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: Qualifying Shows Some Surprises at Phillip Island

10/14/2011 @ 10:34 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Qualifying Shows Some Surprises at Phillip Island Casey Stoner Qualifying MotoGP Phillip Island 635x421

With suspicious skies, qualifying for MotoGP’s Australian GP got underway today. With the weather always variable at Phillip Island, riders saw sun, clouds, and a light spitting of rain before taking to the qualifying session. Normally a favorite track with the GP riders, Phillip Island has been plagued with a bumpy and torn-up surface, which dominated the discussion after Friday’s debriefings. With the Australian track announcing that the GP circuit would be resurfaced before the 2013 season, there is at least a remedy on the way, though it doesn’t bode well for the 2012 Australian GP.

Despite the surface conditions, Casey Stoner primarily lead the charge through the Free Practice sessions, though not in as dominant of a fashion as one would have expected. Finishing FP3 just over half a second quicker than Lorenzo, Stoner is still the paddock favorite to win tomorrow’s race, though his chances of clinching the Championship here at home seem slim. Able to keep the Australian within their reach, Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli have given Stoner chase, though none of them have been able to take the top position on the timesheet from the Aussie.

In qualifying Lorenzo posted a quick 1:30.991 time that stood throughout half of the session, until Pedrosa took the top spot from his fellow Spaniard. That glory would be short-lived though, as Stoner would enter back into the mix with 14 minutes remaining, taking 8/10ths off Pedrosa’s time. Making further revisions to his time, Stoner dropped the top mark into the 1:29′s with seven minutes remaining in the qualifying session.

Setting pole with a 1:29.975, Stoner once again showed his dominance at Phillip Island, and put .473 seconds between him and Lorenzo during the session. Rounding out the front row was Marco Simoncelli, who like the other two riders has been on a different plane in Australia all race weekend, when compared to the rest of the MotoGP field..

Other notables were Alvaro Bautista and Nicky Hayden, who will bookend Andrea Dovizioso respectively on the second row. The fourth place qualifying for Rizla Suzuki is certainly encouraging, and hopefully bodes well for the squad as we eagerly await news of their 2012 season plans.

Noticeably absent from the mix was Dani Pedrosa, who qualified 8th and well behind his Repsol Honda teammates. Valentino Rossi had a miserable session/day, relegated to 15th throughout most of qualifying, and managing only 13th by the session’s end.

Qualifying Results from the Australian GP at Phillip Island, Australia:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Bike Time Diff.
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’29.975 -
2 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1’30.448 0.473
3 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1’30.599 0.624
4 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 1’30.714 0.739
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’30.780 0.805
6 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 1’30.792 0.817
7 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1’30.835 0.860
8 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’30.871 0.896
9 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’31.237 1.262
10 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1’31.583 1.608
11 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1’31.635 1.660
12 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1’31.889 1.914
13 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’31.980 2.005
14 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’32.023 2.048
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 1’32.054 2.079
16 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 1’32.503 2.528
6 Damian CUDLIN AUS Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 1’36.666 6.691

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda

Comment:

  1. SBPilot says:

    I don’t know why doesn’t Rossi just take Hayden’s settings. They can’t be THAT bad (I mean he did qualify sixth) I’m sure Rossi possess the skill to adapt to a setting though not his own but at least proven to work-ish.

    Shame about Cudlin

  2. Scruby says:

    Hayden and Rossi are on different bikes,no?….Hayden’s on the 11.1 and Rossi’s on the aluminum twin spar?

  3. john walker says:

    Could it be that Hayden is simply the better rider at this point in time?

    Rossi was a great champion but as long as he is on a Ducati he will never be champion, lets be real.

    Honda unfortunatley keeps staying ahead of everyone else and makes for viewing GP more and more boring..

  4. Halfie 30 says:

    Didn’t Rossi develop the M1? Still don’t understand why people think Rossi is “unhappy”. He lives for these types of challenges. I think next season with an off season to work on the bike you will see a different Ducati and Rossi. Hayden is faster than he gets credit for. He’s had more time on the Duc too. I’m not even a Rossi fan and I see this. LOL

  5. mark says:

    Lets face it, Rossi is not going to risk injury to push a bike that he knows is crap just to move up a few positions. Until Ducati gives him a bike he knows he can win on, he’ll just go through the motions.

  6. Halfie 30 says:

    @ John Walker. I’m Pretty sure this is the first championship Hona has won since Rossi was on one… How many years is that? Stoner has proven he is fast, and that the 80/20 rider to bike ratio is getting a
    Little diluted for sure, but Honda has had “the bike” to ride in Moto GP since it’s inception yet the can’t win with out the top two elite riders in the paddek. Doesn’t bode to well for the bike.

  7. Halfie 30 says:

    Oops forgot about Hayden in ’06. Wait… He’s riding better On the hike Rossi just couldn’t ride though… Hmmm…. Honda’s bike is not the x-factor. The rider is.