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.

Tomizawa Death Being Investigated

09/06/2010 @ 10:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Tomizawa Death Being Investigated Shoya Tomizawa medical crew 560x344

Paolo Giovagnoli, the prosecutor of Rimini, has opened a dossier of inquiry into the death of Shoya Tomizawa, the 19 year-old Moto2 rider who lost his life Sunday in a horrific crash during the San Marino GP. The inquest into Tomizawa’s death is investigating unknown persons, who may have contributed to Tomizawa’s injuries when he was hastily taken off the track via stretcher, which was subsequently dropped in the process. Tomizawa’s body will undergo a full autopsy, which could lead to manslaughter charges being drawn up against the track workers, and possibly track authorities as well.

Clinica Mobile and track officials have drawn heavy fire since the incident Sunday. At the center of the controversy was the decision not to red flag the race, and the brisk removal of the riders, bikes, and debris that occurred so the race could continue unhindered. Race officials have stood behind their decision saying that a red flag was not necessary to safely transport Tomizawa and the other riders, and in fact a red flag scenario would have delayed potentially lifesaving medical help to Tomizawa.

“Immediately the first idea I think is if it’s possible to stop the race because it’s dangerous, but the people with the stretcher immediately arrived and when you remove the rider from the track for my medical decision I do not ask Race Direction for the red flag because this does not help my job, because we delay the intervention for the ambulance,” said Dr. Claudio Macchiagodena of the Clinica Mobile.

“Behind the track protection we had one ambulance with the respirator inside and we started immediately all the intensive care for him. I didn’t ask for the red flag because I didn’t need it. After the rider came to the medical centre I had some people asking me why it took a lot of time. The intensive care started behind the protection of the track. Normally when you have a broken arm the ambulance is the same as a taxi, where you put the rider inside and send him quickly. Now it was very important to have the ventilation and two doctors. When he arrived at the medical centre his condition was critical, and we continued the intensive care.”

Despite Dr. Macchiagodena’s statement, the issue that many are having with the treatment by the corner workers stems from the rapid use of a stretcher to take the riders off the track. Suffering from head, back, and chest impacts, Tomizawa was taken off the track with seemingly little care given to the potential injuries in these regions.

The issue was only compounded further as Tomizawa was dropped while on the stretcher in the process of being extracted from the track. While it remains unclear if these circumstances exacerbated Tomizawa’s injuries, it has drawn serious attention to the protocols of rider safety in crashes like the one at San Marino.

Source: ANSA via MotoBlog.it

Comment:

  1. Isaac says:

    I saw that whole thing on DVR. All those corner workers should go back to being circus clowns! There’s is NO DOUBT in my mind that they contributed to his death. I mean dropping him, really? And the way they just rolled him over like he was a dummy model or something. I saw no care for his wellbeing. I’m just glad it’s on tape and that those f–k faces get some jail time. Or and fire the Dorna SL managment and replace them with monkeys! They’d do a better job anyway.

  2. Miguel Angelo says:

    Yes I saw that too was very very bad treatment.

  3. Jake Fox says:

    In my opinion, in the incident of unconsciousness or partial paralysis of a rider after an accident the race should be red flagged and all care should be taken to minimize additional movement of the rider as he is being removed from the track and placed in the ambulance.

  4. Craig says:

    I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when the stretcher was dropped! OMG! Clearly that indicates the corner workers were in way too much of hurry to be concerned about his injuries, especially given what they turned out to be. It appears there were EMT’s there (or the Italian equivalent) but obviously I don’t know that for sure. If so, they are at least culpable for inadequate and incompetent treatment of an injured rider. If there were no EMT’s on the scene, then the track is culpable.
    I have been a corner captain for SBK racing, and at least in that series I had complete authority in my area of responsibility, including managing the medical personnel. I would not have interfered with their medical assessment, unless I honestly felt it was a detriment to the riders health.
    On the other hand, if the track, its corner workers, or race officials are prosecuted and convicted, it will set a dangerous precedent that will affect motorcycle racing all over the globe by increasing the cost and risk to series owners, track owners, track workers and medical personnel. It would be tragic for a sport we all love so much.
    It’s a tough question though. If people are negligent, they should be held responsible and it should make things change. My concern is that over zealous politicians, looking to make a name for themselves, increase their control, and further their own agendas, will make a criminal case where there isn’t one.

