Kevin Schwantz Tests Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP Bike at COTA, While Randy De Puniet Matches Pace of Open Bikes

Suzuki’s MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit, as the team had not yet tested the Suzuki XRH-1 at COTA, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015. Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday’s race.

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 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.

MotoGP: Time Marches on at the Japanese GP

10/14/2012 @ 4:23 am, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Time Marches on at the Japanese GP Jorge Lorenzo MotoGP Yamaha Motegi 635x421

One of the three “flyaway” races before the season finale in Valencia, the Japanese GP is race that is not only important to the two remaining Japanese manufacturers in the premier class, but it begins the dénouement of the MotoGP Championship.

Finding renewed vigor in his Championship hunt, Dani Pedrosa has only a handful of races left to catch Jorge Lorenzo, and win his first premier-class title. Truthfully needing Lorenzo to make a critical mistake or suffer a mechanical failure, Pedrosa also has to keep the pressure on his rival, and try to minimize the gap to his fellow Spaniard.

With each place separating the two riders likely to play a pivotal role at the end of the season, the drama unfolding in Motegi was palpable, though the action itself was a slow grind of a multi-campaign war.

Sitting on the pole-position, Jorge Lorenzo seemed to be in a commanding position on his Yamaha, though Pedrosa showed an uncanny pace on his Honda as well. Leading into the first turns, Lorenzo would take charge of the race, or so it seemed. A replay of the last race at Aragon, Pedrosa stalked and studied his pray, before finally making his move on Lorenzo with 13 laps remaining.

Putting down the hammer, Pedrosa ensured that Lorenzo had no response to his charge, leaving the Yamaha man to settle for second place. While definitively losing the battle, Lorenzo is clearly winning the war, and even a string of third place finishes in the next three races would assure the factory Yamaha rider of regaining his reigning World Champion status. Though, if Lorenzo is racing with his head, Pedrosa is racing with his heart — and winning over critics in the process.

Marginally more entertaining than the battle at the front, the battle for third was full of intrigue in the final laps, though it ended with a whimper. Early in the race, Cal Crutchlow seemed to have a lonely, but assured podium in the bag, but Alvaro Bautista made a charge, and caught the satellite Yamaha rider mid-race. Swapping corners, and nearly swapping paint, the re-signed Bautista put on a good show for his renewed team, though the battle was cut short as Crutchlow’s M1 ran out of fuel in Turn 3 of the final lap.

Handing Bautista his second podium of the year, Cal’s race retirement also handed his teammate Andrea Dovizioso a fourth place finish. Noticeably absent from the mix was Ben Spies, who crashed in the second lap of the race, doing so while in third place and close to the leading riders — again teasing Yamaha with a result that could have been.

Casey Stoner easily takes the “Hero of the Day” award, as the Australian powered through the pain in his right ankle, and finished a solid fifth place for his hard work. Citing a supreme package from the team, Stoner attributed his finish to his personal fitness not being up to the task to ride around the foot injury. For the Australian, we imagine the only race that truly matters in the season is his home round at Phillip Island in two weeks’ time.

Race Results from the Japanese GP at Motegi, Japan:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeTime
1Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda42’31.569
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+4.275
3Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+6.752
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+16.397
5Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda+20.566
6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+24.567
7Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+26.072
8Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+36.724
9Katsuyuki NAKASUGAJPNYamaha YSP Racing TeamYamaha+36.794
10Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati+1’10.729
11Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati+1’15.658
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’22.769
13Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter+1’24.968
14James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART+1’29.388
15Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR+1’34.612
16Roberto ROLFOITASpeed MasterART+1’50.853
Not Classified
Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1 Lap
Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter1 Lap
Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR10 Laps
Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART10 Laps
Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha23 Laps
Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR23 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    A REAL SHAME for Spies…what a waste of bike and rider.
    Also for Stoner…too bad he can’t properly put the pressure on Lorenzo…….YET. (^_^)
    But money shot took it Crutchlow………….talk about saying ” Earth, open up and swallow me down ” , running out of fuel on the last lap…i would shoot myself on the face.
    Why fuel limit’s ? Another awesome rule that should bite the dust and die.

  2. seburo says:

    I agree, some stupid rules…