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: Crashes Define Race at Laguna Seca

07/29/2012 @ 5:17 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Crashes Define Race at Laguna Seca Casey Stoner MotoGP Laguna Seca Scott Jones

Another foggy Californian morning, another sunny Californian afternoon. MotoGP is in Laguna Seca this weekend for the US GP, which started off with the surprise announcement that Ben Spies would not be returning to the factory Yamaha squad next season. With Spies’ departure from Yamaha, his seat at the factory team is officially up for grabs now, which has lead to increase in speculation that Rossi could return to the Japanese factory.

Whether that is wishful thinking by loyal fans, or a prudent insight into the Italian’s options and future remains to be seen, but the topic has certainly dominated this weekend at the coastal Californian track. One thing is for certain, fans want to see Rossi be more competitive on race Sundays, and the thought process by many is that this means a more sorted motorcycle for the nine-time World Champion.

Right now, that motorcycle is the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1, which Jorge Lorenzo put on the pole-position during Saturday’s qualifying. Followed by the Hondas of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, all three riders had a race pace that was vastly superior to the rest of the field, though Stoner cited lapped traffic as the cause for his diminished qualifying time. Sunday’s race would prove whether that statement was excuse or reality.

As racing got underway, it was Lorenzo who lead into the Andretti Hairpin, followed closely by Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. The trio would eek out a gap to the battle for fourth, which was lead by Ben Spies, and included Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, and Stefan Bradl.

With Stoner getting around Pedrosa in the early stages of the race, the Australian kept Lorenzo reeled in close for most of the US GP’s 32 laps. Finally making his move on the front straight, Stoner passed Lorenzo on the inside of the T1 dogleg, with 11 laps to go. Never looking back, the reigning-World Champion finished with a comfortable 3.4 second lead over the current Championship leader — sparing the American crowd of another tedious Lorenzo post-celebration.

While the racing at the front was more like a predator stalking its pray, the battle for fourth was a close scrap, especially as Nicky Hayden showed promise of joining the group. Leading that off-the-podium contingency, Spies would see his race cut short, as his bike seemingly collapsed underneath him as he came down the Corkscrew on the 21st lap.

This left the battle down to Dovi and Crutchlow, as the Italian again bested his British teammate. Despite the bad news for American MotoGP fans, the silver lining was Nicky Hayden catching up to Stefan Bradl. Unfortunately by that point, the factory Ducati rider was too far removed from the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders, and only four laps remained in the race.

Settling for a sixth, the result would be the best Ducati could muster, as Rossi trailed in 8th place, before crashing at the top of the Corkscrew in the closing laps of the race. Struggling with the pace at Laguna Seca all weekend, California is a forgettable stop for Rossi, though he is rumored to have met with Ducati CEO Gabriele del Torchio the night before, with a 17 million contract on the offering.

With the CRTs starting to get lapped with nine laps remaining, with Silva and Edwards the first to see the front-runners go past them. In total, four CRTs got lapped, while six other riders retired from crashes and mechanical failures. MotoGP racing stays over in the United States, as the Indianapolis GP is on August 19th.

Race Results from the US GP at Laguna Seca, USA:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeTime
1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda43’45.961
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+3.429
3Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda+7.633
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+18.602
5Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+18.779
6Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+26.902
7Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+28.393
8Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+50.246
9Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’18.993
10Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati+1’22.076
11Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART1 Lap
12Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR1 Lap
13Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter1 Lap
14Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR1 Lap
Not Classified
Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati3 Laps
Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha11 Laps
James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART13 Laps
Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda14 Laps
Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART21 Laps
Toni ELIASSPAPramac Racing TeamDucati31 Laps
Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR0 Lap

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. David says:

    Way to go Hayden. Wring that red POS out for all it’s worth. But 26+ seconds down on the leader is not so much to brag about. Still gotta like Hayden though. Go AMERICA!

    If Rossi takes that 17 million then he pretty much admits he can’t really compete anymore and his career is over and he is just sucking in the money till retirement. Can’t really blame him, being broke and all like he must be…..lol

    Rossi can be a mid pack spectator and see if Lorenzo can snatch the GOAT title away from him. It’s a good bet Lorenzo will do it with Stoner out next year and no other competition on the near horizon. If Lorenzo wins his 3rd this year and easily the next two for 5 total titles, he is still young enough to grab 2 more to tie Rossi and maybe even go for the GOAT.

