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.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

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:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 45’41.894  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 45’42.895 1.001
3 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 45’43.970 2.076
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 45’44.023 2.129
5 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 45’45.168 3.274
6 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 46’06.345 24.451
7 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 46’07.515 25.621
8 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 46’07.940 26.046
9 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 46’13.709 31.815
10 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 46’16.708 34.814
11 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 46’16.984 35.090
12 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 46’21.016 39.122
13 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 46’34.356 52.462
14 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 46’34.372 52.478
15 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 46’03.967 1 lap
Not Classified
  3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 25’15.529 11 laps
  72 Yuki TAKAHASHI HONDA 21’18.170 13 laps

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