  5. Mark says:

    The law in Italy mandates that every death gets investigated. This is just standard practice in Italy and does not imply that there was any wrong doing. Ayrton Senna’s tragic accident at Imola years ago was also investigated.
    That being said, I certainly don’t agree with the way the fallen rider received medical attention. The decision to red flag a race should be determined by the severity of the injury to the rider, and not weather or not the rider can be removed from the track quickly enough or not. In other words, if the rider is conscious and moving, carting him off quickly on a stretcher is fine, however if the rider in unconscious, the race should be stopped so that he can receive proper medical attention on the spot to determine the severity of the injuries before he gets moved.

  6. rrse says:

    the poor fellow was dead a;ready, being dropped by the medics is not good, but after all the barrel rolls he’d done after being hit by two motorcycles at over 100mph would have seemed like a massage, get real people, R.I.P Tomizawa

  7. patron says:

    the marshals did drop him, and that certainly didnt help matters. but that was not the cause of his death. and to blast these people for trying to save his live just sounds like angry mob mentality. if tomizawa was not breathing when they got to him, and he wasnt, a neck or back injury is secondary. yes, the race should have been red flagged. yes, the marshals could have taken better care, but they are fallible human beings in a high pressure, rushed situation. they genuinely tried to take what they thought the best course of action was for saving his life. the whole incedient (and last weeks incedent as well) is a huge shame. i hope tomizawa’s, and lenz’s family can take a little comfort in the fact they both died doing exactly whay they loved.

  8. Rusty says:

    It is patently evident the corner/track workers were not prepared. Honest to God they looked like a bunch of clowns the way they were hobbling-around and trying to decide what to do! It was cartoonish the manner in which they “aidded” Redding and what little the broadcaster showed of Tomizaway’s extraction from the racing surface can simply be summed-up as incompetent. Whether it made a difference in Shoya’s survival is for speculation but the fact remains racing facilities and racing series’ MUST have better prepared and trained personnel attending accident victims. Perhaps this series should consult the Indy Racing League’s Holmatro Safety Team consisting of approximately 24 safety personnel with a minimum of 14 attending each event–two trauma physicians, three paramedics and nine firefighters/EMTs. Team personnel have an average of 20 years of experience in their respective areas. God’s speed Shoya

  9. Steveo says:

    For the record if anyone of the naysayers has ever had any formal srious neck training then they have a little ground to complain.

    I personally have sat through hours of athletic training and though not trained in motorcycle accidents, football is a similar injury sport.

    when you must roll someone, it literally takes 3-4 people to flop an injured person over. and it is done in a swift but controlled motion. The reports say that he was unconcious, and was not breathing. This complicated everything not to mention you are in a stage somewhere between calm and sheer terror when you witness and then react to something of this nature. You then have around a 2 minute window to roll him, get him boarded and on life support or it is futile. A lap at Misano is 1:40 ish so rolling loading and getting him to professional medical assistance or red flagging is literally a mute point.

    Shoya died of heart failure, my school lost a player in the 70′s of heart failure after tramatic injury to chest and neck in a high school football game it happens odds are dropping him didn’t help but did little to harm him. Our player was hit in head when he tripped, then was slammed in the chest by another player. He was sent to a local hospital and then died of heart failure complicated by Pneumonia which set in 2 days after he was hit. It was unlikely that he ever would have recovered if he had not gotten sick. these are sports, these things happen, and just remember if you were watching the race live or DVR you were supporting them and please continue to support them. I am sure Shoya would want that. RIP

  10. hoyt says:

    @rrse & patron:
    Whether he was dead before track workers got to him is a different matter. The intention of the track workers is also a different matter.

