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.

Rossi Decision Expected at Catalunya

06/30/2010 @ 6:25 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Rossi Decision Expected at Catalunya  Valentino Rossi French GP Le Mans 560x470

News regarding Valentino Rossi is at a fever pitch, as it is expected the Italian rider will announce at the Catalan GP his intentions on where he will race in next season. For weeks, if not months now, Rossi has been linked to a very lucrative €15 million deal with Ducati Corse, while Fiat-Yamaha have reportedly scaled back their offer on the GP Champions from his current €14 million salary to €9 million.

Paddock gossip has said that Rossi has been considering both offers; however, at Barcelona we should finally know the answer to what team Rossi has picked, but some sources are already claiming they know the answer.

Perhaps the most emboldened is MCN, who says for certain that Rossi will ride for Ducati, after negotiations with Fiat-Yamaha broke down in the final hour. However, who also cites a team insider, hedges their bet, saying that speculation is more rumor than fact. Whether one can believe the Rossi to Ducati news, virtually all sources across the board say we will know all at Catalunya in a couple day’s time.

If Rossi does go to Ducati, Ben Spies is expected to get the nod, and be moved up from the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team to the factory supported Fiat-Yamaha garage. Spies would then play second fiddle to Jorge Lorenzo, who has reportedly secured a doubling of his salary to €8 million.

While he is no Rossi, Lorenzo has proven himself to be a GP Champion in the making. Last year he pushed teammate Rossi to the brink as they vied for the Championship title, and this year he is the clear favorite with Rossi out of the picture. With the two riders virtually on par with each other on the same machinery, it will be interesting to see if Rossi can keep pace on the allegedly inferior Ducati GP11 if he switches teams next season.

We still think it’s too close to call regarding where Rossi will land in 2011, but with GP racing only a few days away, we won’t have long to wait on this one. Stay tuned race fans.

Source: MCN &


  1. Jake says:

    If this is true then Rossi just continues to loose my respect. If he were leaving Yamaha for Ducati looking for a challenge or simply because an Italian on an Italian was dream that is one thing. But for the petty reasons that are being stated…..I’d expect more from a rider of his stature

    First he complains because everyone assumes a big reason he is successful is because of his equipment. He gets the good stuff while others don’t. So now he is able to prove that wrong, but racing and beating a good rider who has the same equipment and he cries about it.

    Never complained about tires when he had the best and no one else did, but once Bridgestones moved to the front………

    Also for him to expect Yamaha not to pay Jorge more after winning a title is stupid. To think Yamaha shouldn’t plan for the future is also stupid. Before any Rossi fans start about Yamaha not being loyal to Rossi, that is just BS. They have done and given him everything he needed to be successful. And gone out of their way to show him that they value and respect him as a person, rider and part of Yamaha history. For Rossi to think the only way Yamaha can be loyal to him is to risk their future is well……stupid.

    No he isn’t Rossi, but Jorge has proven to be the first rider to really push Rossi straight up with no excuses. People don’t give Stoner credit for his title and wins because “he had the best bike and Rossi didn’t”…well you can’t say that for Jorge. Rossi wanted a wall and got it. Wanted communication cut, got that too. Jorge just went along and did was he has done. Good on him.

    I was never a big fan of Jorge, but he has won my respect for the way that he has carried himself, while Rossi continues to lose mine for the way that he’s been acting the last few years

  2. Peter says:

    It’s not just for the money. As stated in this article:

    Rossi makes the majority of his money from endorsements and such. Rossi is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. You think a couple million Euros is really going to sway him?

    While Lorenzo is a good rider, the Rossi/Burgess team is so much better. They developed the M1 what it is today, the same bike that Lorenzo rides.

    Personally, I think Rossi will move to Ducati because he wants a clean start with a bike that no one has been able to really master. As long as Ducati lets them, Rossi and Burgess will be able to develop another winning bike and another Championship. Probably not in 2011, hopefully in 2012.

  3. eze1976 says:

    Rossi & his team developed the M1 to what it is today. He is one of the few riders at his level that can do this. If it was true about the salary sack from Yamaha then yeah he should bounce. Yes its a business call (future being lorenzo) but when the world wants rossi you listen.

    Honestly speaking, I hope Rossi on a Ducati takes it all and leaves yamaha for dead. Can Spies go anywhere at the end of the season?

  4. Rossi Decision Expected at Catalunya – #motorcycle

  5. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Rossi Decision Expected at Catalunya – #motorcycle #Ducati #MotoGP

  6. joe says:

    Rossi on a Duc sounds great, hope it goes great. Ending his career with that marquee could certainly benefit both. If he races and doesn’t win on a Duc, it mars his legacy, if he wins he may be the only rider ever to win at the top level on so many different machines. I just hope he doesn’t leave to full time rally. I’ll never get that on speed tv.