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.

MotoGP: Casey Stoner Fined €5,000 for Punching Randy de Puniet in Warm-Up Session

05/15/2011 @ 5:04 am, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Casey Stoner Fined €5,000 for Punching Randy de Puniet in Warm Up Session Casey Stoner Randy de Puniet punch 635x453

The tenor of temper tantrums and drama in the MotoGP paddock seemingly escalates with each passing day, as the Warm-Up session at Le Mans saw further scuffles from MotoGP riders. Punching Randy de Puniet in the arm, Casey Stoner has been levied a €5,000 fine by Race Direction for the contact with the French rider. With such a physical act is clearly out of order and unsportsmanlike in any sort of motorcycle race, but the issue about slower riders on the racing line has also surfaced, with many in the MotoGP paddock looking for some intervention from Race Direction on that issue as well.

The incident came about as Randy de Puniet and Álvaro Bautista had slowed on the racing line (seemingly having their own moment with each other), with Stoner rapidly approaching on his Repsol Honda. With de Puniet looking back over his shoulder, the French rider seemingly moved to get out of the way of Stoner, who was on the inside of the two riders. However moving to the outside, Randy blocked Casey’s line, as the Australian went to the outside as well to make his pass over the slower duo.

Visibly upset about having not only slower riders on the racing line, but also getting blocked on his faster lap, Stoner punched de Puniet on the upper-arm/shoulder as he rode by, with the two riders exchanging other gestures that we haven’t been able to identify in the ASL dictionary. For this act, Race Direction has fined Stoner €5,000, though no penalty has been assessed to Randy de Puniet for his part in the incident, with the Frenchman simply getting a warning for his part. Slow-lappers on the racing line has been an increasingly problematic issue in MotoGP, and is a personal pet-peev for Casey Stoner, who doesn’t like riders latching onto his Honda and getting a tow around the circuit.

So far Race Direction has not handed-out fines or penalties for the plethora of riders sitting on the racing line and waiting for a tow, and many in the MotoGP paddock are waiting for the officials to step-in on the issue. There’s no doubt that lately there’s been a laissez-faire approach to the melodrama that has become MotoGP racing in 2011, with riders publicly scuffling with each other essentially from the Spanish GP onward.

After the qualifying session yesterday, riders lined up in the Safety Commission meeting to complain about Marco Simoncelli’s riding this weekend, as the Italian has also been under scrutiny for his aggressive riding at Le Mans. With racing at the French GP about to get started in several hours, we’ll see who has the largest handbag in the Le Mans paddock.

Photo: MotoGP

Comment:

  1. Steve says:

    Casey shouldn’t have punched him. Bad Sportsmanship.

    A bitchslap to the back of Rany’s helmet would have been more appropriate and cheaper.

  2. Patrick says:

    Stoner is obviously an egomaniacal little s@#t.

  3. Jeram says:

    big bunch of sooks those riders are

    back in the age of real riding heros there would have had a punch on in the pit garage

  4. stooonerpid says:

    stupd…arrogant……

  5. ML says:

    Stoner and Jorge seem to think they own the track. Anyone who gets in their way or gets physical draws their criticism. And are they talking about making rules to determine how and where on a track people are allowed to pass each other? This sport is getting ridiculous…

  6. Minibull says:

    No, they both cocked up, but I’m with Stoner on this one. He was going far quicker than de Puniet and then had him swerve in front. As Stoner said on the grid, he really thought he was going to smash into the back of him. Obviously he shouldnt have hit him, but when something like this happens at 300 odd kph, the adrenaline is going to be flowing and spur of the moment decisions are going to be made. Its not as though damage was done by the punch either. They both realised their mistakes and apologised to each other. Just a big mix-up.

    What happened in the race though….ooooooo, i wont spoil it ;)

  7. RacerX says:

    Who cares. All you you panzies leave wimp comments. He should’ve punched Rossi instead!!!

  8. RacerX says:

    LOts of liberal panzies leave comments on this website!

  9. Keith says:

    heh, punch no. Dope slap to the back of the lid? heck yeah! Randy has been around the block enough times and knows better than to be a line blocker if he’s not at pace. Have to agree with Doc tho’ a lot of these guys act like wimps.

