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 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.

MotoGP: MotoGP Race Results from the Aragon GP

09/18/2011 @ 2:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

MotoGP: MotoGP Race Results from the Aragon GP MotoGP Aragon GP start 635x423

Though threatening with strong winds and the possibility of rain, the weather held out for MotoGP riders at the Aragon GP. As the Spanish track played host to the premier class of motorcycle racing, the Aragon GP proved to be a Honda affair during qualifying, as Casey Stoner took yet another pole position, while teammate Dani Pedrosa followed closely behind as second on the grid. With Jorge Lorenzo struggling at Motorland Aragon, Ben Spies carried the Yamaha banner to the front row, qualifying third on Saturday.

The first to break the six engine rule allotment (we should add, without a special dispensation) Valentino Rossi took his seventh motor of the season, and thus was relegated to starting from the pit lane, 10 seconds after the start of the Aragon GP. Perhaps the friendliest track to take such a manuvear, Ducati Corse is clearly not only thinking for the long-term of this season, but also for the 2012 season as well. How would starting from the rear affect the nine-time World Champion, and would Jorge Lorenzo continue his pursuit of Casey Stoner at Aragon? Find out after the jump.

Counting down from 10 seconds at the start of the race, Valentino Rossi had to wait for what surely seemed like an eternity to start the Aragon GP. Meanwhile leading the the charge into the first few corners, it was American Ben Spies on his Yamaha YZR-M1 who surprised the Repsol Honda duo. Taking Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner on the outside of Turn 1, Spies mounted a short-lived leadership in the race before moving backwards. With Stoner first passing Pedrosa, and later Spies, the Australian rider once again performed another check-out race once he was in the lead.

In fact, the battle at the front was fairly nonexistent, as Dani Pedrosa also rode an unchallenged ride to the second step on the podium. Early in the race, the battle for third was of hot contention, that is beofre Spies slowly drifted down the rankings after having troubles with his rear tire. Battling with Marco Simoncelli and teammate Jorge Lorenzo, SuperSic’s own mistakes cost him position on Spies, leaving the reigning-World Champion to make his move and take a comfortable third position with 10 laps remaining in the race. SuperSic would finally account for his errors with seven laps remaining, taking fourth place, while Spies finished a disappointing fifth.

While surely happy to podium at any race, Lorenzo’s third place finish, two places behind points leader Casey Stoner, all but assures his failure to defend the #1 plate in MotoGP. Now 44 points behind Stoner, Lorenzo will have to rely on a mistake from Stoner to win the Championship. As the Australian has been a pillar of consistency throughout the season, and the Honda RC213V nearly bulletproof, the chances for Lorenzo seeing such a race ending mistake from the Repsol Honda camp seems almost null & void, though we imagine there will be many good races from the Spaniard as he continues to race for pride in the series.

Despite the implications at the front of the race, perhaps the most exciting battle at the Aragon GP was the one for ninth, as a train of riders vied for position ahead of each other. Included in the group was Valentino Rossi, who despite starting from pit lane and 10 seconds behind the field, was able to catch the backmarkers. Finishing 10th, Rossi diced things up with Cal Crutchlow and Hiroshi Aoyama, as the two satellite riders would finish respectively ahead and behind of the factory Ducati rider.

Leaving that group only eight laps into the race was a very disappointed Toni Elias, who got rammed by Loris Capirossi while on the brakes. Elias had lead the pack for ninth for sometime, and found the pavement purely because of a mistake made by Capirex. Also crashing out were Karel Abraham and Andrea Dovizioso, both of whom crashing due to rider errors. While Dovi remained frustrated, but unhurt, the rookie Abraham had to be aided off the track after making contact with his tumbling Ducati Desmosedici.

MotoGP will hit the road now, with the Japanese GP at Motegi on October 2nd, the Australian GP at Phillip Island on October 16th, and the Malaysian GP on October 23rd. Once done on its road trip, the MotoGP paddock will return back to Europe for the last round of the 2011 MotoGP Championship, the Valencian GP on November 6th.

Race Results from the Aragon GP at Motorland Aragon, Spain:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamDiff.
127Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda Team-
226Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda Team+8.162
31Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory Racing+14.209
458Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda Gresini+20.646
511Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory Racing+27.739
619Alvaro BAUTISTASPARizla Suzuki MotoGP+30.373
769Nicky HAYDENUSADucati Team+34.288
88Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGP+37.305
935Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3+39.652
1046Valentino ROSSIITADucati Team+39.832
117Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda Gresini+39.997
1214Randy DE PUNIETFRAPramac Racing Team+54.717
135Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 3+58.430
Not Classified
24Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGP8 Laps
65Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing Team8 Laps
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda Team0 Lap
17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB Motoracing0 Lap

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing

Comment:

  1. s2upid says:

    ha! great photo.. didn’t realize abraham going sideways till i took a second closer look.

  2. Andrew says:

    Moto 2 is the racing to watch. Moto GP is almost as dull as F1 these days!!

  3. Steve says:

    Got to agree with Andrew on that one. Yaaaahhnn…..

  4. Shaitan says:

    The main race was a bit of yawner, but the Moto2 race was AWESOME!

  5. Steven Oliver says:

    Is anyone else super impressed with Suzuki these days? I don’t know if its the rider or the bike but it wasn’t but a year ago they ended every race in last or extremely close to it. Now they’re breaking into the top 10 every race.