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.

KTM Wants to Race in Moto2 & WSBK – No ROI in MotoGP

07/15/2013 @ 3:15 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

KTM Wants to Race in Moto2 & WSBK   No ROI in MotoGP KTM RC250GP Moto3 Production Racer 635x420

Speaking during an interview with the company’s corporate blog, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer spoke his mind about the current state of international road racing, and KTM’s involvement with both the MotoGP and World Superbike Championships, and their support classes.

Stating that MotoGP lacked any return for the massive monetary investment it would require from the Austrian manufacturer, Pierer did go on to later to praise the Moto2 format as one that he would like to see KTM to compete in, with some changes of course.

Wishing to see Moto2 follow the path of Moto3, Pierer wants to see Dorna open the series to other engine manufacturers, and have teams race 500cc two-cylinder prototype machines. “I think the promoter [Dorna] is recognising [sic] that you need a couple of manufacturers otherwise it is not racing; it is a cup race,” said Pierer on the company’s blog. “Although the action is very close, where is the attraction? Suter racing against Kalex? Nobody will pay money for that.”

On the production side of the road racing equation, Pierer also expressed his interest in having KTM race in the World Superbike Championship, though again held his reservations that the series too was far too expensive to make economic sense, and its rules failed to match the classes that are run in various domestic series.

Stating that a KTM entry into World Superbike was at least two or three years out, it would seem zie Austrians has no interest racing with the current KTM RC8 R superbike, though the news could hint a successor coming down the pipe.

With Dorna set to make some big changes to the production-based series, Pierer’s wishes seem likely to come true, though it will be crucial for domestic championships like AMA Pro Road Racing and British Superbike to make similar changes as well in order to attract manufacturers like KTM.

Source: KTM Blog; Photos: Marcus Erlmoser / KTM – All Rights Reserved


  1. Gonzo says:

    HERE,HERE! They are right on the money about both GP and WSBK. I gave up on AMA SBK a while ago, and will soon do the same to Dorna’s bastard children if changes are not made.

  2. Simon says:

    If anything, the new WSB rules are moving a lot closer to what the BSB rules are at; BSB uses control electronics, no rider aids, etc already.

  3. Faust says:

    Why give up on AMA? It was bad for a while, but it’s been improving. KTM is doing alright in there, there’s some Ninjas on the grid again, Ulrich is racing a Honda now, the Yoshimura team is looking good with Cardenas. The Buells are in there too. AMA has been posting all the races in HD to their YouTube channel, so there’s no cost to check it out. Watch a few of the SBK and Daytona Sportbike races from this year, and see what you think. It’s no WSBK, but it’s good racing. And free. You can’t beat free.

  4. mike says:

    Thanks for that info Faust

    Did not know all that & will give
    them a look

  5. Faust says:

    No prob, I hope you enjoy all the free racing!

  6. Norm G. says:

    re: “Watch a few of the SBK and Daytona Sportbike races from this year, and see what you think. It’s no WSBK.

    actually it IS kinda wsbk. Jonathan Green has been calling the first few races after Daytona along with Russell. have you actually been watching…??? that’s not a minor detail to overlook considering all the WHINING done over the years about the commentating. despain, drebber, white, diffey, spencer, etc.

  7. Westward says:

    MotoGP and WSBK should be free on YouTube too. Maybe then they wouldn’t be such a niche viewing audience…

    Heck it should be in HD straight from their respective websites …

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Stating that a KTM entry into World Superbike was at least two or three years out, it would seem zie Austrians has no interest racing with the current KTM RC8 R superbike”

    tell the truth KTM, you were already there and you got handed your asses in superstock. this sent you running to IDM to sort the bike which I hear/tell you eventually won. the RC8 simply wasn’t/isn’t ready for WSBK. if anything, you’re kit would’ve prolly done better up in the top class where you actually got to build to the rules. so the idea of having to spend money isn’t all bad. under the new rules, you, aprilia, and yamaha, are all going to be in the same ne-er-do-well boat if it turns out you are limited on tuning.

    in a way, I almost wish you guys had come to WSBK so people could stop “parroting” the comment that the ducatis extra displacement gives them an advantage. in DMG, you and EBR @ 1200cc’s aren’t running away with the field. kind of an odd thing to brag about, but proof that extra displacement does not a winner make.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “MotoGP and WSBK should be free on YouTube too.”

    I got better ones, my mortgage should be free, my college education should’ve been free, the clothes on my should be free, and the car I drive should be free.

    see what I did there…?

