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.

MotoGP: Ben Spies Has Double Shoulder Surgery, Not Expected to Return in the Short-Term

08/23/2013 @ 12:15 pm, by David Emmett11 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Ben Spies Has Double Shoulder Surgery, Not Expected to Return in the Short Term Friday Indianapolis GP MotoGP Scott Jones 01 635x422

Ben Spies has undergone surgery on both his shoulders in Dallas yesterday. The Ignite Pramac rider had surgery to fix the acromioclavicular joint in his left shoulder he dislocated in a practice crash at Indianapolis.

Spies also had a minor procedure already scheduled for his previously injured right shoulder, to clean out scar tissue, according to a report in US publication Cycle News. The Texan posted a picture of himself after surgery on his Twitter page, announcing his surgery, but no official word has come from Ducati or Pramac just yet.

The bad news for Spies was that after further examination, Spies’ left shoulder was found to have suffered a grade five separation, or 100% dislocation, rather than the grade three previously diagnosed.

The surgery was required to fix the clavicle in place to allow the joint to heal faster. Recovery from such surgery is generally between six and twelve weeks, meaning that the earliest Spies could return would be Aragon.

Spies’ enforced absence will mean even more missed races. So far, the Texan has competed in just two of the ten races completed so far, and if he makes his return at Aragon, he will have missed a total of eleven of thirteen races.

Though Spies is still under contract to Ducati for 2014, such an extended absence could cause Ducati to reevaluate the situation. Spies will be replaced by Pirro at the next three races.

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Source: Cycle News & Ben Spies (Twitter); Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved


  1. proudAmerican says:

    Poor Ben–last year his bike kept breaking. This year, it’s his body. I’m guessing Ducati will exercise an option to end his contract. After that, no one will want to gamble with hiring him.

  2. Halfie30 says:

    This is proof positive that Spies, Hayden, and Edwars need to go to WSBK on competitive machinery and give America one last hoorah on the world stage for a while…

  3. Gutterslob says:

    Saddens me to say this, but I suspect the boy’s GP career might be over. Hope I’m wrong.

  4. L2C says:

    Sad news.

  5. buellracerx says:

    his career was over the second he swung a leg over that career-ending bike

  6. Phil says:

    “This is proof positive that Spies, Hayden, and Edwars need to go to WSBK on competitive machinery and give America one last hoorah on the world stage for a while…”

    What the hell are you talking about!!! This isn’t the court of law or the FBI.

    Anything is possible but Ben’s career in MotoGP isn’t looking good. and most that jump on DucAudi’s seem to have committed Harakiri. I think Rossi has been more than lucky to get away with it, even though it appears to have dented his confidence.

    Looks like Ben’s run out of Luck for this season……..and last season…and…

  7. kev71 says:

    Have to agree Spies is wearing out his welcome in MotkoGP. He should not have even sigkned to ride this year knowing he was not near 100%. Seems a bit shady to me, reminds me of Hopkins signing to ride for John Ulrich knowing he wasn’t close to 100%. His character will be seriously questioned from now on. He’ll get no love from Yamaha and Honda views him as damaged goods and they have better talent they can sign. If Ducati gives him the boot, which they should, he’ll be left with an even less competitive bike to ride.
    Of course some will say, “what about Suzuki?” They would be crazy to sign him. Some also like the Suzuki ride to Hopkins as well. Again, this would be a disaster! They’d get a lot of crash data but. That’s about all.

  8. Mr.X says:

    Breaking news! We are getting unconfirmed reports that a surgeon has advised one of his patients that he DID NOT NEED SURGERY! If this is true, it will be the first time in modern history that a surgeon did not supplant his personal desire for a newer car or larger home with the actual best interest of his patient.
    Alas, this mythical man does not treat anyone in MotoGP.

    It is a fact that so much surgery is performed on patients who would be much better served with ice, rest, and physical therapy. I don’t know if that’s the case in this case, but it’s not NEVER the case! It’s ridiculous, but in what other field than medicine is the salesman given so much trust? and in what other field is that trust so misplaced, or the results so severe?

  9. benji says:

    Ben crashes more than my 8 year old laptop. Doesn’t matter what he’s riding. And he keeps saying ‘I wont come back till I’m 100%’ Sorry Ben, but at this level, you can’t be a pussy like that. Have a look around you at what other riders, not necessarily top level riders, do to keep their privileged place at the top level, riding while injured. You’re acting as if you can afford the time off – you can’t. WAKE UP.

  10. Kaw4Life says:

    MrX – Not even close to true, I have been told that many times. To date I have only been on the table 14 times.

    benji – It is my belief that he does not want to race. He has given up. How does anyone crash in pit lane?

  11. Scott says:

    Mr. X, you are an idiot. How many ways can you spell moron? I know of 2 and one way is “Mr. X”. Don’t be a bitch by hiding your real name because you can hide behind a computer screen that makes it easy to post such false information that it wasn’t even a rumor anywhere. It’s irritating that very reliable sources (i.e. confirms Spies needed surgery. As far as his career? Just shut up!! It’s his problem, not yours. So stop being a fool and typing words that you heard from your stupid, un-resourceful, lying, friends whom most likely live with you in your mom’s basement. So go back to playing world of Warcraft for an easy average of 11 hours a day and working a part time minimum wage job which prevents you from playing video games literally all day and leave the real motorcycle racing fans to watch each season as it unfolds while we give our support regardless of what happens behind the scenes. Thank you. (also you shouldn’t have dropped out of school, your grammar sucks!)