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.

Valentino Rossi All Dressed Up for Work at Ducati Corse – Finally Talks on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11

01/11/2011 @ 3:36 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Valentino Rossi All Dressed Up for Work at Ducati Corse – Finally Talks on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 Valentino Rossi Ducati Corse Leathers colors1 635x839

Holding a press conference this morning at the Wrooom media event in the Dolomite Mountains, Valentino Rossi finally got a chance to officially talk to the press about his experience testing the Ducati at Valencia late last year, and his general impressions on riding with Ducati Corse. Commenting that “the Ducati is different from all the other bikes, it’s a proper prototype, the concept is different from the Japanese factories,” Rossi went on to explain that “you need a bit of a ‘dirtier’ style to ride the Desmosedici.”

In addition to his thoughts, official photos of Rossi’s leathers (Nicky Hayden’s as well, but to less fanfare) have been released by Ducati Corse, which see Rossi’s neon yellow color scheme mixed in with the red and white of Ducati Corse. The clashing colors might not please the aesthetically critical, but we have a feeling people will get used to the arrangement. Photos of the GP11′s race livery are expected tomorrow (Wednesday).

Talking on his shoulder, Rossi admitted that he still has pain, and likely won’t be 100% at the March 20th MotoGP season opener in Qatar. Rossi hopes to be fully-healed by April, which could mean the second (Jerez) or third (Motegi) race of the season. “Honestly, I had hoped to be a little better by this time,” said Rossi. “But instead, it’s going to be quite a race to have decent fitness in time for the first test. My recovery is exactly on schedule, but it’s long: we’re working hard to at least recover mobility in my shoulder, which I’ll need to ride the bike well and to be able to fit behind the windscreen. I won’t be able to be in top form for the first test in Malaysia, because it will be impossible to regain full strength, but I hope to be able to have a good seating position. The doctors assured me that the shoulder will return to 100% in a few months.

“Obviously, it would’ve been better to be in shape now, because we’ve got a lot of work to do and not much time to do it: three tests before the championship to make the Desmosedici not only very fast—it already is—but also a little easier to ride,” explained the nine-time World Champion. “We’ll have to meet each other halfway: make the bike like I like, and as for me, adapt my riding style a little to try and make the most of the bike. It will be an emotional challenge; it will be difficult, but I’m happy because there’s a lot of extra motivation. They’re very excited at Ducati; they believe in me, and we’ll do our best!”

As expected, Nicky Hayden has officially jumped ship from Alpinestars to Dainese for the 2011 season, and accordingly will ride in Dainese leathers, boots, and gloves. Hayden however has stayed with Arai for the upcoming season, and will not be joining Rossi as an AGV helmet wearer (Rossi holds a minor interest in AGV helmets). Following the trend with Dainese riders, Hayden has opted for the leathers-over-boots look, which we know will delight at least one unnamed A&R WSBK correspondent, while the rest of us notice this for the first time.

“This my third year with Ducati,”  said Hayden. “The start was a little bit difficult, but it’s gotten better and better since I’ve been on this team and on this bike. We’ve grown a lot, the bike has improved, and my relationship with the team has improved. We made a big step from the first year to the second, and I’d like to do the same this year. We know we have a good bike. We’ve made a couple of little tweaks for next year by adding some staff and a few engineers to help me.

“I have a strong team around me. I know being teammates with Rossi won’t be easy, but I really don’t get too caught up in that,” continued Hayden. “I focus on my job, and that’s why I think it’ll work with us. I’m looking forward to having Valentino’s information and feedback. He’s been around a long time and has a lot of experience. I think it’ll be fun. I know our team; the motivation is really high, and the excitement with the fans in Italy is high as well. I can’t imagine what the atmosphere will be like when get to Mugello.”

Photos of Valentino Rossi in Ducati Corse Leathers:

Photos of Nicky Hayden in Ducati Corse Leathers:

Source: Ducati Corse


  1. Faster1 says:

    Those leathers are a total fail! That’s the “mega crotch man” super hero costume. What happened to sublime Italian fashion? And don’t get me started on the trademark yellow legs that for the first time look completely out of place.
    Vale! you are part owner!

  2. pokheng says:

    faster1….who care what u think????if u don’t like it, get lost…..

    this it what we as Rossi’s fans waiting for many years to happen….now the day is come…

    and the bike will come out soon……..

  3. Other Sean says:

    Pokheng…I care what faster1 think. I think he smart. I agree. But I no tell you get lost. You stay. You funny.

  4. 333 says:

    holy ugly…

  5. DG7 says:

    I could care less about the leather color combination. What matters most to me is the fact that Rossi and Hayden are together again and they more than likely will conquer MotoGP this coming season.

    Opinions are not truth. People are entitled to their own so don’t knock someone for having one that doesn’t agree with your taste.

  6. Jimmy Midnight says:

    Fast doesn’t have to be pretty. As long as he delivers on the track it doesn’t matter what he looks like. Besides do you honestly believe he designs his own leathers?

  7. Bob says:

    I can’t wait to see Rossi on the Desmo, schooling Lorenzo!!!!!

  8. buellracerx says:

    ahaha sorry Val, you look just foolish.

    when did McDonald’s get picked up as a sponsor???

  9. 1198freak says:

    Hayden’s leathers look better than Rossi’s, the Yellow looks out of place. But who cares about the leathers, I want to see what the GP11 is gonna look like.

  10. Andrey says:

    You are all missing the obvious…… they will be easy to spot when the race is on television….. good for the viewers!

  11. pokheng says:

    the Yellow looks out of place? that Rossi’s identity also i believe his favourite color/design..his used the color already for years..and it ‘s look better than other riders…i really cannot wait to the see his bike with new color just like his racing suit..

  12. Westward says:

    I believe the article is about the unveiling of the new leathers, not on their racing abilities. Besides, everyone knows, a good set of leathers stylishly designed is good for shaving off at least .5 of a second off ones time… Those must be the IOM versions, which I didn’t know they were participating.

    But seriously, it is horribly misguided. Surely they could have done better then this amateur display. Hayden’s, not so bad But Rossi’s, Oh Come On….

    I’m sure they could have designed the sponsors logos without the amateurish white backgrounds. I thought Dainese was more sophisticated than that. (i.e. Motogp, Shell, Enel, Bridgestone, Generali on the collarbone and the arms, and the Tim as well)

    The Tim on the chest and shoulder is what they need to do with the rest of the logos to make it look more professional, tighten up the label designs at least, and maybe it wont look so bad…

    BTW the actual Generali lion symbol on the race hump in the back should not stretch beyond the hump itself. The fact that it does is a little tacky too.

    Tacky, that’s exactly what it reminds me of…

    I can hear the haters now, referring to Rossi as the McDonalds rider on the Ducati…

  13. pokheng says:

    i believe many fans doesn’t care if only a few people critic on Rossi suit and design…they refer Rossi as McDonalds rider, they doesn’t care…maybe in haters(lorenzo fans?hahah) doesn’t like the design, color but maybe many fans like it or doesn’t care at all…

    all they want, what the most important thing is Rossi not with Yamaha anymore and now with Ducati…and Rossi recovery soon from injury, take the championship from lorenzo…that what they waiting for…i think they doesn’t care much about the design of Rossi racing suit..small matter to think about…

  14. pokheng says:

    design of Rossi suit very similar to his aprilia 250 in year 1998@1999 ..

  15. Dr. Gellar says:


  16. Bill Smith says:

    A kaleidoscope of mismatch color – who dare say those Italians’ don’t have fashion sense/taste???