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.

Q&A with Valentino Rossi and Fiat-Yamaha

06/10/2010 @ 1:54 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Q&A with Valentino Rossi and Fiat Yamaha Valentino Rossi Mugello Italian GP practice 560x371

With an overabundance of interest stemming from Valentino Rossi’s injury at the Italian GP, Fiat-Yamaha setup a Q&A with the team’s staff and Valentino Rossi himself that cover life in MotoGP post-Mugello. Find after the jump the responses from the team and Rossi, which should clarify a number of questions and concerns centered around the Italian rider’s injury, when he will return, and what caused the accident in the first place.

Q&A with Fiat-Yamaha:

What caused the accident? Was it rider error or a bike/tyre issue?
Davide Brivio, Fiat Yamaha Team Manager, Valentino Rossi’s crew: “Valentino was on his first flying lap with new hard tyres. At ‘Arrabbiata 2′ Valentino slowed down to let another rider pass, because he was following him. When Valentino opened the throttle again at ‘Biondetti’, the first corner on the left, having ridden for about a quarter of the track at a very low speed, the rear tyre had cooled down and lost grip suddenly, causing the crash. When Valentino lost the rear of the bike his speed was approximately 180kph and when he hit the ground it was approximately 150kph.”

What were Valentino’s exact injuries?
Professor Roberto Buzzi, MD, Trauma Unit, Careggi Hospit al, Florence, Italy: “Valentino suffered a ‘grade 2′ open fracture of the distal third right tibia, as well as a bifocal fracture of the fibula.”

What exactly was done in the operation?
Professor Roberto Buzzi: “Debridement and lavage, stabilisation with locked intramedullary nailing and a VAC (vacuum assisted closure) application on Saturday 5th June. Then a second look and delayed primary closure on Monday 7th June.”

What is the expected recovery time for VR?
Professor Roberto Buzzi: “Six months.”

At which race can we expect him back?
Davide Brivio: “It is very difficult to say now. We will have to see, step by step, how his recovery goes. Around 45 days after the accident we will have a clearer picture about his condition. In the meantime he will be busy with the rehabi litation. At the moment we think it’s unlikely that he will be back within the next two months. If everything goes well we might see him racing in August or September.”

Where will he be spending his recovery time? Will he be attending any races?
Davide Brivio: “Valentino left the CTO in Florence today and travelled to Cattolica to meet with doctors close to his home. He will probably spend his entire recovery at home. We want Valentino to concentrate fully on his recovery and rehabilitation, therefore we will not involve him in any activities until he is back to the best physical condition. He will not be attending any races until that time, so the next time we will see Valentino at a track it means that he is ready to race again.”

Will anything be done to his shoulder during this time?

Davide Brivio: “Yes, of course the next couple of months will be very useful for the shoulder recovery as well. His doctors will be attending to this as well. Due to the recent accident the shoulder rehabilitation program has had to be updated because he has had to change some exercises, but from tomorrow he will be starting to work on the shoulder as well.”

When will Yamaha field a replacement? Why not straight away?
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing: “Firstly let me say that I am very happy that Vale has left the hospital today to return to his home area. This is a good sign as it means that his recovery is proceeding well and now he will start the rehabilitation program that will return him to full fitness. Concerning the replacement rider – we have decided to field a replacement rider from the Catalunya Grand Prix on 4th July. We have chosen the Catalunya Grand Prix to respect our Team Participation obligatio ns to the MotoGP championship and also to take time to select the most suitable rider and to make sure we’re organised and well prepared for this new situation.”

Who will the replacement be?
Lin Jarvis: “At this moment I am unable to tell you who the rider will be because we have not yet made a definitive decision. We expect to be able to inform you of our plan next week or at the latest at the Silverstone MotoGP event.”

Who are the staff members not coming to Silverstone and Assen?
Lin Jarvis: “The Fiat Yamaha Team members working closely with Valentino will not come to Silverstone or Assen, i.e. his Team Manager, his Crew Chief and his mechanics. They will return in Barcelona and they will support the stand-in rider. All other Team and Corporate staff members will attend the coming races as usual.”

How does this affect your sponsors? Are they okay about missing two races?
Lin Jarvis: “We have been receiving messages of solidarity and understanding from all of our sponsors, without exception. They, like Yamaha, are all looking forward to Valentino returning in perfect shape. Valentino’s garage will be set up in Silverstone and Assen and both his YZR-M1s will be there for the fans to see.”

