bit of banter among race fans….)

    As for the 2 strokes I agree with u.

  22. awdslim says:

    spies and rossi were brought up on two different sides of the world in two very different approaches to road racing. while rossi had the quicker easier way to make it to the world stage (by already being in Europe), spies had to work his way up to the hard to earn factory seat. AMA is no slouch when it comes to talent that spies had to contend with and some former wsbk champs (Russel, bayliss, corser, kasinski, hodgeson and even former gp champ nick Hayden) can agree with that. Up untill 5 years ago AMA rivaled wsbk for being the best sbk class in the world with guys like the haydens, the bostroms, duhamel, maladin, yates, hacking, Chandler, gobert, hodgeson and the list goes on. while ben was coming up thru the AMA pro ranks he still has 6 titles to his name. they may not be world titles but 5 of those were on big bikes with one being wsbk. 5 years racing against maladin was the best thing for spies. who knows how many wsbk titles mat could have won but look what he taught ben. you gotta give props to ben for winning 14 of 28 races on 99% of tracks he hadn’t even seen in his rookie year!!!. that’s half of the races!!! I think rossi is a beast but think how many world titles he would have if he came thru America. yes ben has the talent. do I think he is better than rossi? no… but I do think he has equal talent and drive. with gp going back to 1000cc next year I think spies has a really strong chance at winning the gp title the same as rossi did his 2nd year.

  23. gts says:

    Rossi has been pushed in the last few years, and been beaten. Hayden has beaten him once, Stoner once – and would have been twice if he hadn’t gotten sick. So, that would make it 3 of the last 4 years. He just happens to me the most consistent. Still a great rider mind you.

  24. Jono says:

    Both riders are good. Rossi continues to perform at the twilight of his career against riders much younger. It remains to be seen whether Ben or anyone else can amass wins at 30! Mick was also an outstanding rider and along with his peers has made comments about how good Valention is. All of the great champions have recognised his ability and they should know right… . Not one of them has made negative comments about his sheer talent and ability. I take nothing away from Ben but he has yet to prove himself in Moto Gp and we will need to wait and see.

  25. hutch says:

    i think keet should get a grip and stop talking so much b.s. and learn ,A manners , B respect and c to talk about something he actually know’s about, when all of the mentioned riders including aggo cite’s rossi as the best rider the sport has produced with the best natural talent and burgess see him soley responsable for the M1 improvement , so keet you should be keeping your amature and ignorant mouth shut about a sport you clearly don’t yet understand, i met him at the TT last year and it was a shame he couldn’t make it this year, but two other GREATS of the sport did

  26. J says:

    I have read all of these posts and to be honest I agree with some but as a fan of bike racing in general and a fan of no particular rider it baffles me that people on here are doubting Rossi’s talent.

    The reason all the other guys look mediocre is because he is so good and it was the same things said about doohan when he was racing. Bottom line is if you get lap records and titles you are the best. Biaggi and Capirossi raced Doohan but Rossi was too strong for them like Doohan was. The best always wins and with 9 world titles who can argue with that.

    Spies is good but how good remains to be seen. Same go’s for Lorenzo to. Rember Criville? he won the title when Doohan could not race but went to pieces after that so anyone that can stay on top as long as Rossi has is nothing to be taken for granted.

    The M1 was made competitive by the whole team and remember the rider has to be able to use whats under him. Perfect example Stoners 2007 Ducati clearly the fastest bike on the grid but only Stoners talent could win on it. I would also like to point out that Rossi has never lost a title in a straight fight.

    2006 it was tyre and bike reliability and anyone who thinks Nicky Hayden out raced Rossi needs an eye test. If you challenge that statement just review the season and see where Valentino was on a number of occations when he was forced to retire a race due to reliability, add up the points and you will see that Nicky would never have been in the running.

    2007 similar story except this time it was due to a slower bike. Fairplay to Stoner for mastering it but if your on a similar bike to Rossi performance wise, odds are you will lose. Jorge Lorenzo has been great to watch as he has raw speed and a burning desire to be the best and has re-motivated Rossi into producing some awesome performances but despite being behind early in the season I honestly believe that under pressure Rossi is too strong for Lorenzo and I think he would have still won the title this year.

    Lorenzo, Spies and Stoner are the future but since they all measure themselves against Valentino all your opinions have been answered by the best qualified people in the business like it or not. As regards seeing him in Superbikes, the best will always win no matter what. When he did the Suzuka 8 hourson production bikes he was fastest (even Colin Edwards commented on it as he thought it would have been the other way around).

    Racing always produces exceptionally talented individuals from time to time and Rossi is one of them if not the best. Would he have beaten Doohan etc? of course he would have but in turn they would also have beaten him such is their talent. I look forward to Rossi’s return as it seems for now only he is able to run with Jorge.

    Like him or not guys his achievements speak for themselves but like all records someday, somebody will beat them. Have your favourites if that’s how you like to do it but don’t let favouritism cloud your judgement. Some of the best racers of all time have even declared him the best so far, who are we to argue with that.

    Cheers for reading my opinion and here is to great racing in Gp or WSB!

  27. Jono says:

    Well said J. Looking forward to tonights race!!

  28. Laducsp says:

    He’s not “better”, he’s “different”. He has aggression, acuity, skill and fearlessness that credits Mladin more than even his clear innate skill racing a motorcycle. See, Mladin’s one of, if not the, toughest, intimidating and dominating racers ever. After Spies’ tutelage under the Mladin menace, he’s become virtually unstoppable. It’s really as if he’s racing purely in his own head, and it doesn’t matter where he is, or who’s racing alongside him, he’s going to go as fast as humanly possible and past whatever’s in front of him. Period. Rossi has a total mental stranglehold on the entire field. Spies is the only one who couldn’t care less! Rossi, or no Rossi, just like mladin taught him, he’s gonna cream the field whenever he can!

  29. BLACKMQQN says: