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.

What Does Valentino Rossi’s Mugello Helmet Mean?

07/14/2012 @ 2:53 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

What Does Valentino Rossis Mugello Helmet Mean? Valentino Rossi Mugello Helmet 2012 11 635x954

I wish I could take credit for having such a deep understanding of Italian culture that the meaning behind Rossi’s Mugello helmet was self-evident, but the credit belongs to Ducati Corse’s PR man, Chris Jonnum. After seeing Alex Brigg’s tweet that featured Rossi’s new helmet design, CJ was kind enough to connect the dots for us on the meaning behind the special Mugello helmet. And let me tell you, as non-Italian, the trail would not have been easy to follow without his help. Get the inside scoop on Rossi’s lid after the jump.

Featured on the top of the helmet is Italian singer, actor, and television host Gianni Morandi. Morandi is something of big deal in the country shaped like a boot, having sold 49 million records worldwide and generally putting light Italian music on the map, so to speak. Circumscribing the photo of Morandi is a ring of flowers, which hail from the city of Sanremo, which CJ tells us is also known as the City of Flowers, since it has been in the business of selling flower year-round since the late 9th century.

Known for the Sanremo Festival, the city hosts one of Italy’s major musical events, and is unsurprisingly characterized by the flowers, which as we have said, the city is also famous for growing. During the 2012 Sanremo Festival, Gianni Morandi was ordering around his work crew and serendipitously coined the now famous motto “restiamo uniti” (also seen on the helmet), which literally translates into “let’s stick together” in Italian. While this is where CJ leaves us to conclude the meaning of the helmet as it relates to Valentino Rossi, we think it speaks pretty loudly for itself.

With Rossi talking very favorably this week about his meeting with Audi’s executives, it seems increasingly likely that the nine-time World Champion will stay on with Ducati Corse for at least another season, despite all the trouble he and his team have had with the GP11 & GP12 race bikes. The bigger question now is whom will be his teammate, Cal or Nicky. For that, only time will tell.

What Does Valentino Rossis Mugello Helmet Mean? Valentino Rossi Mugello Helmet 2012 06 635x711

What Does Valentino Rossis Mugello Helmet Mean? Valentino Rossi Mugello Helmet 2012 05 635x423

Source: Ducati Corse


  1. Skeptical says:

    Would you think that Rossi wants to stick together with Ducati, or he is telling his fans, some of who thinks that Rossi is over, others still carrying some hope, to stick together with Rossi. That he is not over yet, and expect the unexpected. Well, at least, that’s what I wanted to understand from “restiamo unity” message.

    You’ve been dearly missed, Vale.

  2. Kevin says:

    In the words of SNL’s Church Lady, “Well now, isn’t that special?”

  3. Coresect says:

    According to Alessio Salucci, so about as informed as we’re likely to get, it’s to Rossi’s fans, not Ducati.

  4. Bob says:

    I think I am going to follow Nicky going forward, I am tired of the Ducati arrogance.

  5. What Does Valentino Rossi's Mugello Helmet Mean? – #motorcycle

  6. Micahel says:

    So if you follow an Italian translation in the comments on the second video from Monster Energy about the helmets, this is the song that is referenced by Vale, by the Italian singer Gianni Morandi. Something about being jealous about seeing a lover in another hands, and if he see’s the man again “I’ll break is nose.”

    The video is hilarious.

  7. JoeKing says:

    Obviously Rossi hasn’t engaged the services of a PR firm. Because if he had, they would have told him what he is doing by drawing attention to himself with nonsense like flowers & 60′s Italian icons(?) (what next Mario Lanza..Volare) is further tarnishing what little is left of his previously unassailable image.

    Continuing this soap opera as to where he will ride next year has become a tedious distaction. Stay or go..who cares….like he’ll ever win again.

    Hopefully, he stays with Ducati, (or better retires) at least he has an excuse…think if he actually does go to Yamaha or some Honda arrangement & STILL finishes mid pack. Sadly, speaking as an admirer of the rider formerly known as Rossi at Phillips Island 2003, he is rapidly replacing the G.O.A.T sobriquet with J.O.A.T (Joke of all time)..pathetic.

  8. Halfie30 says:

    Being a little harsh their JoeKing.

  9. irksome says:

    Golly, and here I thought it was an homage to Jerry Lewis.

  10. Daniel says:

    As an Italian follower of this great website, I just want to correct a little typo.. It’s “restiamo unitI”, not unity..
    Ah, the youtube link from Micahel redirect to a song that can be roughly translated as “have your mother send you to pick up milk”. Now you can stop wondering why the hell a dozen of guys were drinking from glass mil bottles and dancing..

  11. Thanks Daniel, I’m blaming that one on Apple’s autocorrect.

  12. johnc says:

    cj is the best!!!

  13. pooch says:

    You’ve got to hand it to the guy when he can still carry on with this kind of light hearted fluff when all around him is shit.

  14. paulus says:

    Get another season… get another big bunch of millions of Euro’s.
    Good luck to the man!
    Doing what he loves, having fun… somebody else paying the bills for it.