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.

Moto2: 41 Riders Set Out on Historic First Qualifying

04/11/2010 @ 1:21 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

Moto2: 41 Riders Set Out on Historic First Qualifying Toni Elias Moto2 qualifying Qatar 560x285

Along with the MotoGP and 125GP qualifying events, Qatar is playing host this weekend to the first running of the Moto2 race class, which is replacing the 250GP race action from this day forward. 41 riders were on hand for qualifying on Saturday, and despite the large field of entry, only 4.4 seconds separates all these racers (3.5 seconds if you drop Bernat Martinez and his last position Bimota). While the names may be unfamiliar, the racing is sure to be extremely close (we can’t even fathom what Turn 1 is going to look like).

There are a few familiar faces though, namely Toni Elias who took the very first pole position of the new racing class. Another familiar name is Alex de Angelis, who will start from the second row in 4th position, after being ousted from hit MotoGP rider last year. As we get to know the riders of Moto2 we’ll also see a vetting process on which manufacturer put together the best chassis for the single motor class.

A quick look at the qualifying sheet, and it seems that there is no one bike that stands above the rest of the field. Our best guess would at least peg the Suter machine as being the best bang-for-the-buck, with three bikes in the Top 10 and being the cheapest bike in the paddock. Tech3 as a team is looking very strong, but of course we still have Sunday’s race day to see where the proof is in the pudding. We can’t wait.

Results from Moto2 Qualifying at the Losail International Circuit at Doha, Qatar:

PosNo.RiderBikeTimeDiffDiff. to Prev.
124Toni ELIASMORIWAKI2’01.904--
260Julian SIMONRSV2’02.0320.1280.128
365Stefan BRADLSUTER2’02.0380.1340.006
415Alex DE ANGELISFORCE GP2102’02.1010.1970.063
572Yuki TAKAHASHITECH 32’02.2950.3910.194
616Jules CLUZELSUTER2’02.3660.4620.071
735Raffaele DE ROSATECH 32’02.5600.6560.194
86Alex DEBONFTR2’02.7590.8550.199
948Shoya TOMIZAWASUTER2’02.7710.8670.012
1025Alex BALDOLINII.C.P.2’02.8660.9620.095
1140Sergio GADEAPONS KALEX2’02.8810.9770.015
1244Roberto ROLFOSUTER2’02.8830.9790.002
1363Mike DI MEGLIORSV2’02.8960.9920.013
142Gabor TALMACSISPEED UP2’02.9161.0120.020
1559Niccolo CANEPAFORCE GP2102’03.0021.0980.086
1612Thomas LUTHIMORIWAKI2’03.0411.1370.039
1745Scott REDDINGSUTER2’03.1291.2250.088
1875Mattia PASINIMOTOBI2’03.1551.2510.026
1914Ratthapark WILAIROTBIMOTA2’03.1921.2880.037
2077Dominique AEGERTERSUTER2’03.2321.3280.040
2129Andrea IANNONESPEED UP2’03.2581.3540.026
2241Arne TODESUTER2’03.3411.4370.083
2317Karel ABRAHAMRSV2’03.3461.4420.005
2410Fonsi NIETOMORIWAKI2’03.3901.4860.044
2552Lukas PESEKMORIWAKI2’03.5311.6270.141
263Simone CORSIMOTOBI2’03.5881.6840.057
2768Yonny HERNANDEZBQR-MOTO22’03.6351.7310.047
2871Claudio CORTISUTER2’03.7251.8210.090
2953Valentin DEBISEADV2’03.7521.8480.027
309Kenny NOYESPROMOHARRIS2’03.7921.8880.040
3180Axel PONSPONS KALEX2’04.3012.3970.509
3255Hector FAUBELSUTER2’04.4172.5130.116
3361Vladimir IVANOVMORIWAKI2’04.4702.5660.053
345Joan OLIVEPROMOHARRIS2’04.4762.5720.006
3521Vladimir LEONOVSUTER2’04.5792.6750.103
3639Robertino PIETRISUTER2’04.6292.7250.050
3795Mashel AL NAIMIBQR-MOTO22’04.8712.9670.242
3896Anthony DELHALLEBQR-MOTO22’04.9123.0080.041
398Anthony WESTHONDA2’05.3623.4580.450
4088Yannick GUERRAMORIWAKI2’05.4603.5560.098
4176Bernat MARTINEZBIMOTA2’06.3104.4060.850


  1. Moto2: 41 Riders Set Out on Historic First Qualifying – #motorcycle

  2. harumph says:

    Moto2 was fantastic considering it was the first time out. Tomizawa was impressive.