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.

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.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Cal Crutchlow Staying with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for 2013

08/25/2012 @ 2:18 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Cal Crutchlow Staying with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for 2013 Cal Crutchlow Laguna Seca MotoGP Scott Jones

Announcing ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session at Brno, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 has confirmed that it will retain Cal Crutchlow for the 2013 season, giving the French team an all-British rider line-up for next season, as Bradley Smith is set to move from Moto2 in the premier-class.

The re-signing of Crutchlow is an interesting move for the Brit, as he had been in the running for a factory seat within the Yamaha squad for most of the season, was also heavily linked to a ride in Ducati Corse for 2013, and there were even rumors of his return to World Superbike. With today’s news though, the speculation about Cal’s next season can be put to rest.

With Valentino Rossi filling the space left behind by Ben Spies, the loss of the opportunity to move into the factory Yamaha squad was a burden felt both by Crutchlow, as well as his current teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who likely would have gotten the nod had Rossi not jumped ship from Ducati Corse.

With Dovi taking Rossi’s seat at Ducati for the next two years, a bit of intrigue surrounded Crutchlow and the Italian brand, as Ducati has been apparently sitting on a signed contract from Cal since before the Mugello round.

With Ducati dragging its feet on completing the contract, Crutchlow’s options wanned, and ultimately he was left with fewer and fewer options in MotoGP. Said to be holding out for more money from Tech 3, Crutchlow is reported to have taken his case to Dorna, who may have helped the satellite Yamaha squad offer the likeable Brit a more enticing salary package.

Hoping to make seven-figure instead of six, Crutchlow has certainly put up the results of a top-shelf rider, and merely told us that he merely wished to be compensated like one. As for the factory ride, it looks like the man from Coventry will have to prove himself over the course of another season. The press release from Monster Tech 3 Yamaha is below:

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 to field all-British line-up in 2013

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is delighted to confirm that it will field an all-British rider line-up with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith in the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.

Crutchlow has signed a new one-year agreement after a fantastic second season in MotoGP. The 26-year-old is currently fifth in the World Championship standings and he has scored eight top six finishes and started from the front row of the grid in three races.

Smith will move up from the Tech 3 Racing Moto2 project. A consistent top six challenger in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class, the 21-year-old has signed a two-year contract for 2013 and 2014.

Cal Crutchlow:

“I am delighted to commit my future to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team for at least one more year. Together we have made huge progress this season and achieved some strong results and I am confident we can be even more competitive in 2013. Yamaha and Monster have been very loyal to me over a long period of time and they both made it clear how much they wanted to keep me for next year. That was incredibly flattering and I really appreciate their support. Next year will be my fifth with Yamaha and I am excited to continue my MotoGP career with them. My relationship with Tech 3 also played a big part in my decision. Herve Poncharal and all my crew have given me unbelievable backing since I joined in 2011. Yamaha put together a great package for 2012 and next year it will be even stronger. Hopefully I can reward their loyalty by challenging for the podium throughout 2013, which I know we are capable of.”

Bradley Smith:

“It is an honour for me to get the opportunity to move to MotoGP with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. I have dreamed about being a MotoGP rider for as long as I can remember and to get this chance with such a professional and successful team is fantastic. It is clear from the results achieved by Cal and Andrea (Dovizioso) in 2012 that together Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster is a very competitive package and I can’t wait to begin this new adventure in my career. I know I have a huge challenge ahead of me but I believe in my ability and I am grateful to Herve Poncharal, Yamaha and Monster for showing a lot of confidence in me to offer me this chance. I already know the Tech 3 Team so it won’t be s uch a huge transition for me and I have a good relationship with Cal. This will be very important because I can learn a lot from him. I am now looking forward to finishing the season strongly in Moto2 for Tech 3 Racing before I get my first chance to ride a YZR-M1 machine in Valencia.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:

“I am really happy to confirm that Cal and Bradley will be with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in 2013. Cal has done an amazing job this season and I am convinced that he is only going to continue to improve. He is a fast rider but also a big personality and we were determined to keep him with us for next season. We know there was a lot of interest in him, so for us to capture his signature is a big positive. Bradley has demonstrated his high potential in Moto2 and I have every confidence in him that he will be competit ive in MotoGP. Of course he faces a very difficult challenge because the level now in MotoGP is incredible. But he has a great attitude and a big desire to make this new chapter in his career a successful one. What I can assure him is that Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster will give him 100% support to help him show his potential. I have no doubt this is the strongest line-up we could have put together for next season and we can look ahead to 2013 with high expectations.”

Source: Monster Yamaha Tech 3; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. anti says:

    At least now he’ll have a chance of beating Dovi in 2013.

  2. Westward says:

    I like Cal, but De Puniet deserves more than he has been getting in MotoGP. I guess a french passport means very little to Dorna…

    Now we all await the official word on Ben Spies…

  3. dc4go says:

    I like Cal but ultimately if I had to choose between Dovi and him I would pick Dovi…. Dovi is fast, calm and collected hopefully Ducati sorts out the geometry issues with the Duc real soon..

  4. TexusTim says:

    Dovi is vey good and on a Honda or Yamaha he stands to be the next superstar I worry for him on the Duc, was it the only factory ride available ? probabably .
    Crutch is a very good rider and in the end luck helped him stay off the Duc, it will be intersting to see how each of these riders do next year.
    Spies…..a vey good rider …could he do better ?..ABSOLUTLY !…why hasnt he then ? you dont hear talk of any team wanting to pick him up…. not in moto gp and I really dont hear about any team wanting him anywere…whats up ? in some ways you make your own luck and karma has a way of coming back to you both good and bad it would seem he had some dues to pay. So far I have heard about a bad tire. a bad swingarm,a bad shock,a bad visor on his helmet,and two times he got food posioning..now the last thing is a blown motor…..thats seven races were there was some type of issue that kept him from performing…you cant blame all that on just luck. My guess is Yamaha gave him one option for next year.. move back to tech 3 none other as they were going for rossi no matter what and Lorenzo(yes thats right lorenzo not lorentho till I hear the moto gp anouncers call him lorentho im sticking with Lorenzo) isnt going anywere. so spies had no real option as no one wanted him…at his level of riding I dont understand that unless everyone in moto gp knows he’s not ridding next year at least not in motogp…I dont think he will race at all next year and we may never see him race again unless he goes broke in all his personel investments or gets sued again for not paying his debt to those that enter into contracts with him and his mom.