    The only time an accident victim is moved on public roads is if there is further danger to the victim if he/she is not moved (e.g. vehicle fire). Why would this be any different on a track with much higher impacts? There are enough track workers to warn oncoming riders to stay clear of a downed rider after the initial impact.

    There should be no expediency in getting the rider off the track when the rider is not moving. Getting an ambulance and medical staff TO the rider on the track seems more in-line with medical protocol (stabilize patient).

    It takes seconds for a track worker to know if the rider is moving or not. While on the way to the immobilized rider, the track worker should be able to page the ambulance closest to that section of the track.

    Make the track entrances for aid cars much faster.

  11. patron says:

    not moving, and not breathing are different.

  12. Steveo says:

    Again the ambulance was right there according to reports, so not breathing and respirator in an ambulance, it is to get the rider out quick.

    On the road accidents are different and I agree without ready access to emergency equipment in short notice not moving is the best course of action.

    I this were an accident that a trained but unknowing driver came to likely first action would be to start chest compression and that effectively would have killed him nearly instantly.

  13. FastBikeGear says:

    Interestingly I notice in the photo that the fallen track Marshall was wearing a splint. Should he even have been there on the day?

    I was amazed when I saw them bundler him on th stretcher so quickly. Iwould have thought they would have been initially very concerned about spinal injuries.

  14. hoyt says:

    “…so not breathing and respirator in an ambulance, it is to get the rider out quick.”
    Agreed, that is why I included the rest of my post:

    1. track workers paging aid cars
    2. track access for aid cars* to get onto the track faster than it would be to remove a rider from the track by foot/stretcher.

    If I’m an immobilized racer I don’t think I would want anyone moving me except for a paramedic, not a track worker.

    Not breathing isn’t going to be the case every time, but not moving (& breathing) means the rider should not be moved by a track worker in order to minimize other spinal, neck, and head injuries.

    “without ready access to emergency equipment in short notice not moving is the best course of action.”

    *It seems the ambulance couldn’t get there fast enough (and/or close enough) if there was so much haste in carrying him off the track.

  15. hoyt says:

    “If I’m an immobilized racer I don’t think I would want anyone moving me except for a paramedic, not a track worker.”…

    forgot to add: especially since riders are tracks that must hire trained medical professionals to respond.

  16. deejay51 says:

    Posted elsewhere already, this reminds me so much of the Daijiro Kato accident at Suzuka in 2003. IMHO the issue is all about the show (MotoGP), it must start on time blah blah. As a fan I have been to many motorcycle race meetings, including Guy Martin’s IOM fiery crash and then Conor Cummins crash which sadly resulted in severe injuries, everyone waited for some thankfully good news and a shortened event proceeded.

    Genuine fans will wait for restarts, will accept abandonment of a race or even the meeting if it will assist the sportsperson involved. I do NOT know all the details of the Kato, Tomizawa or dare I mention Senna F1 crashes, I just feel things could have been done better and initial assessors at the scene need the power to call racing to ‘stop immediately’ regardless of outside issues to expedite Paramedic direct involvement ‘on the track’.

    Riders practice, I believe Marshalls, Flaggies, Paramedics, Ambo’s and Helicopter Evac need to practice ‘real world scenarios’ on track to!

  17. JawDroppin says:

    Firstly – my condolence’s to the Tomizawa family – kid was truly talented and is a big loss for the Moto2 (MotoGP) community… :(

    Whilst I agree an investigation should be done – prosecution against the track officials for trying to do there job is a bit extreme! Understandably, dropping the injured rider would not of helped – but they would of been under a lot of pressure two fold – 1) for there OWN safety, and 2) for Tomi’s… Which leads to me to think that the race should of been red flagged, to allow the track officials to do there “thing” for the injured rider.

    What should be investigated is-:

    1) Why the race was not red flagged, a second race could of been scheduled with reduced numbers of laps.

    2) 40 bikes on the grid for a Moto2 – is just a few too many bikes on track, thus not allowing open gaps to be formed and also riders following one another so closely that if one falls it really can be quite unnerving as to what the end result could be (in Tomi’s case, it was fatal).

