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 Sepang Test – Day 3: Enter the Factory Prototypes

02/05/2013 @ 12:48 pm, by David Emmett8 COMMENTS

MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 3: Enter the Factory Prototypes dani pedrosa repsol honda sepang motogp test

Dani Pedrosa has ended the first full-day of MotoGP factory prototype testing at Sepang at the top of the timesheets. The Repsol Honda man was fast throughout the day, finally setting a time that would not be beaten with an hour left of the test.

Though Pedrosa’s best time could not be bested, it was challenged, Jorge Lorenzo using the final minutes of the session to post his fastest lap of the day, falling just eight thousandths short of Pedrosa, but still right on the pace.

The most impressive performance of the day goes to Marc Marquez though, who was fast out of the box, led the session at one point and finished the day less than five hundredths of a second behind his teammate. Marquez had been expected to make a strong start, and be within a few tenths of Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but getting within a few hundredths can be classed as exceptional.

Valentino Rossi’s return to Yamaha was a happy one: the Italian was fast and smooth, leading the session at one stage and ending the day in touch with the leaders, four tenths behind Pedrosa, just under four tenths slower than Jorge Lorenzo.

Stefan Bradl also impressed on the LCR Honda, now in factory-spec, taking 5th spot behind Rossi, and just under a tenth ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man Cal Crutchlow, who ended the day in 6th. Alvaro Bautista was the last man within a second of Pedrosa, the Gresini Honda man eight tenths off the pace of the Repsol rider.

It was a tough day for Ducati. Nicky Hayden was the fastest Ducati man, as was to be expected, but the American was over two seconds behind Pedrosa, and over a third of a second slower than the Yamaha and Honda test riders, Hayden ended the day in 10th.

Andrea Dovizioso was 13th, just behind MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith on the second Tech 3 Yamaha, while the satellite Pramac Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies ended the session behind the Aspar Aprilia CRT machines of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet.

The weather, which had looked like disrupting the test, held off all day, leaving the MotoGP field to get in a full day of testing, with all of the riders getting plenty of laps under their belt.

The hope is that the weather will continue to smile on MotoGP for the next two days, allowing the riders a chance to get a full and useful first test in at Sepang. Testing continues on Wednesday.

Results from Day 3 of MotoGP’s Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos. Num. Rider Team Time Diff. Prev.
1 26 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:01.157  -  -
2 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.165 0.008 0.008
3 93 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 2:01.201 0.044 0.036
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.584 0.427 0.383
5 6 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.789 0.632 0.205
6 35 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.881 0.724 0.092
7 19 Alvaro Bautista Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:01.981 0.824 0.100
8 T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory 2:02.968 1.811 0.987
9 72 Kosuke Akiyoshi HRC Test Team 2:02.972 1.815 0.004
10 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:03.336 2.179 0.364
11 T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha Factory 2:03.456 2.299 0.120
12 38 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:03.460 2.303 0.004
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 2:03.535 2.378 0.075
14 41 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar 2:03.782 2.625 0.247
15 14 Randy de Puniet Power Electronics Aspar 2:04.283 3.126 0.501
16 29 Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 2:04.500 3.343 0.217
17 11 Ben Spies Ignite Pramac Racing Team 2:05.086 3.929 0.586
18 37 Takumi Takahashi HRC Test Team 2:05.154 3.997 0.068
19 8 Hector Barbera Avintia Blusens 2:05.469 4.312 0.315
20 68 Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Motorsport 2:05.656 4.499 0.187
21 17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.694 4.537 0.038
22 9 Danilo Petrucci Came IodaRacing Project 2:05.753 4.596 0.059
23 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia Blusens 2:05.919 4.762 0.166
24 71 Claudio Corti NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:06.426 5.269 0.507
25 33 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport 2:06.507 5.350 0.081
26 52 Lukas Pesek Came IodaRacing Project 2:07.015 5.858 0.508
27 67 Bryan Staring Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:07.044 5.887 0.029
28 5 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team 2:08.206 7.049 1.162

Lap records and 2012 Sepang 1 times:

Pole Record 2012 Jorge Lorenzo 2:00.334
Lap Record 2007 Casey Stoner 2:02.108
2012 Sepang 1 Day 1 fastest Jorge Lorenzo 2:01.657
2012 Sepang 1 Overall fastest Casey Stoner 1:59.607

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda Racing

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. David says:

    Finally…..some lap times!!!!! WooHoo!

  2. Ken C. says:

    It’s pretty sad when the Honda and Yamaha test riders put up better times than the Ducati Factory riders.

  3. mutanic says:

    I bet SIC will be on top of sheet if he still around…nice to see Vale back to his ‘track’, going to Ducati is a biggest downfall for him…Dani will be the man to fight this year for sure, wish he didn’t crash & injured this time…Marquez, long way to go man so keep it up…Lorenzo, I’m not really fan of this guy but he is pain in the @ss for Vale…hahaha…

  4. Odie says:

    I am so glad to Vale back to his old self. Though, it is a pity that Stoner isn’t here. That would make for an epic season. More over, it’s really sad that SIC won’t be duking it out with the aliens. I think he might have had the chops to enter the League of Aliens. That would have just been the cherry.

  5. budi says:

    Marques FTW

  6. L2C says:

    Honda sammiches.

  7. L2C says:

    And I know I don’t need to say it — but poor Colin Edwards! Damn.

  8. “And I know I don’t need to say it — but poor Colin Edwards! Damn.”

    No kidding. He’d put in better lap times on a Moto2 bike.