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.

Officially Official: Ducati and Valentino Part Ways

08/10/2012 @ 2:34 am, by David Emmett14 COMMENTS

Officially Official: Ducati and Valentino Part Ways Valentino Rossi Scream Ducati Desmosedici GP11 635x423

Part 1 of MotoGP’s latest worst-kept secret is out: Valentino Rossi is to leave Ducati at the end of the 2012 season. Ducati this morning issued a press release (printed below) that their working relationship with Rossi will come to an end at the end of the season. The full press release is after the jump.

Ducati and Rossi to part ways at the end of 2012:

As the MotoGP series awaits its return to action for the August 19 Indianapolis Grand Prix, Ducati announces that its working relationship with Valentino Rossi will conclude at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.

Ducati wishes the Italian well for the new challenges that await him, and in the meantime, the team will continue to give its best effort in order to improve over the latter part of the season.

Racing has always been in Ducati’s DNA, and now more than ever, it is integral to the Borgo Panigale company’s product development and image. AUDI shares Ducati’s strategic approach and agrees with its growing commitment to competition.

Therefore, having recently renewed its agreement with American Nicky Hayden, Ducati is in the process of finalizing the team that will take part in the 2013 World Championship, confident that its team and bike will be capable of competing at the highest level.

Source: Ducati Corse

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. TexusTim says:

    Well now we wait for Yamaha’s announcment…I guess Spies saw the writing on the wall………wouldnt it be crazy if he goes to Ducati ?

  2. Westward says:

    Spies to Ducati, please…

  3. Ken says:

    Spies to Ducati? hell no. Id rather see him in WSBK thank ducati motogp.

    Spies is more suited to WSBK anyway in my opinion.

  4. Jake F. says:

    Yellow looks better on blue than on red. Still, I think all MotoGP fans (unless you hate Rossi or Ducati) wish the marriage had been happier. C’est la vie…

  5. Calisdad says:

    A big collective sigh….. now lets get back to racing.

  6. TimM says:

    It’s a say day when The GOAT says “See ya, yer bike is FUBAR.” A giant PR problem for Ducati, and not a good way to start off a relationship with Lambo/Audi. I wouldn’t want to be Filipo Prezioso right now. What happened? I just watched “Faster” again to get some perspective. When they jumped into GP in ’03 Ducati was competitive and the fastest bike on the track. Then everyone else cranked it up to 11 (or quit) and they just got lost. I hope Audi can help but 4-wheel traction is a lot different than 2-wheel. Bring back Bayliss and the steel trellis frame!

  7. Bryan Niese says:

    I don’t think this is the end of the World for Ducati. Ducati wins where it really matters, on the sales floor. The win on Sunday sell on Monday idea hasn’t really meant much lately. Just look at BMW’s initial struggles in WSBK. For a manufacturer with a smaller budget than the Japanese I think it would have been insane to pay Rossi the 12 million euros that they reportedly offered. Judging by how the Panigale is performing in World Superstock I think Ducatisti will have plenty to cheer about next year as it moves to WSBK. While this news may be bad for Ducati’s MotoGP program, and even that is uncertain, it may be better for Ducati as a whole to not have the pressure or negative PR of trying to satisfy a discontent Rossi.

  8. TimM says:

    ^^True Dat. Eddi La Marra has been tearing it up on the Panigale and WSBK is much more exciting than GP anyway. I’m hoping for someone to campaign an 1199 in AMA SBK.

  9. Dave says:

    Stoner to Ducati! ;) …actually, I wonder if Ducati were to offer Stoner the same deal Rossi just snubbed if Stoner would go back? …especially the part about Ducati listening to whatever the rider asks,… the whole “Audi is in charge now and they’ll make sure Ducati does whatever you tell them to do.” …just wondering.

    Otherwise, with the money they saved by not re-signing Rossi, heck Ducati could pick up 2 more riders. Crutchlow and Dovi.

  10. Neil says:

    I don’t think you’ll see Spies on the Duc….it would be cool to have both Americans riding Red but I think Crutchlow, Dovi or Barbera should fill that roll. Hell, they may even pull Scott Redding from Moto 2 ???

    I hope Ducati gives Nicky what he finally deserves….a true number one rider/bike to challenge with….

  11. Leo says:

    This will be awesome, Audi/ducati snubbed by Rossi… Those Germans will spend whatever it takes to put any of their riders in front of Rossi from now on.. That will be the primary goal of ducati gp program.

  12. A little sad to see VR go, but very happy for Nicky to be Ducati’s number 1 rider! I really hope Ducati go the distance and improve the bike to make him competitive again.

  13. Bryan says:

    Probably best thing to happen to Ducati in a long time. Be good to have at least one more battling at the front next year, as Rossi most definitely will be. A two horse race for 18 races would be the end of Motogp.

  14. ‘ . . . .confident that its bike and team will be capable of competing at the highest level.’

    Well for Nicky, I truly hope so. He’s stuck with them, not aired his laundry in public, and out-finished Vale over and over. Good guy.

    On the other hand, unless Audi assigns Dr. Ulrich and the LeMans crew to this moonshot of bringing the Desmo right, Nicky will have a long 2013, though probably longer than FP.