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.

Strategic Meeting for Ducati Corse This Week

12/06/2010 @ 12:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Strategic Meeting for Ducati Corse This Week Ducati Factory Bologna black white red 635x476

Jeremy Burgess and crew are reportedly having a meeting with Ducati Corse in Bologna this week in order to discuss and finalize the basic outline for the Ducati Desmosedici GP11. The biggest question on the agenda is whether to use the “Screamer” or “Big Bang” motor for next year.

Other items likely to be discussed include the weight balance of the GP11 (something we already saw Burgess and Rossi working on in Valencia), and the forward fairing design. Tweets from Rossi’s Mechanic Alex Briggs confirm that he and Burgess were at least headed into Rome from Australia this weekend, seemingly confirming this report.

While Nicky Hayden tested both motors at the end of the season Valencia test, Rossi only rode on the Big Bang motor. Historically the Screamer has produced a class crushing amount of power, but proved to be very un-rideable as a total package. Meanwhile the Big Bang remained competitive against its peers, but provided riders with more feedback. Judging from Nicky Hayden’s preference for the latter, and the idea behind the devil you know, we imagine Rossi’s crew will lean towards the Big Bang setup as well.

With the GP11 more or less just a revision on the GP10, it will be interesting to see what improvements Burgess and Rossi can make to the machine in just a few month’s time, but the real test will be the GP12, which Rossi is expected to play a larger role in developing.

Source: Moto.Caradisiac; Photo: © 2008 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0


  1. gnmac says:


  2. gloverka says:

    Strategic Meeting for Ducati Corse This Week – #motorcycle

  3. MikeD says:

    Hell Yeah Screamer, im sick and tired of all that long bang, short bang, big bang, ur mama got banged BS Preaching and Lecturing. Yes we know it works WONDERS for rear wheel traction, comes with a bag of unicorn horn dust that makes the bike shoot rainbows out of the can and what not, im just fed up of hearing about it.
    Specially on the Stinking M1 and it’s SBC style Crank. Let the riders tame it with the rigth wrist…screw all the electronic trickery aids and fancy firing order.

  4. steveo says:

    You are an idiot. Hmm if you want to 2 strokes go back to I believe 93 when the Long bang came out. All the electronics in the world can’t make up for a poorly balanced over pwerful machine…

    You would be foolish to say that it makes no difference and let the rider sort it out. Go ride a couple bikes V-twin, I4, triple, then a new R1 and you might hold a bit back with your keyboard it has to do with the riders ability to understand an available amount of traction at a given moment in a given turn and when the power can be turned on and off without upsetting a given line in a given corner. While at speeds well beyond the realm of what a normal riders perspective is.

    The engine the placement the weight distribution are all huge factors that came into exsistence back when Magnetos and 350 was BIG bike. Its funny how you can think that electronics do it all if so why did Casey crash so much then go to the top of the sheets on the Honda???

  5. Ralph says:

    Why… because the Desmosedici in whatever GP # (GP4 to GP10) rendition ask for a stable frontend, unlike the YZR-M1 which can be pushed from the word Go!

    Casey and Nicky had to warm the front ‘wheely’ well before they could start pushing ie. digging deep in corners.
    Albeit some major spills by both riders.

    The verdict is the BIG Banger instead of the Screamer.

    Screw all electronics?
    It’s MOTOGP, Pinnacle of Motorracing!

    Then screw all data logging too!

  6. MikeD says:

    Ligthen up Dude, it’s only the Internet!…u know ? when did i metioned 2 smokes ? when did i said it makes no difference ? I just want someone to go off the beaten path, thats all. Like trying racing by oneself and no electronic nanny(s) aids. I don’t care who’s got what, let the riders figure it out or get scatter trying. Is just an opinion…u don’t have to agree, is ok.
    And to make things C00L i’m tweeting Rossi and telling him that we have found his “Most Angrily Retarded # 1 Idiot Follower, Ego Stroker and The Rossi/M1 Shrine Missing Maintenance Guy” , Steveo.

    There, Are we cool now ? Chill dude, no need to go offending others to make ur point(s).

  7. MikeD says:

    Make ur point and Be C00L like Ralph up there…(^_^ )

  8. irksome says:

    Big Bang v. Screamer? How’s about getting the front end to quit tucking in?