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.

LCR Honda & HRC Renew Stefan Bradl’s Contract for 2014

08/15/2013 @ 12:27 pm, by David Emmett6 COMMENTS

LCR Honda & HRC Renew Stefan Bradls Contract for 2014 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda Qatar MotoGP Scott Jones 635x422

With Cal Crutchlow’s signing out of the way, a few more pieces of MotoGP’s 2014 puzzle are starting to fall into place. The next domino to fall was Stefan Bradl, the German having his contract at LCR Honda extended for the 2014 season as expected. Bradl wil now stay with the team for another season as a factory-supported rider, with direct backing from HRC.

The extension had been a long time coming. HRC held the option to extend Bradl’s contract, but gave serious consideration to placing Cal Crutchlow in the LCR team. Once Crutchlow decided to go to Ducati, any doubt over Bradl’s future was removed.

The news came as a great relief to Lucio Cecchinello, who has been a strong supporter of Bradl, the German having been a very good fit with the LCR team, and having shown himself capable of running close to the front. HRC and LCR’s faith in Bradl was finally rewarded at Laguna Seca, where the German scored his first ever podium in MotoGP.

Bradl’s confirmation means that all but one of the prototype rides has now been taken, with only the second satellite Ducati left open. Andrea Iannone looks almost certain to keep his seat at Pramac for next year. Any further changes will only take place among the CRT teams, or as they will be known from 2014, the non-MSMA entries.

Scott Redding is believed to be close to a deal with the Gresini Honda team to ride a Honda production racer, but any agreement will likely wait until the young Briton’s home Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The biggest question for many MotoGP fans is what will become of Nicky Hayden, with the popular American being linked to a number of rides. Ducati would like to see Hayden go to World Superbikes and campaign the Panigale, as well as help with its development.

They face serious competition from American Honda, however, the US importer keen to bring Hayden back into the fold. That backing would see Hayden on one of two options, either at the Pata Honda team in World Superbikes, or else on a production racer in MotoGP. Hayden is also believed to be in the frame for one of the Yamaha M1s to be raced by the NGM Forward team next season.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. “Hayden is also believed to be in the frame for one of the Yamaha M1s to be raced by the NGM Forward team next season.”

    I guess Colin’s crack at Laguna about creating Team America might not be so far off the mark. That said, though, it seems odd to call what would probably be an FTR with a Yamaha lease engine an “M1″.

  2. JW says:

    Bradle:

    Can count himself the luckiest man in moto gp..

    Hayden:

    Please leave Ducati in all it’s forms..

  3. smiler says:

    Bradls promotion will prove to be a failure.

    Given Haydens own admission that he was lucky to win in 06, should be motivation enough to take the challenge of being the first person to do the double and win WSBK. Honda in this class are not the best bet. Ask Rea.

  4. Faust says:

    Every single time someone mentions Hayden, someone says he won by luck. Every single time. Luck played a part, but not the only part. He had to stay near the front consistently, and being lucky doesnt make that part happen. It’s as if the only two races people saw that year were the Tony Elias ones…. Oh no, it’s because the only thing they know of racing came from Faster, Fastest, and the Doctor, the Tornado, and the Kentucky Kid. You simply cannot win a major Motorsport world championship by luck alone. Simply cannot happen. Has not ever happened, will not ever happen.

  5. Damo says:

    Faust speaks the truth.

    On top of that, no one gives Hayden the credit he deserves as being the first man to oust Rossi while he was on a four consecutive year championship streak, prior to the massive rules change.

    Hayden is an all time great rider and a truly humble champion, I honestly have no idea why people hate on him. It seem totally undeserved.

  6. L2C says:

    “Every single time someone mentions Hayden, someone says he won by luck. Every single time.”

    And every single time it’s smiler. Every single time. At least on these pages.

    ****

    Congrats to Bradl. Completely deserved. He came out of his shell at Laguna -one of the most technical tracks on the calendar- now all he has to do is come out every single race weekend. Clearly he could be champ someday. I hope he does.