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.

How to Lose $4,500 in Single Corner – AKA “The Pass” Between Tyler O’Hara & Michael Barnes at NOLA

10/08/2012 @ 12:18 am, by Jensen Beeler45 COMMENTS

How to Lose $4,500 in Single Corner   AKA The Pass Between Tyler OHara & Michael Barnes at NOLA Tyler OHara Michael Barnes NOLA Kevin Warren 635x387

Whether your poison is World Superbike or AMA Pro Racing, this weekend provided some excellent motorcycle racing. Out of all the memorable moments where we yelled at the TV this race-day Sunday (and there were more than a few), our favorite, hands-down, has to be “the pass” that Tyler O’Hara pulled on Michael Barnes coming down the final stretch at NOLA.

Full-throttle on the Harley-Davidson XR1200 race bikes for the win, a race that would also who would win AMA Pro Racing XR1200 Championship, O’Hara pulled a classic move on Barney — no really, he pulled Barnes back by the arm just ahead of the finish line.

It is debatable whether O’Hara would have caught Barnes on the drive to the finish, and both riders have a good on-track rivalry, and off-track sense of humor, but Barnes was clearly not pleased with O’Hara’s race shenanigans (we think it is sort of winning, in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word).

Nonetheless, the AMA ruled it an “avoidable contact” and displaced O’Hara from 1st to last in the race, which sent him into third place for the Championship points.

In other words, Tyler O’Hara lost $4,500 dollars in prize money ($2,000 for second in the race, $2,500 for the drop from second to third in the Championship), while perpetrating one of most awesome/punk-kid moves we have ever seen in motorcycle racing. The video of “the pass” is after the jump. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Source: SPEED; Photo: © 2012 Kevin Warren / DigitalPressImages – All Rights Reserved


  1. Trent says:

    Does anyone know if this will be a continued racing series, as it looks like Harley has stopped production on the XR models.

  2. I went to high school with Tyler, have to say that was pretty hilarious.

  3. Simon says:

    Boo.. cant watch the video from New Zealand :( can anyone find a youtube version of this? Ive looked and looked!

  4. Iron Butt says:

    Boo boo.. cant watch the video in Belgium :( can anyone find a youtube version of this? I’ve looked and looked!

  5. Craig says:

    Classic… I think it was classic. Did he deserve the win? NO, but he did make a race memorable that most folks don’t give a crap about. Now the video is viral and AMA is getting great promotion and they demote him to 3rd in the Championship.

    WRONG AMA – once again.

    He deserves to not get first, but needs to be moved to 2nd place and warned. Really!!! AMA; use your nuts to make this decision because obviously your brain does not work well…

  6. Cord says:

    Boo.. cant watch the video at work on this steam driven turd of a computer :( can anyone find a youtube version of this? Ive looked and looked!

  7. toby says:

    Boo… cant watch the vid here in Uganda, etc….

  8. James Sharpe says:

    UK, can’t see it, want to..

  9. Ken C. says:

    Cheating is cheating. Might have been fun for Tyler O’Hara, but not for Michael Barnes. I think Tyler O’Hara probably could have beat him to the line without the shenanigans. That’s just plain stupidity.

  10. shallwedance? says:

    nope not in the uk

  11. meatspin says:

    To those who cant see:

    vid is of two guys on XRs going at it at NOLA, a tight little track in Louisiana. Last lap and o’hara is coming on the inside on the run to the finish line. Barnes is on the outside and both look like they are at full throttle. The XRs look slow and lumbering. O’hara reaches his left hand over and grabs Barnes’ shoulder and upper arm standing Barnes up . Barnes is mad, gesticulating wildly across the line as he is beat to the line by O’hara. Barnes is mad on cool down. He shakes his head and points at O’hara. He is still mad.

  12. tonestar says:

    fuckin hilarious! bunch a rednecks on harleys! god i love it! bring these guys to laguna seca!

  13. MxDork says:

    Reminds me of the time in the late 90′s at a pro flat-track race where the decision was made to make the Dash For Cash a race on PW50s. All the pro class qualifiers for the Dash had to borrow a bike from one of the peewee support class kids and use of the left arm to block/push/yank the competition became rampant. Quite possibly the most hilarious races I’ve ever seen.

  14. KFG says:

    LOL!! Lets be honest… he deseves to be punished. BUT…. this is awesome!!!

  15. JTA says:

    Stupid – dangerous – cheater… It’s so NASCAR….

  16. Rob says:

    I was at the track watching them as this happened live and let me tell you, the fans were literally laughing their asses off. Sure it needs to be revoked, and it was stupid, but certainly entertaining lol.

  17. shawndoh says:

    ah hahah. Funny. Of course he does not deserve to win, but that was great anyway.

  18. More like, $21,000! O’Hara would’ve/could’ve won the Vance & Hines XR Showdown prize for first in the championship ($25,000), plus, $3750 (Vance&Hines/Harley-Davidson purse) he would have collected for the race win, minus the $7500 he will earn for finishing third in the championship.

    Tough pill to swallow for Tyler I’m sure, he is a standup guy, so not a malicious move. I don’t agree with “The Pass”, but I love to see the battles even if it crosses the line every now and then.

  19. AK says:

    WTF, they need to ban him from racing.

  20. These shenanagins used to happen all the time back in the single make series over here. Grabbing brake levers on the straights was commonplace! Although brakes were a bit weedier on LC et al back then!

