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.

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 4: Quid Pro Status Quo

02/06/2013 @ 12:38 pm, by David Emmett1 COMMENT

MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 4: Quid Pro Status Quo dani pedrosa repsol honda motogp sepang test

Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets once again on the second day of prototype testing at Sepang, the Repsol Honda man getting off to a flying start and cracking into the 2’00s early in the session. He was joined there by Jorge Lorenzo, the Factory Yamaha rider once again shadowing Pedrosa, ending the day just two hundredths behind the Repsol rider.

Marc Marquez confirmed his first day times were no fluke, the only other man to post a lap in the 2’00s, though the rookie was a quarter of a second slower than his teammate on Wednesday, losing a fraction of the ground.

Valentino Rossi once again took 4th spot, the Italian still just under half a second off the two title favorites. The Honda men continued to work on engine durability, while Yamaha riders Lorenzo and Rossi had new engines with more acceleration to test, and a new chassis aimed at curing the pumping from the rear wheel of the bike.

Cal Crutchlow took over the best satellite rider spot, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man ending three quarters of a second  behind Pedrosa, but a respectable quarter of a second off the pace of Rossi.

Stefan Bradl continued to impress on the LCR Honda, nabbing 6th today, a fraction behind Crutchlow, and over a third of a second ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Go&Fun Gresini rider continuing to work on the Showa suspension the team has elected to use instead of the Ohlins used by nearly the entire rest of the field.

Bradley Smith’s second full day of testing went a lot better than his first, the Tech 3 rookie wiping 1.5 seconds off his time from Tuesday, and closing in on Bautista.

The fortunes of the Ducatis also radically improved. Both Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso took over a second off their times from Tuesday, and improved to 9th and 10th, ahead of the Honda and Yamaha test riders, which should elicit a huge sigh of relief in Bologna. The gap to the fast men is now back to 1.5 seconds, about the same as it was for Hayden at the first Sepang test last year.

The Pramac satellite riders also improved, Ben Spies took two-whole seconds off his time from yesterday, continuing to struggle with his weak shoulder and getting to grips with the Desmosedici. Andrea Iannone took 1.3 seconds off his time from yesterday, setting the 15th time, 2.6 back from Pedrosa.

The work of dialing in the spec-ECU continues for the CRT teams, and progress is rapid. Danilo Petrucci is getting closer to the Aspar ART bikes of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet, with the FTR Kawasakis of the Blusens Avintia team now not far behind. Irish rookie Michael Laverty put in an impressive performance, slashing a second off his time from Tuesday, and closing on Karel Abraham on the ART machine, as well as the two Avintia bikes.

The weather held up well almost until the end, the rain only falling in the final hour of the test. A large number of riders took advantage of the rain to get some time in on rain tires. The forecast for the final day of testing on Thursday looks less promising, with rain looking likely all day. But at least the MotoGP men now have two solid days of testing under their belts.

Results from Day 4 of MotoGP’s Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos. Num. Rider Team Time Diff. Prev.
1 26 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:00.549  -  -
2 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.568 0.019 0.019
3 93 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 2:00.803 0.254 0.235
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.038 0.489 0.235
5 35 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.311 0.762 0.273
6 6 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.369 0.820 0.058
7 19 Alvaro Bautista Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:01.729 1.180 0.360
8 38 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.931 1.382 0.202
9 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:02.110 1.561 0.179
10 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 2:02.379 1.830 0.269
11 72 Kosuke Akiyoshi HRC Test Team 2:02.526 1.977 0.147
12 T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory 2:02.701 2.152 0.175
13 11 Ben Spies Ignite Pramac Racing Team 2:03.002 2.453 0.301
14 T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha Factory 2:03.156 2.607 0.154
15 29 Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 2:03.169 2.620 0.013
16 41 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar 2:03.251 2.702 0.082
17 14 Randy de Puniet Power Electronics Aspar 2:03.791 3.242 0.540
18 9 Danilo Petrucci Came IodaRacing Project 2:04.284 3.735 0.493
19 37 Takumi Takahashi HRC Test Team 2:04.559 4.010 0.275
20 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia Blusens 2:04.786 4.237 0.227
21 8 Hector Barbera Avintia Blusens 2:04.989 4.440 0.203
22 17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.028 4.479 0.039
23 33 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport 2:05.417 4.868 0.389
24 71 Claudio Corti NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:05.721 5.172 0.304
25 68 Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Motorsport 2:05.837 5.288 0.116
26 5 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team 2:06.205 5.656 0.368
27 67 Bryan Staring Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:06.898 6.349 0.693
28 52 Lukas Pesek Came IodaRacing Project 2:30.243 20.963 14.614

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.


  1. nohatejusttruth says:

    well the combined test results are in for the last test of 2013 and the season is about to start again.
    dont hate on me for this cuz I’m from the states and I know there will be lots more of the same excuse’s we heard last year…ben spies cranks out 48 laps for the whole test while everyone else was past 100 and his main rivals all did 145 or so….and ben comes in 17 overall with his teamate and a few crt bikes ahead of him……I dont care what the excuse is he had all off season to be at the top of his game and so did the team for this most crucial test especially for him…..really ben you should have went back to wsbk that is were you shine sir…you do not have the work ethic it takes to compete at motogp level in any consistent manor and your taking the spot of people who do…I site mark marquez aproch to “getting his head in the game” no distractions no hambuger startups no music headphones all the time no cell phone texting or reading every 30 minutes no silly dumbass videos ! just work ! cuz ben at this level it’s hard work very hard work and you like to sleep in man.