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.

Valentino Rossi Says Two More Years in MotoGP

05/17/2012 @ 1:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Valentino Rossi Says Two More Years in MotoGP Valentino Rossi press conference MotoGP Scott Jones

Coming on the heels of the news that Casey Stoner will retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season, Valentino Rossi was pitched a question on the same vein at Thursday’s press conference.

Asked how much longer he planned on racing in the premier class, Rossi replied that he no plans of following the reigning-World Champion into retirement, and would like to spend two more years in the Championship.

“For me it’s very difficult to understand where the news starts because I never speak about my retirement, and I want to race in MotoGP for the next two years for sure,” said Rossi at the press conference in Le Mans.

This news is surely to mean that Rossi is looking for another tw0-year contract from MotoGP teams, and while Ducati Corse is surely at the top of the list, Stoner’s departure from Repsol Honda means that HRC’s hat must also be tossed into the ring for consideration.

While Rossi didn’t leave Honda under the best of terms at the end of the 2003 season, HRC MotoGP boss Shuhei Nakamoto has said not to rule out The Doctor’s return to the team’s ranks. Your 2012 MotoGP silly season just got interesting.

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Bob says:

    I’d bet that Marc Marquez will replace Stoner in 2013. Repsol would be chuffed if the Spanish duo of Pedrosa and Marquez were able to be successful on the Honda.
    Recently, quite a few MotoGP ‘insiders’ have come to the conclusion that the only smart move for Rossi would be to stay with Ducati and work as hard as he can to get consistent podiums.

  2. jimmysmithJR says:

    Marquez can’t in 2013. Rules forbid Factory rides for rooks.

  3. Westward says:

    Rules in MotoGP seem to change on a whim. Meaning Marquez could join Repsol in Moto1 in 2013 once Stoner leaves. However, it is also unlikely that he will win it all during his rookie campaign.

    Since everyone’s contract is up, HRC could wrestle Lorenzo away from Yamaha. Either way, it’s almost assures Lorenzo to regain his title, since Pedrosa can’t seem to beat him. That is, unless Rossi and company get the Ducati sorted, or goes back to Yamaha.

    I don’t see Rossi at HRC, after Nakamoto said, now is the time for Rossi to prove the rider is more important than the bike. Methinks Nakamoto is going to have to eat those words.

    Rossi doesn’t need HRC the same way HRC needs Rossi. Besides

  4. Neil says:

    How about Hayden and Honda again !!!

  5. dc4go says:

    Hope Rossi becomes competitive on the Duc this year and has a great year in 2013 riding the GP13. Motogp needs as many top riders as possible cause it’s slowly turning into F1 on two wheels…..

  6. John says:

    Don’t forget Jorge Lorenzo joined Fiat Yamaha as a rookie

  7. Laurence Sandman says:

    Mmmmm…. Maybe Suzuki or Kawasaki might make an unscheduled return to MotoGP with Rossi?Dream on….

  8. Adam says:

    Rossi will be with Ducati until 2014, he has too if he doesn’t then the partner ship will be a failure. and neither him nor Ducati want that. new engine for Laguna Seca and now new parts to test next week, it sounds like Ducati got the message from Rossi’s blow up, and after a top level meeting in jerez they seem to be heading in the direction he wants. as for the open seat at Honda, this will surely be filled by Marques. Honda will push to have the rookie rule lifted, but this will mean that Honda will have to give in to one of Dorna’s rule changes… it’s only fair.

  9. ben says:

    How sad it is to see,
    A man like Rossi
    still floundering around
    at 33
    on a crap Ducati!

    when a man like stoner
    has showed he owns ya
    then leaves in a huff
    but will still flog the pants off everyone else this year cause he has gonads the size of basketballs.

  10. sburns2421 says:

    With the current rule structure, Honda could hire Marquez for Repsol Honda in 2013, but only if they do not offer customer bikes. Bautista rode for Rizla Suzuki his rookie year because all Suzuki had were two (factory) bikes in the field.

  11. That’s not how it works at all sburns. Suzuki was given a special dispensation from the MSMA in allowing Bautista to ride for the team his rookie year, basically because the Suzuki wasn’t on par with the other factory bikes.

    The only way Marquez will wind up in the Repsol Honda garage is if the Rookie Rule gets repealed, and that action would be very telling as to whom is calling the shots in MotoGP.

  12. Westward says:

    I don’t really think there is much of an illusion who is calling the shots. The 800 era was a Honda inspired situation, and if that is not enough, all you have to do is look at Moto2…

  13. sburns2421 says:

    Jensen,
    Suzuki was exempt from the rookie rule because the only bikes they had on the grid were the two factory machines for the Rizla team. Their special compensation for being behind was extra engines (3 extra IIRC) agreed by the teams later in the year 2010 when it was obvious Suzuki was going through engines like Rush went through oxycontin.

    If you think about, there almost has to be an exception with regards to this. For a manufacturer with only two bikes on the grid, without an exception they are unable to sign rookies entirely.

    At any rate, the likelihood of Honda going to two bikes is obviously very small. Assumin Marquez signs with Honda he will no doubt be on a San Carlos Gresini Honda in full HRC spec like Simoncelli was his rookie year.

  14. Glenn Plummer says:

    After meetings between Ducati Racing, Filippo Preziosi and Vale, Rossi tells us he would like to spend the rest of his Moto GP time with Ducati. It’s pretty clear Rossi was hired to make Ducati a winner. It’s clear now that Ducati had to sit Filippo down. This guy has blown off everything Rossi suggested in order to prove his carbon fiber B.S. It’s hard to beleive the Heads didn’t see what was going on, but maybe in a few races Ducati will start making progress. Valintino is an old fart, but He’s not a tenth place rider, this guy should be top five all the time. Shouldn’t he?

  15. Glenn Plummer says:

    sburns2421,
    Gresini has all but given up on leased Honda’s and is moving to CRT. If Honda wants Marquez on the Gresini team their gonna have to make some great deals on lease bikes. Interesting, the beginning of the end for CRT.