  10. “it will be crucial for domestic championships like AMA Pro Road Racing and British Superbike to make similar changes”. Err, you got that exactly backwards, didn’t you? Yes, we need national SBK championships and WSB to come into line, but it should be much more like BSB than WSB.

  11. Westward says:

    @ Norm G

    Actually no, I don’t…

    Let’s use the US as an example. Most people have never heard of MotoGP. Most people who have are motorcycle riders. So how do you get non riders to watch your 45 min race and get excited about it or the participant ?

    It’s simple. You let millions upon millions of people watch it for free, then just maybe a good portion of them will buy tickets for the events or buy merchandise. Then your sport get more potential sponsors to invest due to the increased exposure and not just motorcycle related sponsors.

    That’s how radio and television works, not to mention how the NBA NFL and MLB became the juggernauts they are today. I know tons of people that watch those sports but don’t even play them.

    Btw, in some places colleges eduction is free. In fact you can take a bunch of course from universities like Stanford for free online.

  12. smiler says:

    Seems Dorna’s policy of reducing costs in MotoGP to attract more manufactuers is working a treat. Back to watching WSBK again then.

  13. BBQdog says:

    “…. and have teams race 500cc two-cylinder prototype machines”

    Bravo !
    I never understood why Ducati and/or Aprilia didn’t build small displacement twins.
    I hope this is KTM’s next move. A 500cc RC 8.

  14. Faust says:

    Norm G

    So because Green is doing the commentary for AMA, that makes the quality of the racing the same as WSBK this year? Really? Yes, I’ve watched all the races this year. You are known for not making any sense at all, but this time you’ve really outdone yourself. Having the same commentator makes it the same? Just wow.

  15. Zhakarias says:

    I’m not against the inclusion of more brands in the Moto2 championship, but I’m quite happy with the production derived engine and independent chassis construction all put together by the teams.

    I still remember the times when Aprilia ruled the 250cc category, and those races were boring. The fact that if a rider had a RS instead a of one of the RSA determined he’s never get any close to a podium spoiled all the racing.

    So for me there is no sense on a 500cc two cylinder prototype but i will welcome the 675 three cylinder from the Daytona in the series.

  16. Ruyter says:

    So Pierer is talking again? Well, we’ve heard nothing from him since the last buyout on Husky.

    I am one of zie Germans, and i don’t care about Pierer. He is always complaining, he made some interesting points, but:
    Moto2 is fun to watch. I would like to see more competitive riders from the UK, Rest of Europe expect Spain and the USA, but it is still fun. KTM (Pierer) is talking every year about the “return” to Superbikes, but until now only talk. That’s what u get from Mr. Pierer. Don’t get me wrong, he may be the right man on top of the austrian company – but sometimes he seems to me like a younger version of Claudio Castiglioni.
    Anyway, he is only imaging something … HRC will not allow it. ;)

    Watch Martin Bauer in Brno (on CRT), he was the Champion in German IDM on KTM RC8R, teamed with Stefan Nebel.

  17. MikeG81 says:

    A pure prototype 500 class would be pretty awsome. Technology trickle down to the 500 streetbike category would be a welcome thing. CBR500RR anyone?

  18. Grimey Benson says:

    “I got better ones, my mortgage should be free, my college education should’ve been free, the clothes on my should be free, and the car I drive should be free.”

    This is your brain on drugs, kids.

  19. MikeD says:

    The Man(Pierer) has it right in a couple of points:

    KTM in MotoGP is pretty pointless and $$$ invested would be WAY BETTER used somewhere else in the company.

    The Honda Cup (known as Moto 2 to everyone): I happen to feel “kind of” the same way as him.
    What’s with everyone having the same engine architecture and brand ? Different frames ? WHO GIVES A F&^% about the frames ? ! I sure don’t !

    Half an engine from a MotoGP bike, yeah sounds cool . . . but you know what doesn’t ? Everyone running the same damn engine configuration, I’M NOT DOWN WITH THAT ! Is the same beef i have with MotoGP for not allowing more than 4 cylinders anymore, THAT’S BULLSHIT !
    Let the others bring their own hardware ! I3, I2 V4, V3, V2, w/e floats their boats as long as it’s the same displacement.

    I would like to see them try WSBK, their hardware may not be the most suited to it but hey, you have to start somewhere , right ?

    @Faust: Thanks for the heads up on the free to watch races, i’ll check it out too sometime.

    @Westward: YUP, +1K on watching the races for free and why it should be that way. Westward for President. LOL. (~_^)