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 Melandri: “What Did the Hand Say to the Face?”

03/26/2011 @ 11:27 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Biaggi to Melandri: What Did the Hand Say to the Face? Max Biaggi slaps Marco Melandri

Slap! And that’s what happened when Max Biaggi stopped by Marco Melandri’s pit box after qualifying, after the two riders traded moments stuffing each other during the Superpole sessions. While out on his fastest lap in Superpole 2, Marco Melandri came onto the slower lapping Max Biaggi, and according to Melandri, Biaggi blocked his fellow Italians fast lap.

Subsequently, Melandri returned the favor on Biaggi’s fast lap attempt, while Biaggi would go on to do the same to Noriyuki Haga (and others reportedly) as well. After Superpole concluded however, it was Melandri that got The Emperor’s wroth in the paddock, as the reigning World Superbike Champion stopped by the Yamaha pit, and gave Melandri a couple of light slaps on the face during a worded exchange. Video after the jump.

For their heated “discussion” both Melandri and Biaggi have been given a verbal warning from the WSBK race direction, with Biaggi also getting slapped (pardon the pun) with a €3,000 fine for his part with the unsportsmanlike conduct. This episode in the life tales of the Drama Llama of course overshadows Carlos Checa’s performance in the Superole qualifying event, as the Spanish rider is continuing to dominate the WSBK field on his “non-factory” Ducati.



  1. Jake Fox says:

    Biaggi is an asshat and has never been able to keep his cool. That’s why Rossi used to have so much fun messing with him.

  2. Minibull says:

    Hah, Biaggi says he has grown up and is not the person he used to be…sure…

  3. Mattblack says:

    What a drama queen. I think Marco showed great restraint durring the exchange, I’d have slapped him back.

  4. Oh, Danica, simmer down.

    Actually it’s great to see how much passion there is to win that makes people lose it sometimes.

  5. lord_tizzle says:

    sorry there are things you don’t do. I can back down from a lot of things. but a slap to the face. No force on earth, would have been able to restrain me. I would rather be punch, or knocked out completely. but a slap, nope, no way.

  6. DuxBros says:

    Unacceptable behavior for anyone, much less a World Champion. Lookout Emperor, karma is going to bite your self-absorbed ass.

  7. VMX1000 says:

    Marco Melandri is a true champion, both on the track and off the track.
    Biaggi should be banned from the sport, behaviour like that has absolutely no place in motorsports, shameful, absolutely shameful.

  8. CFC says:

    I want to like him (Biaggi) but I just can’t. Just such a co@$. I bet Aprilia is wincing…

  9. super sic says:

    Truly remarkable restraint by Melandri. He really took it to Max and the rest of the field on the track.

  10. Haha, Biaggi always makes me laugh, sure hes an absolute sod… But fair play to Melandri.

  11. irksome says:

    And in return, Biaggi gets spanked in the race.

    What a jackhole.

  12. spytech says:

    Biaggi is the roman punk and i wish that he would never ever win another race.

  13. wood2610 says:

    Biaggi is a punk! He started this kind of crap back with Rossi when he wasn’t good enough to race MotoGP. Biaggi is the biggest sore loser in the entire sport and I think it is time for him to just go away so that we can enjoy the races without the constant Drama Llama!

  14. taco-king says:

    He’s French, that’s how French people argue…
    Actually I have no idea… I made the whole thing up.

  15. supermustard says:

    Back to his old self. But, that’s okay… Carlos will beat the both of ‘em.

  16. Joe Mama says:

    I have and never will be a fan of Biatchi. He won’t keep that #1 plate this year nor will he win it again. He bullied Marco because he knew he could get away with it. Had he tried that on let’s say ………Laverty,Haga,Checa or Haslam then fists would have been flying. Melandri I hope will win the title if not Checa. Biagga you are and will always be a FIGA!!!

  17. Fernando says:

    What a class act Marco is, didnt even bothered returning the favor!!! Go Marco!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    He is lucky Marco is such a sweet guy. Some of the guys I race would have torn him apart right in the paddock.

  19. Halfie30 says:

    Marco didn’t strike back for a few reasons I think. m\Mainly because he knows he’s under Biaggi’s skin. Second because in Italy it’s not a big deal in their culture (the light slaps), and third because Marco knows he will walk all over him on the track. Look at the way Marco looks at the camera and then smiles like: “Don’t make it a big deal, This is me and Max and how we deal”…. LOL!