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.

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.

MotoGP: One More Time at the Australian GP

10/28/2012 @ 2:35 am, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

MotoGP: One More Time at the Australian GP Sunday Phillip Island MotoGP Scott Jones 01

Despite the typically variable and sometimes awful weather all week at Phillip Island, the clouds seemed to understand that Sunday afternoon was to be Casey Stoner’s last race at the Australian track, and obliged the jam-packed Aussie crowd with warm rays of sunshine.

On form all week, despite his ankle injury, Stoner was a landslide favorite to win the Australian GP, and the 53,100 fans in attendance were treated to one more showing of Stoner’s unique understanding of the Phillip Island race circuit, which now has a corner bearing his name.

With Casey doing what he does best at PI, the attention as the race started was as to whether a second World Champion would be crowned this Sunday, as Marc Márquez had locked up the 2012 Moto2 World Championship just a few minutes before the MotoGP race. With Lorenzo needing to beat Pedrosa to claim his crown, the Australian GP got underway in earnest.

Through the first turns, it was clear what Lorenzo’s intentions were, as he lead Pedrosa and Stoner through the first sections. With it being do or die, Pedrosa made haste on getting Lorenzo under control, and put his Repsol Honda at the front of the pack. The battle between the Spaniards would have to take a backseat role though, as coming down the front straight, going into the second lap, Casey Stoner made his move on Pedrosa, and never looked back.

Riding a hard, but not extreme race, Stoner comfortably won his sixth-in-a-row Australian GP with a comfortable 9+ second lead. With the crowd expecting a close battle for second, as Pedrosa clung to hope in the MotoGP Championship, the unthinkable happened: Pedrosa crashed. Coming off the racing line in Turn 4, Pedrosa said after the race that he felt the front tire begin to chatter, before it finally tucked-in on him.

Crashing out on the second lap of the race, Pedrosa was visibly distraught about what had just transpired as he rode into the pits. Dismounting from the bike, Pedrosa’s only chance for redemption would be if Lorenzo joined him prematurely in the pit lane, and gained less than two points. That, however, did not happen. With no one to push him, Lorenzo rode a managed race to the end, and claimed his second MotoGP World Championship, and his fourth overall Grand Prix World Championship.

While Casey dazzled the crowd one last time with his riding ability at Phillip Island, the close-fought action was all in the battle for third, which became the battle for fourth once Cal Crutchlow broke away from the group. With Andrea Dovizioso, Stefan Bradl, and Alvaro Bautista all trailing behind Crutchlow, the three riders took turns leading the fourth-place moto-train.

Battling in just about every race all season, that scrap of a fight went to the more experienced Dovizioso, who didn’t have the same speed as Crutchlow to breakaway from the group, and instead had to bide his time until the end of the race.

For the Ducati riders, it was a race to forget. Talking to Nicky Hayden, the American remembered fondly of previous battles with Rossi at Phillip Island, though those were always for the race win. For 2012, it would be for 7th place. Destroying his front tire over the course of the 27 laps, a last turn bobble kept Hayden from putting further pressure on Rossi.

For the Italian, seventh place seemed the ultimate potential, and joked that the 37 second deficit at the checkered flag wasn’t a bad result, saying he was expecting it to be more like 54 seconds (2 seconds a lap behind Stoner).

For the CRT contingency however, Saturday’s qualifying promise turned out to be an empty one, though Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaro managed a good intramural scrimmage throughout the race. For their efforts, they managed to embarrass Hector Barbera, who finished behind the CRT bikes with his satellite Ducati prototype machine.

MotoGP finishes up the 2012 season at Valencia, Spain in two weeks’ time, and will be immediately followed with the start of the post-season testing at the same venue.

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

1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda41’01.324
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+9.223
3Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+14.570
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+23.303
5Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+23.432
6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+23.467
7Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+37.113
8Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+38.387
9Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati+52.613
10Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’00.299
11Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART+1’00.342
12Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati+1’21.951
13Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter+1’27.857
14Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR1 Lap
15Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR1 Lap
Not Classified
Roberto ROLFOITASpeed MasterART9 Laps
Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter21 Laps
James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART22 Laps
Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda26 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

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