    But then again, MotoGP might just go the CRT bike route with everybody forced to ride “Shitty bikes” (Edwards words)…lol…then it’s boring NASCAR type racing on equal equipment.

    Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

  2. Jonathan says:

    The GOAT title is getting pretty old – especially as Wayne Rainey was at the track and his raw stats take a little beating (depending on which stats mean most to you). He was never my favourite rider of that era (too smooth, too metronomic and too reliable), but I am just a GP fan and not his team boss! What he did in his all-too-short career is one of the benchmarks imo.

    Stoner was bloody amazing today (and as a Brit it pains me to say so), but the most significant thing I take from this weekend is that Bridgestone are getting to grips with the tyre needs of the litre bikes.

  3. Frenchie says:

    Hayden’s records at Laguna Seca these past 4 seasons make for an interesting read:

    Best lap during the race for Ducati:
    2009 Stoner 1’22.083, Hayden 1’22.703
    2010 Stoner 1’21.376, Hayden 1’22.112
    2011 Rossi 1’22.520, Hayden 1’22.704
    2012 Hayden 1’21.996, Rossi 1’22.189

    Hayden finish and gap to the leader:
    2009 5th +21″
    2010 5th +14″
    2011 7th +31″
    2012 6th +26″

    Standings after 10 GPs:
    2009 13th 47 points
    2010 6th 99 points
    2011 7th 94 points
    2012 7th 84 points

  4. smiler says:

    7 did not finish and 4 were lapped. Not a great result.

  5. GaijinEagle says:

    It will be pretty hard for Jorge to win his 3rd this year, as he only has 1…

  6. Frenchie says:

    Actually Lorenzo has 3 world championships to his belt, and likely more to come.
    When everybody refers to Rossi as a 9-time world championship winner, it is only fair to count the lower categories for the other riders too.
    Some people tend to forget what these riders have done before the main category. For example Pedrosa has won 3 world championships in 3 consecutive seasons right before going to Repsol Honda, Marquez can’t say that much.
    By the same token Biaggi had a few world championships under his belt (4 consecutive seasons) before he grabbed the WSBK title last year. And no one would think of Biaggi as someone without world championships titles in GP.

  7. Ben says:

    “sparing the American crowd of another tedious Lorenzo post-celebration”

    Nice bit of snark, Lorenzo jumping spreadeagled as he does from the top step always makes me wince, not to mention the ridiculous and often failing post race theatrics. What happened to the planting of the flag, I thought that was kind of cool even, could have been a trademark.

    Great race from Casey, unlike Lorenzo, stoner is never happy to ride quietly once beaten and settle for second place. When Marquez starts chucking the rcv down the track next year, and you know he will, will Lorenzo condemn his countryman as readily as he did simoncelli, I wonder.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Ben: “When Marquez starts chucking the rcv down the track next year, and you know he will, will Lorenzo condemn his countryman as readily as he did simoncelli, I wonder.”

    Of course he will! Lorenzo’s a smart guy (one of the smartest around) and he knows that mindgames are an important part of the trickbag. Don’t forget that Lawson, Schwantz, Rainey et al did it back in the day too…

    I have to say that Lorenzo’s celebrations always come over as being toe-curlingly contrived, so I’m grateful to Stoner for saving us all from that too. I never thought I’d miss the grumpy little Aussie, but he’s a pure racer, not a pragmatist.

  9. spectre says:

    “sparing the American crowd of another tedious Lorenzo post-celebration”

    The ‘Game Over’, the lake jump and the moon landing were all pretty classic. Any shade of personality, whether it’s bombastic, egocentric, or inappropriate is welcome in my book. Lorenzo seems to walk the tightrope of being brash to the point of tastelessness with it, but mind games is all part of it. Biking as a culture to me is expressive and exuberant, I’d hate to see the grid turn into F1 robots.

    Id say Rossi to Yamaha is a sure bet now. It would certainly give the prospect of the most interesting and competitive season.

    I also think Crutchlow might get a bit more aggressive in the race once his next season contract is confirmed.

  10. Victor Knowles says:

    Laguna Seca is always a treat to watch, too bad it was on Speed. Their coverage sucks…..they spent about a minute showing us Wayne Rainey watching the race when we should have been. No disrespect to Wayne, he’s awesome. But come on Speed…focus !

