MV Agusta F3 800 Ago Now Officially Debuts

We already announced the bike last November, and brought you a bevy of hi-res images of the special edition machine. Although now that we think of it, MV Agusta never released anything on this Giacomo Agostini tribute motorcycle — better late than never, right? Back at the EICMA show launch, where the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago was first shown to the public (and Agostini himself), the Varese brand promised us two additional motorcycle launches in early 2014. MV Agsuta made good on half that promise with the Dragster 800 model, hopefully this Ago special edition isn’t the other half of that statement, and MV Agusta still has something waiting in the wings. That being said, the Tricolore & Gold paint scheme is gorgeous, and looks even better in person.

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 Sepang Test – Day 5: Hat-Trick for Pedrosa

02/07/2013 @ 10:53 am, by David Emmett10 COMMENTS

MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 5: Hat Trick for Pedrosa dani pedrosa repsol honda motogp sepang test1

The first test of the 2013 MotoGP season is completed, and Dani Pedrosa has completed a clean sweep, topping the timesheets on all three days. The Repsol Honda man confirmed his role as title favorite by posting a fast lap under the existing pole record set by Jorge Lorenzo last year.

He also opened-up a serious gap to the trio who have been chasing him all test long, putting nearly a third of a second on Jorge Lorenzo, the Yamaha man falling just short of his own pole record. However, what may worry Lorenzo more is the fact that Pedrosa declared at the end of the day that his objective was not to be fastest, but test the bike.

Valentino Rossi closed the gap to his teammate, ending the test a tenth from the time set by Lorenzo, though still four tenths from Pedrosa’s best lap. Rossi also leapfrogged over Marc Marquez, finally finishing ahead of the Repsol Honda rookie after ending the first two days behind him. Marquez finished as 4th fastest, six tenths behind Pedrosa, and the young Spaniard also had his first crash of the season, losing the front end on the way into the final corner. Marquez walked away unhurt, his Repsol RC213V did not fare quite so well.

Cal Crutchlow picked up his speed on the final day, closing to within a tenth of Marquez, and less than two tenths behind Valentino Rossi. Despite having a bike which is virtually unchanged since 2012, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man has closed the gap to the front runners, and looks on course to bag a few more podiums this season.

Stefan Bradl was the fastest of the satellite Honda riders, the LCR Honda man nine tenths slower than Pedrosa, and a quarter of a second behind Crutchlow, and the last man within a second of the leader Pedrosa. Alvaro Bautista continued to work on the Showa suspension of his Gresini Honda, while Bradley Smith ended his first full test on the Yamaha M1 in good shape, 1.9 seconds behind Pedrosa.

The Ducatis continue to make slow progress, but still remain two seconds off the pace. Nicky Hayden was once again fastest, his teammate Andrea Dovizioso closing to within a tenth of a second of the American. Both factory Ducati men finished ahead of the Yamaha and Honda test riders once again, but behind all eight Honda and Yamaha factory and satellite machines.

Slightly more worrying will be the fact that Aleix Espargaro closed the gap significantly to the Ducatis. The Aprilia ART bike, entered as a CRT machine, was less than a third of a second behind Dovizioso, and a quarter of a second quicker than Andrea Iannone on the satellite Pramac Ducati. The new tire Bridgestone brought especially for the CRT machines is proving to be a real improvement, and in the CRT bikes are showing serious improvement in their second year of competition.

Perhaps even more impressive than Espargaro’s time on the Aprilia is that of Michael Laverty on the PBM Aprilia. The Irishman ended the day as second fastest CRT rider, ahead of MotoGP veteran Randy de Puniet, and just 3.774 seconds slower than Pedrosa.

Making this such an impressive ride was the fact that it was Laverty’s first outing on the Aprilia, his first time on the spec-Bridgestone tires, his first time with carbon brakes, and his first time at Sepang. Laverty is riding the Aprilia ART machine at Sepang, but will be switching to an Aprilia-powered British-made chassis once the season gets underway.

Testing is now complete at Sepang, and the riders and teams all head home for a few weeks. The paddock will reconvene at the end of February, for another three-day test starting on 26th of February, and ending on February 28th.

