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.

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.

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.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Prev.
126Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:00.549 - -
299Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:00.5680.0190.019
393Marc MarquezRepsol Honda Team2:00.8030.2540.235
446Valentino RossiYamaha Factory Racing2:01.0380.4890.235
535Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.3110.7620.273
66Stefan BradlLCR Honda MotoGP2:01.3690.8200.058
719Alvaro BautistaGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:01.7291.1800.360
838Bradley SmithMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.9311.3820.202
969Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:02.1101.5610.179
104Andrea DoviziosoDucati Team2:02.3791.8300.269
1172Kosuke AkiyoshiHRC Test Team2:02.5261.9770.147
12T2Katsayuki NakasugaYamaha Factory2:02.7012.1520.175
1311Ben SpiesIgnite Pramac Racing Team2:03.0022.4530.301
14T1Wataru YoshikawaYamaha Factory2:03.1562.6070.154
1529Andrea IannoneEnergy T.I. Pramac Racing Team2:03.1692.6200.013
1641Aleix EspargaroPower Electronics Aspar2:03.2512.7020.082
1714Randy de PunietPower Electronics Aspar2:03.7913.2420.540
189Danilo PetrucciCame IodaRacing Project2:04.2843.7350.493
1937Takumi TakahashiHRC Test Team2:04.5594.0100.275
207Hiroshi AoyamaAvintia Blusens2:04.7864.2370.227
218Hector BarberaAvintia Blusens2:04.9894.4400.203
2217Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing2:05.0284.4790.039
2333Michael LavertyPaul Bird Motorsport2:05.4174.8680.389
2471Claudio CortiNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.7215.1720.304
2568Yonny HernandezPaul Bird Motorsport2:05.8375.2880.116
265Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing Team2:06.2055.6560.368
2767Bryan StaringGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:06.8986.3490.693
2852Lukas PesekCame IodaRacing Project2:30.24320.96314.614

Lap records and 2012 Sepang 1 times:

Pole Record2012Jorge Lorenzo2:00.334
Lap Record2007Casey Stoner2:02.108
2012 Sepang 1Day 1 fastestJorge Lorenzo2:01.657
2012 Sepang 1Overall fastestCasey Stoner1:59.607

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. 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.