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.

Silly Season: Italian Press Says Stoner Signed with Honda – Rossi Offered Deal by Ducati

05/11/2010 @ 9:39 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Silly Season: Italian Press Says Stoner Signed with Honda   Rossi Offered Deal by Ducati Casey Stoner Ducati confirmed Estoril MotoGP

UPDATE: GPOne.com (probably the most reliable source in the Italian Media) has gotten word from Livio Suppo that “no one has signed anything yet”, which probably confirms that Stoner is talking to HRC, but obviously hasn’t made his mind up about anything.

Silly season is officially underway starting today as the Italian press is full of accounts (all penning their source as being from Sportmediaset) that Casey Stoner has signed with the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, with a sub-headline that Valentino Rossi has been offered a two-year contract with Ducati. Sportmediaset cites the deciding reason for Stoner jumping ship as being the Australian rider’s disappointment in how Ducati backed him during his mysterious illness last year.

Despite headlining Stoner’s move, the bulk of their article concerns Rossi’s switch to Ducati, which may be a tip-off on the validity of the news, as the Italian press loves to pair the two marquee names together. We wade through the silly season possibilities further after the jump.

The 2010 silly season is sure to be a special event, with all four of the top riders under contract renewal. Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, and Valentino Rossi have set themselves above and beyond the rest of the MotoGP field, which only adds to the importance (and speculation) during this period, where manufacturers try and secure the very best rider for the following seasons.

While we remain skeptical on this news, there is some support to its validity. Sportmediaset claims the contract was inked during MotoGP’s stop at Jerez, Spain, during the Spanish GP. During this time, Casey Stoner’s father was on-hand for the race, and talked to both Honda and Ducati, presumably about his son’s future.

Part of the Honda equation may be Livio Suppo, who Casey Stoner had close ties to when the Italian worked at Ducati. Stoner’s animosity with his team, and the prospect of working with Suppo again are apparently cornerstones of the alleged deal between the Aussie and Honda. Honda was also reportedly expected to make early moves in the silly season in order to secure a rider, as being late to the party could be disastrous (more on that in a minute).

Of course with any rumor…or headline…coming out of Italy that involves Valentino Rossi and Ducati, has to be treated with some skepticism, as time and time again we’ve seen inaccurate reports from the Italian media concerning their local heroes teaming up.

Before the silly season began, it was clear that all four riders would be talking to the major OEMs in MotoGP before making a decision. It was also clear that Ducati was very keen to keep Casey Stoner on-board, as the Australian has proven in the past to be really the only man in the paddock capable of wrestling the Ducati into shape. Considering the abrupt about-face on this remark, and the fact that the other OEM’s weren’t considered, there is a bit of evidence to suggest that this is just idle speculation.

Sportmediaset‘s description of the Rossi deal also wanders greatly from the reasons Rossi turned the Italian company down back in 2003. Ducati is reported to be offering Rossi everything under the sun, including technical guarantees. With Rossi looking for teams that are rider-focused, and not bike-focused (the Italian ridre likes to be the center of attention, not only on the track, but in the garage), it’s hard to see a team like Ducati, who are very centered around their GP10, making a sudden shift in philosophy. Despite this aspect of the news, Sportmediaset says Rossi has until the Mugello round to decide on taking the job with Ducati.

It’s impossible to tell definitively on this rumor where the truth lies, especially since the only actual source is from the unreliable Italian racing press. Neither Honda, nor Ducati have commented on the matter, which adds further cause for concern, since at the very least we’d expect an announcement from HRC if Stoner has indeed inked an agreement.

With more news likely to come at the next MotoGP stop (at Le Mans in two weeks), we have some time yet to fully digest these possibilities. We do know one thing for certain though, if these rumors prove to be true, Jorge Lorenzo would look to be SOL, and forced to re-sign with Fiat-Yamaha with almost zero negotiating leverage…but maybe that works into Rossi’s plan afterall?

Source: Sportmediaset & MotoMatters; Photo: Turn 2 Photography

Comment:

  1. Buster says:

    What’s ‘silly’ about this?

    Stoner is disillusioned. Honda want new blood. Pedrosa hasn’t delivered. Suppo wants him in the squad.

  2. Jenny Gun says:

    The period where contracts are up for renewal, and riders jockey for new rides is often called Silly Season because of all the rumors and speculation that comes from it.

  3. Harumph says:

    It’d be hilarious if Rossi signed to Ducati and then they secretly lured Jorge over too at the last minute. With a one-year deal. For one dollar more.

  4. It is a bit too early for anything to be signed but the Stoner to Honda, Rossi to Ducati move makes sense. I’ve been arguing Rossi will end up on a Ducati for 2011 for some time.

    http://www.ducatinewstoday.com/2009/09/why-valentino-rossi-will-finish-his-career-on-a-ducati-part-i/