Results from Day 5 of MotoGP’s Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos.Num.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Prev.
126Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:00.100
299Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:00.4290.3290.329
346Valentino RossiYamaha Factory Racing2:00.5420.4420.113
493Marc MarquezRepsol Honda Team2:00.6360.5360.094
535Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:00.7340.6340.098
66Stefan BradlLCR Honda MotoGP2:01.0030.9030.269
719Alvaro BautistaGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:01.5021.4020.499
838Bradley SmithMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.0931.9930.591
969Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:02.1842.0840.091
104Andrea DoviziosoDucati Team2:02.2772.1770.093
11T2Katsayuki NakasugaYamaha Factory2:02.6162.5160.339
1241Aleix EspargaroPower Electronics Aspar2:02.6282.5280.012
1329Andrea IannoneEnergy T.I. Pramac Racing Team2:02.8642.7640.236
1472Kosuke AkiyoshiHRC Test Team2:03.0822.9820.218
1533Michael LavertyPaul Bird Motorsport2:03.8743.7740.792
1614Randy de PunietPower Electronics Aspar2:04.0663.9660.192
17T1Wataru YoshikawaYamaha Factory2:04.1374.0370.071
188Hector BarberaAvintia Blusens2:04.2114.1110.074
1937Takumi TakahashiHRC Test Team2:04.2884.1880.077
209Danilo PetrucciCame IodaRacing Project2:04.5314.4310.243
2117Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing2:04.7664.6660.235
227Hiroshi AoyamaAvintia Blusens2:04.9154.8150.149
2371Claudio CortiNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.1075.0070.192
2452Lukas PesekCame IodaRacing Project2:05.3215.2210.214
2568Yonny HernandezPaul Bird Motorsport2:05.4075.3070.086
265Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing Team2:05.9135.8130.506
2767Bryan StaringGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:05.9705.8700.057

Lap records and 2012 Sepang 3 times:

Pole Record2012Jorge Lorenzo2:00.334
Lap Record2007Casey Stoner2:02.108
2012 Sepang 1Day 3 fastestCasey Stoner1:59.607
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. meatspin says:

    not a bad start. Looks like we lost an alien in stoner but gained one in marquez and a return of rossi to the front. It should be a good year.

  2. Gutterslob says:

    While fastest laps are good for qualifying, what we really need to know are the timings form their race simulations (if they did any). How many consecutive 2.01′s did Lorenzo do compared to Pedrosa, Marquez and Rossi? I suppose that’s too much to ask for from a first test, since they’re all probably still in “shakedown” mode.

  3. smiler says:

    CRT’s still 3-6 secs off the pace. So Rossi has already started to get into Lorenzo’s pace. Love him or hate him, you cannot but respect that he is already 3rd. With one of the top 4 likely to crash on occasion the Rossi looks safe for some podiums.
    Looks like we will loose 2 Americans at seasons end, Edwards & Hayden. Shame they are both great. Will Col go back to WSB for a while? Joined by Rossi after the end of next yr? Hope so it would be good to see him competitive again.

    Ducati better get their act together.

  4. L2C says:

    @ smiler

    Rossi’s going to be around for at least two more seasons in MotoGP. And it does seem like Rossi has brought the hammer down on most of his critics/enemies with this first test of the season. And I hope Rossi keeps on hammering the point home throughout the rest of the season. It’s nice when that nasty mob has been rendered speechless.

    Dani is a cipher — and I’m loving every minute of it.

  5. L2C says:

    Well, maybe I meant that Dani’s an enigma whose media personality is a cipher. How’s that? ;-)

  6. Hisham Noh says:

    But no one goes under 2 mins time. or as Pedrosa’s objective, he is testing the bike.

  7. ALVIN says:

    normally rossi doesn’t dominate on practices but on race day, he has extra power to dominate other riders. Go Go Go VR/46.

  8. David says:

    So Spies didn’t make the top 27 in time and wasn’t even mentioned in the article.

    WOW…a hasBen in just 5 short testing days.

    Did he not need a 5th day of testing because he is so quick?

    Or did he give up and go home to flip burgers?

    Or did I miss something somewhere?

  9. Westward says:

    Spies did not want too much awesome to overwhelm the rest of the grid. Too much Elbowz would have cleared the track…

  10. sburns2421 says:

    Spies is still healing from shoulder surgery and hopes to be only 85% by the first race. He is going to have a long season.