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 Signs Three-Year Deal with FOX Sports 1 / SPEED

03/25/2013 @ 11:11 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

MotoGP Signs Three Year Deal with FOX Sports 1 / SPEED Ben Spies Laguna Seca Scott Jones

After witnessing the World Superbike Championship relegated to the obscurity of the beIN Sports channel for live race coverage (it was good coverage though), American motorcycle race fans can rest easy, as Dorna has finally inked an American TV deal for MotoGP.

Signing a three-year deal with FOX Sports, the 2013 MotoGP Championship will again air on the SPEED Channel, which will then become the FOX Sports 1 channel later in August (the Indianapolis GP will air during the new channel’s premiere week).

The news is a relief for the fans who thought MotoGP would go without television coverage in the United States this year, though that was never really a possibility.

To its credit, it looks like FOX Sports will give more extensive coverage to MotoGP, with the US qualifying rounds and pre-race coverage being broadcasted on TV. Free Practice and on-board footage will be available as well, although they will be sequestered to and SPEED2.

“With an international event line-up that includes three U.S. stops, MotoGP brings an immediate world class motor sports presence to the FOX Sports 1 line-up,” said FOX Sports EVP Programming & Research Bill Wanger. “Having the race from iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway fall on our FS1 launch weekend is a bonus, and one of which we plan to take full advantage.”

“We’re very proud of this new agreement with Fox Sports and we are looking forward to being part of this huge project that is Fox Sports 1,” added Dorna’s Managing Director of the Media Area Manel Arroyo. “Through this agreement, MotoGP will continue to be watched by our extensive American fan base, via the Speed channel until August and from then on, via the new Fox Sports 1 channel.

“Our 15-year partnership is arriving now to a very exciting MotoGP season with three GPs on U.S. soil and the promise of some thrilling action on track, continued Manel. “We will deliver the very highest standard of TV coverage of the Championship, using the latest production technologies, which is what our fans in the U.S. and around the world and also our Global media partners like the Fox Sports Group, deserve.”

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


  1. ircsmith says:

    This is a good thing!? SPEED sucks! I had cable for one reason. watching motorcycle racing. after putting up with SPEEDS crappy coverage, Greg W. ignorant and annoying comments along with the the attempted transition to a NASCAR like forum I canceled cable. have been cable free for 3 years now! looks like I will be cable free for another 15. They will not be getting my money for such a poor product. I will continue to go to local races to get my racing fix. beIN I may have looked into from all the rave reviews I heard of the coverage but SPEED, no way.

  2. Norm G. says:

    re: “American motorcycle race fans can rest easy, as Dorna has finally inked an American TV deal for MotoGP.”

    or can they…? meanwhile, the legs are out from under both WSBK and their domestic championship.

  3. Gritboy says:

    Good, though I’m still bummed about WSBK because I can’t get beIN. Will have to find a bit torrent version I guess.

  4. One Fast Nana says:

    I have to disagree, WSBK coverage on BeIn is spectacular! I have never seen such in depth coverage of my favorite sport! Speed coverage is horrible as far as in depth coverage. Their announcer comes on and interrupts live feed and can’t keep the riders straight, they don’t show the top three at the end of the race, or keep track of who is in front, so I really am pleased with BeIn ocverage. we’ll see though because you say they are going to have better coverage??? I think American fans with 3 races in the states will need to stand up and be heard when it comes to TV coverage if they want to see more of it!

  5. singletrack says:

    Overall, good news. I don’t mind the HD coverage on Speed. Could it be better? of course, but I don’t want to watch the races on my computer.

    But, Dorna owns MotoGP and WSBK, but only one series gets the TV deal in America ?

    It has to be Fox that only wants one international Motorcycle road racing series on TV.
    Wouldn’t want to confuse people with two series’. All those motorsickles look the same, runnin round with furrin soundin names…. ;)

  6. Duke says:

    That sucks

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “Good, though I’m still bummed about WSBK because I can’t get beIN.”

    re: “I have to disagree, WSBK coverage on BeIn is spectacular!”

    the 2 comments above has my “irony” detector pegged off scale.

    would also like to point out the reason we even know from names like nicky hayden, colin edwards, and ben spies in grandprix is a direct result of the paths they BLAZED thru AMA and WSBK. that feeder link is all but severed now.

  8. JHB1984 says:

    @gritboy … search youtube user the666Sicco ;o)

  9. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    ircsmith, me thinks you are mistaken its Greg K
    Not W, Greg W is a great voice for the motorcycling

  10. JulietNatoWhiskey says:

    SPEED’s coverage of MotoGP suxxx da BIGG BONE!! This is terrible news. beIN’s coverage of WSBK is so much better than SPEED’s ever was. Looks like I’m renewing my MotoGP subscription for 2013. Nick Harris and Gavin Emmett here we go again!

  11. TexusTim says:

    I allways renew my motogp subscription… I dont count on american tv for coverage anymore. us should just ink a deal with moto gp to air its coverage live for the entire event and stop trying to come up with anouncers that:
    1 dont know the tracks
    2- dont know the riders
    3- dont ride or ever care too

  12. Tcrook21 says:

    This is horrible news. SPEED SUCKS, unless you like NASCAR. Bein Sports channel was spectacular with their coverage of World Superbike, FULL LIVE COVERAGE and NO COMMERCIALS. I was so hoping that BEIN (Directv 620) would also pick up MotoGP. Oh no, we going to have to listen to that Georgia hick who does not speak English. He’s better suited for hand fishing shows.

  13. kevin says:

    Look for Speed to make some big deal about the rusted grandstands, crap Indy track as a result of their friends at the Indy while COTA gets second rate coverage and Laguna who knows.

    BeIN, is a special package upcharge to cable that I won’t pay and no AMA coverage has to make you wonder why
    any of the MFG’s are putting money into a regional 8 race series. Looks like the nose in the air DMG rednecks are as good at managing and developing a brand (ama) as they are at acknowledging that the confederate army lost.

    Anyone who like’s racing should go to Ireland and see the real deal on the roads. Hell, they have more races by June in Ireland than the entire AMA season.

    Someone needs to wake up and stop looking to old models at Dorna. They even act like media working for online providers, with more viewers than the magazines, are somehow second class and expect us to pay to cover the event.

    Speak with your wallet if you don’t like paying to get speed on cable and go to the online coverage option. At least you’d be letting Fox, Dorna and those outdated old dogs still in charge it’s time to move on.

  14. Choco says:

    Fox er, Speed, is fixated on roundy-round Nascar. They saturate the air with good ‘ole boy-turn-left racing and twangy announcers and then put on idiotic time wasting shows that have nothing to do with racing. Where’s the motorcycle racing? Where’s the snowmobile racing. I will have to find that BeIn channel, does anyone know if it’s on Direct TV?

  15. Westward says:

    Are You Fu-Kidding Me!

  16. Doug says:

    2013 will be my third season of subscribing to the MotoGP live feed. There is simply no way Speed can compete with 100% coverage of the practice, qualifying, and full race for all three classes. I added a Logitech Revue box three years ago and pipe the coverage right to my big screen TV. ALL the racing, real commentators, minimal cheesy graphics, and NO commercials. Can’t be beat.

  17. Anvil says:

    Just an FYI about the WSB coverage, guys. BeIn streams the races live on its website. So if you can watch the races live, you don’t have to be a subscriber. No way to record them right now, unfortunately.

    And as someone also mentioned, there is a YouTube option as well, although we’ll see how long that lasts.