  11. Andrey says:

    Speeds coverage is appalling; static shots of the cars in the car park, long conversations about non race issues while things actually happen on track, poor (American) camera work on track and in studio, whiny nasal voice chit chatting about nothing, Sheehan making comments completely out of step with the race…. amazing that such a poor display is considered acceptable. Can’t wait until they are back overseas.
    As much as I like Haydens attitude and reasonable results, the only reason he has a new contract is that Ducati want to sell more bikes in America, rather than win races.

  12. John says:

    I want to know what the hell happened to Spies’s bike. Was it a rider error, or did his bike really just fall apart underneath him?

    Hayden, even after removing the red-white-and-blue glasses, still seems to the most underrated talent in the MotoGP paddock.

    Also, MotoGP is doomed if they can’t get more prototypes on the grid. The factory vs CRT gap is just embarrassing and not fair to riders or fans. If Dorna doesn’t do something, I see all the top non-alien riders defecting to WSBK and turning it into the premier race class.

  13. Westward says:

    Some journeyed to London for the Olympics, while others flocked to a dry lake in California to watch a bit of motor racing. As being part of the later group, I had a great time and met some wonderful and interesting people. Also had the opportunity to meet some of the bigwigs of Ducati, including Del Torchio…

    The negatives of the experience for me was the lack of Moto2 & 3, and the coordination of the traffic for the event. There was too much unnecessary detouring especially leaving the the venue. The path to arrival was several miles & minutes shorter then the departure…

    However, the bird watching good too…

  14. Pat Walker says:

    Are there any pictures of ben’s swingarm?

  15. 76 says:

    You can see if you have access to replay, spies bike drops when the bike normally is at max compression, I haven’t seen any pictures of the swingarm yet but you can see after the crash the rear of the bike has completely collapsed, almost what it would look like if there was no rear shock installed. Maybe a spring or shock if it was not the swingarm failure but man, ben is right when he said when it rains it pours. Whatever the case with the failure there have been to many setup mech. mistakes from spies crew over the last 2 years, he needs to start addressing that simple fact, at gp level its unforgiving and he is finding that out let alone the fact its to damm just dangerous.

  16. AK says:

    Lorenzo has 3 Championship as of now.

    250cc 2006 and 2007
    MOTO GP 2010

  17. @76: I’m pretty sure I saw sparks from Spies’ bike’s undercarriage/pegs/whatever while at max. compression. That seemed odd, so it supports the idea that perhaps there was a suspension failure. Poor Spies just can’t seem to get a break this season.

    @John: The lag before Espargaro came across the line was a sad testament, wasn’t it? It truly is a race within a race. It’s just not happening. I think Edwards called it right when he suggested that the field should be fleshed out with retired factory rides. “Fill up the grid and let’s go racing.”

  18. GaijinEagle says:

    Yes Frenchie, three championships, but only one in MotoGP (and that is what David seemed to be referring to – otherwise his “3″ comment does not make sense).

  19. cfm says:

    “sparing the American crowd of another tedious Lorenzo post-celebration”
    Right on the money. Let’s also not forget his 2011 book titled “the new king of motogp”. Despite Lorenzo being a phenomenal rider (getting pole on his motogp debut), everyone knows his 2010 title was largely won because the real king of motogp was injured. Hopefully Stoner will keep winning races this year and Rossi next year on the yamaha to spare motogp crowds from his arrogant attitude. Sure, Rossi is pretty flamboyant when it comes to celebrations, but he does it with a sense of humor, which crowds clearly love.

  20. GaijinEagle says:

    I think you need to check your facts, cfm. At the time of Rossi’s injury at Mugello, Jorge was already leading the championships (having taken 2 wins and a second place). Rossi was feeling the pressure from Lorenzo, likely causing him to make a stupid mistake with cold tires.

    As for arrogant, Stoner is as good at it as they come (on top of being a cry baby)…

  21. cfm says:

    GaijinEagle, I actually do not need to check my facts at all. Before Rossi’s leg injury at Mugello, he had a shoulder injury on a mx bike following the Qatar GP after the postponing of Japanese GP. Rossi wasn’t feeling any pressure from Lorenzo, but instead physical pressure on his shoulder. Look it up if you think I’m incorrect.

    Stoner might be arrogant, but he doesn’t rub it in people’s faces like Lorenzo does. He demands perfection, just like many other top athletes. And so if he seems like a “cry baby”, he’s only giving his reason for why he thinks he didn’t win. As we witnessed in Sachsenring, Stoner generally has a “first or last” attitude. For Stoner, 2nd place is being the first loser.