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 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: Weather Plays a Factor at Mugello

05/31/2009 @ 4:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

MotoGP: Weather Plays a Factor at Mugello stoner vermeulen race pit mugello 560x401

Just like LeMans two weeks ago, the starting of today’s GP at Mugello was a mixture of both wet and then dry, which meant that once again tire choice and pit strategy would decide the winner. With Valentino Rossi clearly being the biggest loser in Le Mans when this situation last presented itself, would he be able to make the right choices and win his eighth victory at his home track? Continue reading for the spoilers and find out.

Jorge Lorenzo said that today would be a crazy race, which summed up his outing nicely. The Spaniard crashed on his way to the starting grid, and had to have his spare bike brought out to the pole position. After a quick clean up of his leathers and helmet, Jorge was ready to go physically, but perhaps not mentally. As the starting lights went off, Lorenzo smoked his tire at the launch, and at the end of the first lap saw Chris Vermeulen at the head of the race followed by Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa.

On the second lap Casey Stoner overtook Vermeulen on the straight, taking the lead, but two laps later it was Stoner who was overtaken by Dovizioso, with Valentino Rossi followed by Lorenzo right on Vermeulen’s tail. Rossi took the lead on lap eight with Melandri then overtaking. Not content with second place, Marco made his move on Valentino on lap 10 and took the lead.

At the end of lap 10 with their rain tires exhausted and seeing on their boards that James Toseland who pitted his bike on lap four was the fastest man on track with slicks, the four leading riders, Melandri, Rossi, Lorenzo and Stoner headed to their garages to change their bikes. Dovizioso, who pitted his bike one lap before the leading pack, had already warmed up his tires when Melandri headed out of the pit lane, and Dovi took first place with Stoner almost 3 seconds behind him. Stoner by the end of the lap was second with Melandri third, Lorenzo fourth, Loris Capirossi fifth, and Rossi sixth.

It took Stoner 3 laps to take the lead again and keep it until the flag, but it was Italian Loris Capirossi who stole the show when he took second place from Dovizioso.  On the 22nd lap, Lorenzo passed Dovizioso and Capirossi, with Stoner in his sights, but Jorge just couldn’t keep up with him and had to settle for 2nd. Rossi passed Capirossi and Dovizioso. Dejected, the ex-king of Mugello would finish 3rd, but just barely as Dovizioso was just behind him by 0.053 second. Loris Capirossi finished 5th.

Commenting on his 3rd place finish, Rossi focused on the positive, and was thankful to not have a “Le Mans” while in front of his home crowd.

“I made a good decision on when to come in and change this time but unfortunately we decided to go with the harder front tyre for the second part of the race and that was a disadvantage for me, especially at the beginning. I was slow in the first two laps on slicks and I was thinking about the Le Mans crash. The front choice wasn’t right and even though I found a good pace it wasn’t enough to win.

After seven victories in a row here it was just important to get on the podium for all the fans. The podium here in Mugello is always a great party and a great emotion even if we are not on the top step. The championship is very close, with the three of us separated by less than ten points, but it will be a long fight and we will try again in Barcelona next time out.”

Casey Stoner now leads the Championship standings by 4 points over Lorenzo, and 9 points over Rossi, with the three riders pulling away in the points from the rest of the pack.

Race Results of the 2009 MotoGP race at Mugello:

127Casey STONERDUCATI45’41.894 
299Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA45’42.8951.001
346Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA45’43.9702.076
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA45’44.0232.129
565Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI45’45.1683.274
65Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA46’06.34524.451
752James TOSELANDYAMAHA46’07.51525.621
814Randy DE PUNIETHONDA46’07.94026.046
988Niccolo CANEPADUCATI46’13.70931.815
107Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI46’16.70834.814
1133Marco MELANDRIKAWASAKI46’16.98435.090
1269Nicky HAYDENDUCATI46’21.01639.122
1336Mika KALLIODUCATI46’34.35652.462
1424Toni ELIASHONDA46’34.37252.478
1515Alex DE ANGELISHONDA46’03.9671 lap
Not Classified
 3Dani PEDROSAHONDA25’15.52911 laps
 72Yuki TAKAHASHIHONDA21’18.17013 laps


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