Will Valentino be meeting the media during his recovery time?
William Favero, Communications Manager, Yamaha Motor Racing: “Valentino will not be giving any interviews to press or television during his recovery time. All Yamaha wants is for him to focus on his rehabilitation and make a full recovery. Yamaha will arrange a press conference with Valentino in due course. In the meantime we will make sure that our sponsors, the fans and the international media are kept updated abo ut his condition through our official spokesmen and team press releases, with the same efficiency and transparency with which we have treated this issue so far.”

Q&A with Valentino Rossi:

Vale, first question: how are you and are you still in pain?
“The positive thing is that the worst is past and that the two operations went well, so everything is okay. Now I am expecting a difficult period, in which I have to be aware of the risk of infection and in which I must remain with the leg constantly elevated. Then there will come a second key period, when I will be able to start my rehabilitation and, with support on the leg, will be able to start to walk around with crutches.”


Dr. Buzzi talked about a rehabilitation period of about five or six months, what do you think? 

“It’s to be expected that Dr. Buzzi has been very cautious in his prognosis. I want to heal the injury; that is the only thing I’m interested in. If I miss four races or six races, it doesn’t make any difference. The right time to return could be Brno, but it won’t necessarily be like this.”

Do you remember the accident?

“I remember everything perfectly. I didn’t hit my head, I didn’t hit anything else. The airbag in my leathers worked very well and my helmet was just slightly scratched. I don’t have a single bruise! The problem was that I landed on my leg, and it was stuck under my body. If I had landed on my back it would have been different. I had a new tyre and I’d done two laps, then I slowed down because I had Barbera behind me. When I came back onto the racing line Pedrosa arrived and I didn’t want to cause a problem for him so I moved again but then when I reopened the gas, it happened suddenly and unexpectedly. Seven seconds were enough to make the tyre drop temperature dramatically. The error was mine.”

Who would you like to thank?
“First of all I want to thank Professor Buzzi of the CTO Careggi in Florence and all of his staff, because they were brilliant. Fortunately, doing it at Mugello meant I wasn’t far from the Careggi and this was very lucky. I also want to thank everybody else at the Careggi and all the nurses because they treated me so well, then the staff at the Clinica Mobile and the marshals and officers at the Mugello circuit. Finally, a big hello and particular thanks to all the fans because never, not even for a second, have they let me forget their affection and support. The messages I saw on Sunday on television from the circuit were beautiful.”



At any time since the accident has there been a moment when you have said “stop racing motorcycles”? 

“Sincerely, I haven’t felt any fear. I was a bit horrified when I saw the leg, yes…but the thing I dislike the most is to miss so many races! I will take all the time I need and be sure not to do anything stupid because I want to return quickly, but only if my condition allows it. I know I have a bike for next year and I don’t need to rush my return to demonstrate anything. I could miss just four races but I still wouldn’t come back to win the championship. It’s better to be careful, finish the rehabilitation in the best way and come back to race for many more years. I’ve heard of many other sportsmen, a lot in fact, who have had the same problem as me. One example for everyone: Mark Webber called me and he has had an exposed fracture of the right leg. He told me to be very patient and that I would have some moments of discomfort, but that in the end recovery was guaranteed.”

Now you have some time at home to rest and to think…
“Yes, now I have a lot of t ime at home to rest, to recover and to think. Firstly, I want to use this time to improve some things. I want to improve my English, learn something new, read a lot. Basically, I want to improve and learn. This I will do for sure. If your question instead is referring to 2011, this incident will not influence my choices for next year in any way. Last Saturday hasn’t changed anything. I just have one broken leg extra! The result of 2010, therefore, has never been relevant to my decisions for the future.”

During your enforced rest, will you also be working on your injured shoulder?

“Definitely, yes. This is one of the few positive things about this incident; finally I can work on the rehabilitation of the shoulder, in no hurry, without operations and without races. From tomorrow I will restart the exercises, lying on my bed, and I am certain that when I return the shoulder will be completely recovered. When I come back I will be in perfect shape, although it won’t mean that I can win straight away. When you return after an enforced break you not only have to think about the body, but also the mind. I won’t be able to come back and win immediately.”

Source: Fiat-Yamaha

Comment:

  1. Q&A with Valentino Rossi and Fiat-Yamaha – http://aspha.lt/12p #motorcycle

  2. Victor Knowles says:

    Thanks for sharing that with us. We wish Vale a speedy recovery.
    He is a class act…….

  3. Valentino Rossi and Yamaha post-injury Q&A http://bit.ly/apiRMe #valentinorossi

  4. Ken says:

    you can tell he such a sincere guy and he foremost wins races for his fans. Im more of a Vale fan now becuase of this.