MotoGP: Nail-Biter at the Australian GP

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.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

MotoGP: Nail-Biter at the Australian GP

10/15/2011 @ 11:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Nail Biter at the Australian GP Casey Stoner Repsol Honda MotoGP Phillip Island

Despite multiple showers, MotoGP managed to dodge having wet any sessions for the Australian GP. With the weather always unpredictable at Phillip Island, concern on what was above quickly turned to concern on the track, as Jorge Lorenzo suffered a weekend-ending finger injury after a violent tankslapper sent the Spaniard to the tarmac in Turn 12. Out of the Australian GP, the incident all but assures Casey Stoner of clinching the 2011 MotoGP Championship at his home GP, and on his birthday no less.

The bad news continued for Yamaha, as Ben Spies announced that he would not race at Phillip Island as well, too battered and concussed from yesterday’s 167 mph get-off. Also a scratch was Australia’s own Damian Cudlin, who was filling-in for the injured Hector Barbera in the Mapfire Aspar Ducati squad. Cudlin’s second chance at riding a Ducati in a MotoGP race, the Australian also had to sit this race out because of injuries sustained during a T4 high-side on Saturday morning.

With the grid down to just 14 riders, the new front row consisted of Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli, and Alvaro Baustista. Lorenzo’s misfortune is an obvious boon to the Rizla Suzuki squad, who have found a new intensity these past few races. With Spie’s, and subsequently Yamaha’s, withdrawal from the Australian GP, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa also got a boost, moving from the middle of the third row, to the outside of the second row. Teammate, and rival for third in the Championship, Andrea Dovizioso certainly can’t be pleased with that circumstance of that situation.

With all eyes on the picturesque island track, MotoGP fans eagerly awaited to see if a new World Champion would be crowned today. Continue reading to find out more.

Right out of the gates, the Australian GP was the Casey Stoner show, as the Repsol Rider pulled a gap over the field within the first few turns. Following the Australian down the front straight and through Turn 1 were the closely-packed bikes of Nicky Hayden, Marco Simoncelli, Andrea Dovizioso, and Alvaro Bautista, while further off Valentino Rossi was trailed by Dani Pedrosa. Out for an early domination, and by the conclusion of the first lap, Stoner had already put himself a second in front of the second place Hayden, and continued to build steam.

While Stoner continued to do what he does best at Phillip Island, the battle for second heated up, as Simoncelli put pressure on Hayden. Passing the American going into Turn 12, SuperSic pulled out a gap on the Ducati going into the third lap, leaving behind the group now battling for third. Hayden would continue his slide backwards through the pack, suffering from a lack of rear grip, as Dovizioso would pass him a lap later, followed by Pedrosa a lap after that. Though Hayden would answer back, the Honda rider regained his position, and moved on to tackle teammate Dovi.

With Stoner comfortably in the lead by five seconds, Dovi and Pedrosa became the battle to watch, as the Repsol Honda riders had only a point separating them in the World Championship standings. However soon the specter of rain reared its head, and by the ninth lap the white flag allowing riders to switch bikes began to fly. That news didn’t stop the riders though, as battles continued to be fought on Philip Island.

Pedrosa, on his softer rear tire, was able to catch and pass Dovi, while Valentino Rossi also found his teammate Nicky Hayden in sixth place. Rossi would go on to pass Hayden in Turn 2, and make his way to Alvaro Bautista. However catching the Spaniard on the inside of the T10, Rossi pushed the front too hard into the turn, and crashed out of the race. Meanwhile, Pedrosa’s softer tires began to fade compared to his rival’s hards, and with seven laps remaining, Dovizioso was able to recapture the third place position.

With five laps remaining Pedrosa continued that pressure and showed that he was not going quietly into that good night, showing a wheel to Dovi going into Turn 1. That would be the last of his protest though, as Pedrosa soon gave up the fight, finishing 10 seconds behind Dovi. Still one of the fastest riders on the track, Stoner’s ride to victory and the World Championship seemed assured, but not before the Phillip Island weather had something to say about it.

The first to crash was Karel Abraham, who with four laps remaining found the gravel trap. The crash was a solo affair, and the Czech rider was thankfully able to re-join the race, though he likely would have preferred a 8th place finish instead of his 10th place result.

With three laps to go, the rain was affecting the rest of the field in force. With secondary bikes starting in pit lane, we saw multiple riders hit the tarmac as the rain came down in different parts of the track. The first was Alvaro Bautista, followed by Crutchlow and Aoyama. Meanwhile, Hayden and Capirossi entered the pits, swapping their bikes for ones shod in rain tires (Hayden would lose position to both Edwards and De Puniet, though the American admitted the Texas Tornado would have caught hi regardless of the pit entry). On the track, the action continued as Dovi took advantage of a tiptoeing Simoncelli, passing his rival through Turns 11 & 12.

SuperSic would return the favor a lap later at the bus stop that is Turn 4. Making a smart pass, Simoncelli rode to an eggshell finish, just ahead of Dovizioso. Keeping his slicks on, Stoner eased his way through traffic and the wet track to take a comfortable, yet nail-biting, first place finish at Phillip Island. Triumphantly winning the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, Stoner was greeted in pit lane to a rush of fans who jumped the fences to great the Australian on his birthday win.

Congratulation and Happy Birthday to Stoner and the Repsol Honda team. MotoGP comes to us next from Sepang next week for the Malaysian GP.

Race Results from the Australian GP at Phillip Island, Australia:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Bike Diff.
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda -
2 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +2.210
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda +2.454
4 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +13.160
5 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +30.886
6 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati +48.800
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +1’16.314
8 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 1 Lap
9 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1 Lap
10 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 2 Laps
Not Classified
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 4 Laps
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 4 Laps
35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 4 Laps
46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 14 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda


  1. Kickstand says:

    Congrats Stoner!
    Undeniably the greatest rider of the 800cc era.
    Congrats to Honda for securing the constructors title!

  2. SBPilot says:

    What more can a racer ever ask for in his life. On your 26th birthday, you win your race, at your home GP, and seal your second World Championship. Not only that, with both your parents there and your wife to see it all. It honestly could not get better than that for the Casey and his family. Good on him.

  3. luke says:

    couldn’t agree more SBpilot

  4. Bruce Monighan says:

    And when his baby is born daddy will be a world champion. Nice way to start a family.

    Class act Casey is. Hard as nails with a heart of gold and a great aussie sense of humor. I think he is going to be a great dad and an amazing racer for many more years