  21. Spamtasticus says:

    This kind of thing should be kept in pit bike races in the damn parking lot or press events at a go-cart track. It was dangerous, childish, and bad sportsmanship. If I were the official at the AMA I would throw the book at him. Motorcycle racing is dangerous enough as it is without morons doing stupid crap like this. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had shoved his brake level by accident and cartwheeled down the straight?

  22. David says:

    LOL…that’s awesome.

    Now if they would just let the riders carry sticks with them, so they can beat each other as they go down the straights, then we would have a new hit racing series to watch.

  23. Dc4go says:

    That was a “STUPID MOVE” im sorry you can’t put someone in danger like O’Hara did just to win a stupid Harley race…. Punishment was well deserved..

  24. KK says:

    This just shows how much the riders in this class really think its a joke. The past couple yuears they have had this race when i got down to the race in NJ i have heard many of these riders mocking the bikes they have to ride so harley can go on with its PR stunt.

    but in the end i think it was a joke taken a little too far considering that he could of gotten himself or worse others hurt on the course… still pretty funny though

  25. Halfie 30 says:

    Everyone here making this out to be too dangerous does not understand motorcycle racing I the slightest. These two were racing Harley’s. Not MotoGP machines. What the AMA did was fair. That is in no way a “career ending” move in any sense though.

  26. JUDGE says:


    “Now if they would just let the riders carry sticks with them, so they can beat each other as they go down the straights”


  27. How to Lose $4,500 in Single Corner – AKA "The Pass" Between Tyler O'Hara & Michael Barnes at NOLA – #motorcycle

  28. Craig says:

    Really??? Ban them? You must be under 20, raised in a time when you were punished for touching the kid in the line in front of you. It’s too bad because we could fight and just quit before the teachers arrived and all was good. Problems solved and we all moved on… without UTUBE and parents feeling their kid is being picked on.

    It was simply hilarious, last race / last corner move and he should have simply been moved to 2nd… I am sure he did not expect it to be a “race winning move”, just something hilarious.

    Lighten up folks and do a stoppie… you’ll feel better!!!

  29. buellracerx says:

    ahahaha NICE! All I can say is people turn into something completely unlike themselves when they get on track. I’ve seen it quite a bit – influence of the adrenaline.

    for those of you saying “it’s too dangerous” you’re obviously not comfortable enough on your own bikes. This comes with track experience, which both of these racers have in great supply.

    but seriously AMA?? dead last? obviously trying to make sure the series doesn’t turn into the old 883 class of yesterseason – these kind of shenanigans happened a lot, without any b.s. penalties!

    JENSEN – if you want to see some awesome racing like this, watch some old 883 footage

  30. TexusTim says:

    I think tht has to be the funnest thing in racing I have seen in a long time…lmao

  31. wavex says:

    ROAD RAGE!!! lol awesome…

  32. neil foreman says:

    When Mike Barnes beat me to 3rd in a wera race last year on his XR i didn’t feel the need to go grabbing him. Bit of a D bag move if you ask me

  33. MikeD says:

    OMG, that was friggin HILARIOUS. Im sure he was just clowning around.

    I would have given him second place…if anything. I think the ruling party made a storm in a glass of water over some stupid JOKE b-twin fellow racers.

  34. “cant watch the video from” is your friend.

    As for the pass, pure douchebaggery. We are not amused.

  35. JoeD says:

    That was tame compared to a race on YTube from Thailand. Was it professional? NO. Dangerous? Yes. Funny as crap though and in keeping with road racing an HD. You have to be joking, right?

  36. Jake F. says:

    Is it funny? Only to a spectator. No racer wants that kind of crap pulled on them. Did the AMA do the right thing? Yes.

  37. Rob S. says:

    It is pretty clear most of the posters here don’t race. That wasn’t some one off tug of the arm. It is an old flat track move of which Barnes is all too familiar. He and Tyler have flat track backgrounds so it made it more funny to racers. Barney just didn’t want or expect it there, road racing.
    No one got into this kind of uproar when douchey Danny Eslick tried to flip Gabe SantaColoma’s kill switch coming out of T11 at Infineon in 2010 (or was it 2009?)
    It was really stupid but Tyler probably just thought it was funny. Poor choice on his part. A bit extreme on AMA’s. As it has been said, they reap the benefits in publicity.

  38. psextreme says:

    LOL, awesome video.
    Not sure I agree with the penalty but I am not up on the rules in regards to grabbing a rider during a race. Definately extreme though. Definately got my attention and I normally only follow drag bike racing.

  39. JCOC says:

    The series was extended for another two years, can’t wait to see them race again next year.

  40. singletrack says:

    “Full-throttle on the Harley-Davidson XR1200 race bikes for the win” Funny :) Those bikes are so slow, they have time to a) think about doing stuff like that, and b) actually do stuff like that.
    From Barnes’s reaction, it was a complete surprise and he sat up. But To penalize O’hara to last… that’s dumb. Is there room to interpret the rules differently for “avoidable contact”?

  41. cb150r says:


  42. Tyler Champ says:

    Tyler is the Champion . If you can stick out leg or arm and you in lead , you good . It would be other way if you came from behind . Its normal in racing stick out leg for safety avoid stuffing ,which has nothing to do with our racing but demolition derby in car bussines.If you stuff someone in F1 , you done gentelmans .AMA needs to give Tyler title back.

  43. “Tyler is the Champion . If you can stick out leg or arm and you in lead , you good . It would be other way if you came from behind .”

    And that explains coming from behind, grabbing a rider’s arm and pulling him behind you for the pass?

    Uhm, no. I think not.

  44. Trane, don’t feed the trolls.