    3) Any rider that comes off and is run over by another rider accidentally – should be left on track, kept to a minimum of body movement to prevent any further complications – race red flagged – and an Ambulance dispatched to the rider.

    This is really what should be done, instead of playing the “blame” game for what is an unfortunate circumstance in all forms of motor-sport. Furthermore, it is my belief that all riders (and drivers too) sign indemnity should such unforeseen situations like this occur (could be wrong though on that).

    JD ;)

  18. eze1976 says:

    It saddens me greatly that people jump at the chance to grandstand at such a tragic time. You where not there to see the poor rider, who knows what those corner workers saw, maybe your ass would have tripped too if you saw what they did up close.. A fcking entire front end broke on the guys chest at 120/130 mph. Think about that and what it looks like from 2 feet, stop this chatty cathy BS and give the rider some respect as well as those that tried to help him.

    The response was not perfect, can we learn from this i think so, but I ask you comment as a human with respect, not some banshee pointing and screaming. The world lost a great rider, a family lost a son, a team lost a member that can never be replaced. Hold his memory and achievements high and learn from both that and what happened. I’m sorry but some of these comments should just get deleted.

  19. CaliRider says:

    Just for some perspective, I’ve done corner work at a couple of MotoGP races…

    At the races I’ve done, the track workers are volunteers, not professionals. The medics (in red & white) of course have medical backgrounds, but are not official racetrack employees. The handlers (in orange) are typically just fans who want to help out, some have lots of corner working experience, some have none. Workers show up Friday morning on the race weekend, have a 30 minute briefing and then off to work. There is very little training or predefined organization for handlers.

    When a bike goes down in your corner it’s basically chaos, everyone scrambles while the turn marshall yells out instructions which are impossible to hear over the sound of the bikes. The whole team is trying to figure out who is taking care of what, while simultaneously looking up track for more oncoming traffic.

    The expectation is very clear though that handlers (in orange) should never touch a down rider, we simply don’t have the medical knowledge. We are there to deal with the bikes, lay down hay bales, put out a fire, or scrub up oil on the track.

    However, I just don’t feel the track workers were at fault in this case. In my opinion the race definitely should have been red flagged, a call which is not at the discretion of the turn workers. There are typically 2-4 medics stationed at each corner. If there are multiple riders involved who need medical attention, it’s literally impossible for the medics ALONE to assess them all and then carry even one of them off the track before the bikes come back around on the next lap. Even if the handlers knew they shouldn’t help carry riders, what else could they have done when it became apparent the red flag wasn’t coming out? They absolutely have to get the riders and themselves out of danger before the bikes make it back around. There could be oil on track or another rider could fixate on the scene and the disaster would compound itself.

    Honestly I’m not shocked at all that they dropped him, because they didn’t have time to focus and be careful. The gravel traps are deep, unstable footing and tough even just to walk through, let alone rushing and carrying a stretcher.

    Race Control should have made the call for the flag, so the response team could slow down, get more medics to the scene, and safely move the riders. I think anytime a stretcher is required it should be an instant red flag.

    As far as access for emergency vehicles goes, there is always an ambulance nearby, but sometimes the fastest way to the ambulance is by stretcher across the runoff, not necessarily driving the ambulance from the access roads around the air-walls, fences, and k-barriers, required at the turns.

    Most of all, my heart goes out to all the people who have lost their loved one, friend, and colleague in this tragic accident. I’m sure they are grateful for all the efforts that were made to care for Shoya and that continue to be made to improve safety in this inherently dangerous sport.

  20. JB says:

    Well it’s obvious from watching, that nobody stopped to ascertain if he was breathing or not. they threw him on the stretcher… Negligence.

  21. Wolf says:

    People should stop bickering and pointing fingers. There’s only one thing that matters, and that’s the death of a rider.

    Honor his memory. don’t make a case over it.

    May the roads up there be always clear, Shoya.