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.

Race Results from the 24 Hours of Le Mans

09/23/2013 @ 3:21 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

Race Results from the 24 Hours of Le Mans 24 hours le mans start kevin warren 2013 635x398

After 24 hours of racing around a tiny historic track in France, the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle endurance race, and final round of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship has finally come to an end. A race of attrition, SRC Kawasaki claimed the top podium step, followed by Suzuki France’s Team R2CL (which was blessed with the addition of Guy Martin for the event), with Yamaha France – GMT 94 – Michelin Yamalube rounding out the final position.

The conclusion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans also means that the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship rankings have been settled, with the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) clinching the Championship, yet again, despite the team’s disappointing 26th place finish overall in Le Mans. Second in the Championship is the Yamaha France – GMT 94 – Michelin Yamalube squad, with SRC Kawasaki closing out the top three spot, for the four-round championship.

With anything possible in the 24-hour event, Le Mans saw many fan-favorites fall by the wayside as the hours ticked by on the countdown clock. Most prominently was the Honda TT Legends squad, which saw Simon Andrews get into a massive four-bike crash while racing in third position.

Scuttling the team’s chances for a positive result in Le Mans, Andrews is currently recovering from surgery for his two broken legs, a broken forearm, broken shoulder, broken ribs, which caused a punctured lung, and three broken vertebrae in his lower back. Latest news from the team is that Simon is doing well post-op.

However noticeably absent from the Honda TT Legends squad, John McGuinness was unable to qualify for the race team, and  did not race with the Honda TT Legends team, which was comprised of Andrews, Michael Rutter, and Michael Dunlop. The famous TT racer took to twitter to say he was “gutted” by not making the team.

Josh Hayes’ EWC bid with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) was cut-short, as the Austrian team had to retire mid-race, which also scuttled the team’s hopes for winning the 2013 Endurance World Championship. YART is unlikely to race the full 2014 championship, and is only confirmed for the Suzuka 8-Hour for next year’s season.

Other disappointments included the retirement of two very strong BMW squads: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent and Penz13.com BMW squad (for which American Jason Pridmore was racing for).

Team Thevent retired 14hrs into the race, with a terminal gearbox problem on their BMW S1000RR race bike, while Penz13.com BMW suffered a mechanical retirement as well, bowing out of the Superstock class after completing 192 laps on the course.

While the BMW boys languished at Le Mans, the Suzuki contingents thrived. Guy Martin’s endurance racing debut ended well, with the team’s podium finish in the race and fourth in the championship.

Meanwhile, SERT salvaged a minor crash and that damaged the team’s coolant system, which lead to a complete rebuild of the engine to the team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 race bike (as well as a drop to 54th in the standings), to finish in the points and clinch the World Championship.

The unsung heroes were again the SRC Kawasaki team, which raced a very strong race at Le Mans, and have been a formidable opponent all season in the EWC series. The team’s result in France clinched SRC Kawasaki third in the Championship, narrowly beating out the Suzuki R2CL team.

Pos. Team Riders Bike Class
1 SRC Kawasaki LEBLANC G. / FORET F. / SALCHAUD N. Kawasaki EWC
2 TEAM R2CL GIABBANI G. / MARTIN G. / BUISSON D. Suzuki EWC
3 YAMAHA France GMT 94 CHECA D. / FORAY K. / LAGRIVE M. Yamaha EWC
4 TEAM 18 SAPEURS-POMPIERS MOLINIER S. / BRIERE D. / TANGRE C. Kawasaki EWC
5 TEAM MOTORS EVENTS FASTRE G. / LUCAS C. / SAVARY M. Suzuki SSTK
6 JUNOR TEAM LMS Suzuki GUITTET B. / MASSON E. / DIETRICH G. Suzuki SSTK
7 MACO RACING TEAM BALDONI A. / LUIS RITA J. / ROCCOLI M. Yamaha EWC
8 NATIONAL-MOTOS FOUR O. / JUNOD G. / TIZON IBANEZ A. Honda¨ EWC
9 SYNERGIE FORCE TRICKSTAR DEGUCHI O. / IZUTSU H. / SERIZAWA T. Kawasaki EWC
10 TEAM LOUIT MOTO 33 MARINO F. / SAVADORI L. / JONCHIERE E. Kawasaki SSTK
11 ATOMIC MOTOSPORT YANNICK P. / CHOLVIN N. / JOND F. Suzuki SSTK
12 NO LIMITS MOTOR TEAM BUSSEI G. / BOSCOSCURO A. / CASAS V. Suzuki SSTK
13 YAMAHA VILTAIS EXPERIENCES BARDET L. / CARILLO C. / BERTHOME D. Yamaha SSTK
14 BOLLIGER TEAM SWITZERLAND SAIGER H. / MORILLON D. / ENJOLRAS J. Kawasaki EWC
15 RESEAUHonda BERCOT P. / DUPOND S. / GERARD S. Honda SSTK
16 VOLPKER SCHUBERT-MOTORS GANTNER H. / HAYATO T. / STUPPI B. BMW SSTK
17 TEAM DUNLOP MOTORS EVENTS PUTIN J. / PEPIN E. / DEHAYE G. Suzuki EWC
18 RS SPEEDBIKESRACING ALBRECHT L. / ALTENDORFER F. / LOWE R. BMW OPEN
19 PROBIKE TEAM GP MOTO BOIZART S. / LANZIANI F. / LE ROYER A. Kawasaki SSTK
20 DGSPORT HEROCK VAN KEYMEULEN D. / McFADDEN D. / MAHIAS L. Yamaha SSTK
21 TEAM SPACE MOTO 37 GALLERAND J. / NOUVELLON Y. / ROCHE C. Suzuki EWC
22 EQUIPMOTO50 TRT27 CHEVRIER C. / CICQUEL / A. CICQUEL A. Kawasaki SSTK
23 MOTOBOX KREMER RACING GAZIELLO F. / PAAVILAINEN T. / SCHERRER M. Suzuki SSTK
24 TEAM RACING 85 GAUFRETEAU S. / LANDREAU R. / PERRIN F. Kawasaki SSTK
25 AZ MOTOS MEZARD S. / DUMAIN D. / LAVILLENIE R. Suzuki SSTK
26 SERT PHILIPPE V. / DA COSTA / J. CUDLIN A. Suzuki EWC
27 MOTOS ACTIVES SPORT 14 PIGEON F. / PIGEON F. / ROSA P. Kawasaki SSTK
28 ZX MOTO LE MANS BOUE M. / DELEGUE B. / MACCIO J. Kawasaki SSTK
29 RACING TEAM 87 HAMARD G. / GUYOT T. / VIAUD N. Yamaha SSTK
30 RAFAEL RACING BONNET A. / COVENA T. / SINKE R. Kawasaki EWC
31 TMC 35 AYNIE A. / BELLIGA J. / DIARD M. Kawasaki SSTK
32 TEAM RACING+ _ OUI FM BRILLANTE J. / DEBROISE K. / VIGNEAU R. Kawasaki SSTK
33 TEAM SCUDERIA DEUX ROUES TEISSIER P. / ANCELIN L. / ROYER H. Ducati OPEN
34 TEAM ESPERANZA PASCAL V. / SERRAFIN J. / TORCHAUSS V. BMW SSTK

Source: FIM; Photos: © 2013 Kevin Warren / Digital Press Images — All Rights Reserved

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