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.

SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports

04/09/2010 @ 8:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD   Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports SPEED TV logo

The MotoGP season is kicking off this weekend at Qatar. The oddity of the night race is good news for us Americans, as the race will hit the airwaves at a semi-decent hours. Accordingly, SPEEDTV will kick-off the season with a 1PM PST (4PM EST) live broadcast of the Qatar round.

“In addition to the international feed shared by all partners, SPEED will produce SPEED-specific features, interviews and graphic enhancements,” said Rick Miner, SPEED SVP of Production & Network Operations. “We are really stepping up the presentation for the American audience.”

Commentary will come from Greg Creamer as the in-studio host for SPEED, and Nick Harris will handle the play-by-play for the international feed. Providing analysis is Ian Wheel, with Gavin Emmett reporting from the pits. For 90% of race enthusiasts this means simply the absence of Greg White. Time and schedule of races after the jump.

Schedule and Times for MotoGP on SPEED (subject to change):
Grand Prix of Qatar – April 11 (4 p.m. ET, Live)
Japan – April 25 (Late night Saturday, April 24, 2 a.m. ET, Live)
Spanish Grand Prix – May 2 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
French Grand Prix – May 25 (2 p.m. ET, taped)
Italian Grand Prix – June 6 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
British Grand Prix – June 20 (9:30 a.m. ET, Live)
Dutch Grand Prix – June 26 (9:30 a.m. ET, SDD)
Catalonian Grand Prix – July 4 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
German Grand Prix – July 18 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
U.S. Grand Prix – July 25 (TBD)
Czech Grand Prix – August 15 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
Indianapolis Grand Prix – August 29 (TBD)
San Marino – September 5 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
Hungary – September 19 (9 a.m. ET, Live)
Malaysian Grand Prix – October 10 (6 p.m. ET, SDD)
Australian Grand Prix – October 17 (Late night Saturday, October 16, 1 a.m. ET, Live)
Portugal – October 31 (5 p.m. ET, SDD)
Valencia Grand Prix – November 7 (8 a.m. ET, Live)
*Note: French Grand Prix is taped event due to schedule conflicts

Comment:

  1. SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports – http://bit.ly/9lOypE #motorcycle

  2. Victor Knowles says:

    I hope they will bother to show Moto2. So far that does not seem to be on their schedule.

  3. Anthony says:

    Yeah – I want to see Moto2 as much or more than MotoGP!

  4. kevin says:

    Be glad you’re getting this instead of a “nascar special”.

  5. Victor Knowles says:

    That’s true Kevin, Speed are all about the NASCAR.

  6. Jason says:

    Speed sucks. Why show a live 40min race if you aren’t a) going to do it commercial free or b) double vision thing with the race and commercials on screen at the same time?
    I wasn’t surprised what was going to happen when I found out the race was going to be live. They should have front loaded the commercials so that when the race started that could run it straight through (as they have done in the past). But no instead we get 2 laps and 4 or 5 commercials….half way through the race I just turned it off. If this had been nascar they would have made sure there was constant action on screen. truly pathetic and the fact that they’ve extended the deal makes me sick.

  7. Singletrack says:

    Great to see MotoGP (and Moto2) in HD!
    WOW what an improvment from the grainy TV coverage in the past. I loved the detail of the nighttime reflections, the track texture, seeing the chain links move, the riders eyes and stitching on the leathers. Excellent. I hope the daytime races offer as much visual pleasure.

    I have no complaints about the coverage. Sure there’s always room to provide more/better, but i’m satisfied with it now that it’s HD.

    But I do hope Speed can get the audience numbers up to a level where they can do a 1/2 hour prerace show to provide more in depth review of the technology and riders – tell me more about the elite athletes they are.

  8. wayne says:

    Man, what a difference in clarity! I watched the (DVR’ed) MotoGP and WSBK Race 1 back to back and the WSBK race looked like it was done frame-by-frame on an etch-a-sketch. BUT…I was really miffed that they cut the podium interviews. And if I’m honest, I am disappointed that Speed TV feels the need to “NASCAR-ize” the pre-race stuff. I guess they’re afraid we Americans can’t get our tiny brains around a racing series that turns left AND right.

  9. don_zielke says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports http://bit.ly/9lOypE

  10. RT @don_zielke: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: SPEEDTV Will Broadcast MotoGP Live & in HD – Signs 3 Year Deal with Dorna Sports http://bit.ly/9lOypE