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.

Biaggi to Make an Announcement November 7th – Retire, Re-sign, or Other?

11/05/2012 @ 10:12 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Biaggi to Make an Announcement November 7th   Retire, Re sign, or Other? Max Biaggi Nurburgring WSBK 635x508

Fresh off the heels of him wining the 2012 World Superbike Championship, question marks surround Max Biaggi — will he stay with Aprilia for another season and defend his title? Or, will he end his motorcycle racing career on a high, having just collected his sixth world title?

The crystal ball on this subject is uncertain. Though still not re-signed with the factory Aprilia squad for the next World Superbike Championship season, Biaggi did take part in the latest WSBK test at Aragon, which certainly lead to some believing the Roman Emperor would race for at least another season.

However, at 5pm Tuesday, local time, in Vallelunga, Italy, Max Biaggi will be making a yet unknown announcement about his future. The venue is an interesting choice, as Vallelunga is the circuit where Biaggi started his motorcycle racing career, and thus holds a great deal of sentimental value to the Italian rider.

As such, the circuit would provide a great deal of symmetry to Max’s career if he decided to end his career at the same race track — finishing things where they all began.

In a team that is built around Biaggi as a rider, it is interesting to think about whom could ride the top bike in one of World Superbike’s premier teams. Rumor has it that Sylvain Guintoli broke a contract agreement with the Fixi Crescent Suzuki team in order to have a shot at the Aprilia ride, though Guinters is now being linked to the #2 bike in a yet unannounced factory Ducati team. Coincidence? Or did Aprilia find another rider? Perhaps Max is staying put?

With Biaggi and his crew tight-lipped about what the announcement could be about, we are left to speculate as to the contents of the champion’s coming message. However, given the duration of time into the post-season this announcement comes, and that there is even an announcement event in the first place, let alone one at a circuit with so much personal connection to Max Biaggi’s career, smart conjecture is that Biaggi is set to retire from motorcycle racing. It is all very convoluted right now, but as always, time will tell.

Source: Motosprint


  1. Ken C. says:

    I’ll save you the trouble of a Google search for time difference in Vallelunga, Italy.

    They’re 9 hours ahead of us, Pacific Time, or 6 hours ahead of Eastern. In other words, 8:00AM PST or 11:00AM EST.

    I hope he’s retiring. I can’t stand that guy.

  2. Neil says:

    I would like to see Max come back but wouldn’t blame him if he retired and went out on top …

  3. Spamtasticus says:

    He is retiring. Period.
    Resigning would never call for a press conference.
    A move to MotoGP would call for a conference but a move to a CRT team would be practically a step backwards to someone like Max.
    Retiring now after winning bynthe skin of his teeth is the only logical reason. He was raked across the hot stones this season and he is euphoric and relieved it endedmlikemthis and is to old and saltymnot to recognize the unique opportunity to endnhis carreer like this.

    Its Retirement.

  4. smiler says:

    one thing is for sure, if he does Rossi will be pissed of at not being able to race him in WSB. If he was sensible he would. Not many are though. Stacey being the exception to that and most rules.

  5. sburns2421 says:

    Assuming he will retire, it is very possible that a rider like Guintoli is already signed to replace Max, as I assume Biaggi has notified Aprilia at least of his intention to retire. So Guintoli breaks his contract with a Suzuki team going nowhere fast, signs with Aprilia some time in the last couple of weeks, and immediately after Max has his press conference Aprilia issues a statement that Sylvain has signed with the team.

  6. smiler says:

    Lets try that again this time as a grown up.
    On thing is for sure Rossi will be annoyed, if Biaggi dies retire because he won’t be around in WSB and actually who else from MotoGP will be. If Biaggi was sensible he would retire. However motorcycle racers rarely are and so many go on until injury overtakes them. Doohan, Sheene, Foggy to name a few. Stacey is the exception to that rule and most other rules governing motorcycle racers.

  7. Craig says:

    Max, not much to like about him early… but give him his credit… he is VERY fast on that APE… faster than most would be folks to replace him. He could definitely make it another year… he doesn’t crash a lot and he is a shoe in for top 5 baring injury or bike misfires.

    However, not everyone gets to go out on top as champ… not even Rossi (most likely), but what else you gonna do my friends? Stay home and write encouraging letters to Marco on the BMW?

  8. pooch says:

    If you think Rossi is going to WSBK then think again… no way will the figurehead of MotoGP leave it for what is seen as the lesser series. Much more likely he will go to 4 wheels, like Stoner. BTW Calling him Stacey is disrespectful and childish, but easy to do when you’re only a keyboard warrior.

    Max is one of the best Racers is the world – period – but never had the Media personality. I don’t like him any less for that, nor his temper tantrums with Melandri etc. Max is, was, a great Motorcycle Racer.

  9. Kevin says:

    If I recall the one on one interview by Jamie Robinson in Max’s California digs earlier this year I’d say he’s ready to spend some time with his children. It does make total sense to go out on top and so I’m sure he will announce that he’s………………………..

  10. Damo says:


    You know Rossi’s Yamaha contract specifically guarantees two years in MotoGP with an option to transfer to WSBK in 2015, right? Don’t take my word for it, google it.

  11. Yeeha! Stephen says:

    @ Damo

    Yes, the reports say 2015 option to WSBK… but, it also says to develop the new WSBK entry. Don’t ya’ think Rossi’s had enough of ”development” rides?
    All depends on his success as a 2013/14 rider. No Championship – he’s done.

  12. gsp75 says:

    Was wondering who Stacey was @pooch why is everyone criticizing Max for maybe retiring ??? Look at the state of racing where the soul has been ripped out and stomped on. Like many have said to leave on top is hard to do when you love your sport even Jordan couldnt do it. Max as a racer at 41 is MF AWESOME !!! As a person with the few interactions seems like a great guy (no homo) there always has to be some you love and love to hate…

  13. Mr. X says:

    Championships are forever

  14. Faust says:


    Yeah, it would be devastating for Dorna to lose Rossi to WSBK…. oh wait, they own both series. I’m sure they specifically included the WSBK language in Rossi’s contract for no reason whatsoever….. DURRRRRR