Photos from 250+ Feet up COTA’s Petrolsaurus Rex

Standing 251 feet above Turns 16, 17, & 18, the COTA observation tower provides a bird’s eye view of just about every tun on the circuit, if you can stomach its subtle sway in the wind and clear-glass floor at the precipice. Officially called by COTA as the “Observation Tower” – it really needs a better name for casual conversation. We’ve heard COTA Cobra used a few times with some lovely alliteration, but the structure has always struck us as less snake-like, and more like a big dinosaur — we’re going to use the name “Petrolsaurus Rex” until I hear something better, or COTA sends me a cease and desist order. I climbed to the top of Petrolsaurus Rex (read: took the elevator) during the MotoGP Warm-Up session, and snapped a few photos in the process. Enjoy!

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.

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang II

02/29/2012 @ 10:05 pm, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang II Yamaha Racing Day Two Sepang II MotoGP 05 635x423

At day two of round two at Sepang, MotoGP’s riders once again had to contend with the changing Malaysian climate, as rain continued to make an appearance the Sepang International Circuit. Sidelined for the day, HRC played it safe with its riders after one of Dani Pedrosa’s engines failed during the previous day’s testing, thus making the day strictly a Ducati and Yamaha affair. With Yamaha taking the top four spots on the timesheet (lead by Ben Spies), it is clear to see at this point in the game where Ducati is with its development of the GP12.

With Ben Spies using Wednesday’s test to working wet and dry setups, Jorge Lorenzo concentrated his efforts on refining the power delivery of the Yamaha YZR-M1, especially on the bike’s corner exit speed. “Today we improved a little the connection with the throttle and the engine, it’s much smoother and easier to ride, a big step forward from yesterday,” said Lorenzo. “We were able to try the 1000cc M1 on the wet for the first time and we went very fast so it’s been a positive day and we are very motivated to improve the bike more. We managed to complete everything we wanted to test so it’s been good!”

For Ducati, the rain was an unwanted event, as the team hoped to work more on the Ducati Desmosedici GP12‘s dry setup. Despite the setback, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were able to make further progress with the team’s electronic package. “Another day practically lost, which is really a shame because for us it’s very important to ride as much as possible, and today’s track conditions were much better than yesterday’s,” lamented Valentino Rossi.

“Given that we knew rain was predicted for the afternoon, we tried to focus as much work as possible in just the first twenty or so laps this morning. Using both bikes, we tried the new traction control, some software updates with the wheelie control and other small details that have to do with the seating position. I had good impressions with all of those, so we put it all into the setup of just one bike and put on a new tyre, only for it to start raining. Game over. On the plus side, I had a good feeling with all of the new stuff, so I hope we can work a little longer tomorrow.”

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang II Yamaha Racing Day Two Sepang II MotoGP 08 635x422

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang II Ducati Corse Day Two Sepang II MotoGP 03 635x421

MotoGP: Test Results & Photos from Day 2 at Sepang II Ducati Corse Day Two Sepang II MotoGP 06 635x421

Test Results from Day 2 at the Second Sepang Test in Malaysia:

Pos.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Diff. to LeaderLaps
1Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing2:01.285--35
2Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:01.293+0.008+0.00826
3Andrea DoviziosoMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.522+0.229+0.23718
4Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.695+0.173+0.41022
5Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:01.748+0.053+0.46339
6Hector BarberaPramac Racing Team2:01.989+0.241+0.70426
7Valentino RossiDucati Team2:02.130+0.141+0.84518
8Franco BattainiCardion AB Motoracing2:03.566+1.436+2.28120
9Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.816+2.250+4.53114
10Ivan SilvaAvintia Racing2:07.532+1.716+6.24739
11Yonny HernándezAvintia Racing2:08.213+0.681+6.92826

Ducati Corse Testing at Sepang II – Day 2

Yamaha Racing Testing at Sepang II – Day 2

Source: MotoGP; Photos: Ducati & Yamaha

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Could this year’s season be a re-play of the last one ? LOL.

    DUCATI…ROSSI…HAYDEN…DUCATI CORSE Team…u guys are SO FUDGED is sad.

    P.S: Stoner and Danny went at it again…guess what…YES, they still blew everyone out of the water and into the weeds and AGAIN into the water in true Fukushima EarthQuake/Tsunami fashion.

  2. buellracerx says:

    I would disagree, w/ Nicky <.5s off pace & Rossi <1.0s, it seems Ducati has made great strides w/ their chassis. This season will get interesting very quickly