  10. In my day, this would have been settled by Stoner hitting Randy’s kill switch as he went past. But I suppose in the spirit of the times (and boy, would it up ratings) they should install a UFC-style chain-link octagon in the paddock and just let riders call each other out. In this particular matchup, I”d put De Puniet 8 to 5 favorite.

  11. Yeah, he should’ve hit all Randy’s TC controls, or waited to get on the other side and grabbed a handful of his front brake like in the old days of GP riding!

    Poor riding by De Puniet and a pointless fine.

  12. Kenny says:

    Patrick/ML: U guys are kidding yeah??

    If I was doing the better part of 250 kph down the back straight (of an international circuit with the ‘best’ riders in the world racing) and another rider came out on to the racing line; checking his brakes and doing a 150kph less, i think anyone would have reacted in the same fashion.

    Any how, Randy proved the calibre of rider he is in his finishing position…

  13. Billy B.Tso says:

    “we’ll see who has the largest handbag in the Le Mans paddock.” hahahaha!! well said Jensen Beeler!!

  14. MikeD says:

    I say:

    Let them at each other after the race is done. Nothing like blowing steam the old fashion way. I bet Randy would think twice before doing it again.

    POLE BLOCKER !

  15. MikeD says:

    aND yES…A Bitch Slap on the back of the “brain bucket” would’ve done it nicely.

  16. news says:

    a bitch move by Ms. Stoner. The guy can ride, but has no class.

  17. Oldrider says:

    Agree Stoner’s a whinger and I’m an Aussie. Grow up Casey.

    You will never be Rossi even if you make stupid half -assed comments.Tho I must admit it was funny. It clearly showed how clueless you were about your own ambitions. It is your ambition that overides your skills. Rossi has 10 in the bag. You mate, have more falls during the races than Rossi has during practice sessions.

    Admittedly, Stoner is better than the preening pompous idiot Lorenzo. It’ll be interesting to see how he does next year without help from Rossi in setting up the new Yamaha. Maybe he’ll steal Ben Spies’s settings by pulling rank as #1 rider.

    @Mark Gardiner – Caey would have fallen off if he tried to hit Randy’s kill switch

  18. BikePilot says:

    Back at my high school we used to run over obnoxious lappers. It was no big deal. A punch? That’s all he could come up with? There’s always the classic front brake squeeze or kill switch flip as well, but nothing’s quite as sweet as drifting a rear wheel into a punk’s front end coming out of a corner…

  19. TES says:

    Stoner & Lorenzo are two of the biggest tools in all of racing… they are so egotistical it makes me sick (they act like two female supermodels on fast bikes). If they can’t accept an occasional bit of aggressive riding by other riders, then they should have pursued a different sport to make a living at. To drive by and punch another rider is pure pussy-antics (especially during a warm-up session for christ’s sake!!!)… settle it in the pit instead of doing it for “exposure” (by the way, wasn’t Stoner the one criticizing Rossi for doing things “for the cameras” at Estoril a few weeks back (ie his apology)??? Talk about a double standard! Moto GP really needs to harvest a better fleet of riders, or they are going to lose a lot of fans. Between the small roster & half of them being so damn unlikable, the outlook seems bleak, which is a shame… Piss off Stoner, and go give Jorge a neck rub.

  20. Ades says:

    It amazes me the people that complain about not having any “action” in Moto GP or things not being “like the old days”, then when these very things are happening, complain ABOUT them happening!

    The hard men myth……..Less media coverage, less professionalism, less sponsorship pressure etc etc in the “good old days” (the seemingly refers to the Rainey/Schwantz, Lawson/Spencer, KR/SHeene days only)….. they were doing the same things, complaining just as much, and the only thing “hard” was their sleeping arrangements.

    The present day rider has more pressure, rides faster and harder (Rossi “You have to ride the Desmocedici like the 500′s”), has to understand far more complex motorcycles, and every single word or action is captured, printed, analyzed and dissected and then have their talent disregarded in favour of a simplistic popularity contest supported mainly by armchair commentators who haven’t a clue. The internet is both a curse and a blessing really…..

    Remember, without these riders and their passion, most would complain Moto GP is boring again…..

    I love the antics of Rossi, Simoncelli, Lorenzo, Stoner & De Puniet….. and I say more please.

  21. cristi-x says:

    c’mon, people, it wasn’t a punch, it actually was a kind of “hey, man, what are you doing with your head in the clouds? we’re on a motogp track here”