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 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.

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi

08/08/2013 @ 1:39 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 02 635x423

Completing two days of testing for HRC, Casey Stoner was back in the saddle of a MotoGP machine this week (at Motegi, of all places). The former World Champion only did a handful of laps on Tuesday (six in total) before the rain came in to the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit; but on Wednesday, Mother Nature cooperated a bit. Getting to do 47 laps in total on the 2013 Honda RC213V race bike yesterday, Stoner tested some “small items” for his former employer.

Positive about the test and being back on a bike, Stoner reaffirmed his decision to stay out of MotoGP, and dashed the hopes of any fans that were hoping to see the Australian make a wild card run at Phillip Island. Much to the disappointment of the media, Stoner did not get a chance to swing a leg over Honda’s planned MotoGP Production Racer, though HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed that a future test of the machine by Stoner is in the works.

A private test, and thus free of Dorna’s video restrictions, the fine folk at HRC have put together a short video of Casey on-board the RC213V in Japan. A far cry from the great material we got from Honda’s private test at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (at some points  in the video, we wonder if the videographer had some angry scarab beetles in their trousers), GP fans will surely still have an auralgasm as the RC213V goes by in anger.

“Thankfully today the weather improved a lot, in fact it was pretty hot, and we were able to get some good track time and work on our test program,” said Stoner. “We had a productive day in general and thankfully the test plan wasn’t too hectic, so we were able to get most of it done today, after yesterday’s washout.

“It was great to see the team, even if there were only a few people here, and I thank Honda for all their support as ever,” the Australian added. “It felt really good to get back on the bike after 9 months and I’m happy with how the test went, but it doesn’t change my mind about the wild cards – this is not something I am planning to do.”

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 01 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 03 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 04 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 05 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 06 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 07 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 08 635x423

Video: Casey Stoner Rides the Honda RC213V at Motegi Casey Stoner Honda RC213V test Motegi HRC 09 635x423

Source: HRC

Comment:

  1. TexusTim says:

    wonder what his laps times were?

  2. Gutterslob says:

    You really can see how lithe the RCV is in that black. Damn.

  3. chaz michael michaels says:

    The sound of the bike was tremendous. But did it sound different to you? Honda’s, to me, have more of a gravelly, piercing, metalic, shrieking noise. Like a piercingly loud buzz saw that just hit a knot in the plank. The bike in the video sounded more yamaha-ish with a less shrill deeper sound.

    Stoner says he’s not making any wildcard apearances–I am hoping like hell that’s a lie.

    Casey’s foray into car racing was like Jordan playing baseball.

    The dude, races GP motorcycles. Enough already. Time to come back to motoGP.

  4. Singletrack says:

    Casey’s hard to like as a ‘sporting personality’ but you have to respect his skill, intensity and integrity.
    No one else has the balls to stick it to a sanctioning organization and walk away from his sport while at the peak of his career.

    But I’m sure he’s still getting paid well as the worlds fastest test rider.

    Who can get into his head and figure out where he’ll show up next? Pikes Peak?
    If only AMA Flat Track paid more…

  5. Daniel says:

    Did the people operating the cameras have Parkinson’s? Not fun to watch, it was making me dizzy.

  6. Eddie says:

    At least we have Mark Marq…

  7. Minibull says:

    @Chaz: Suzuki was testing at the same time, as were the Yamaha test team. Both of those use an inline 4 with a crossplane crank, which is the deeper of the bike sounds.

    Also, I’m not sure if its the case now, but I remember the old 5 cylinder Honda’s use to drop onto 2 or 3 cylinders when braking. You can notice a change when Stoner is slowing down in this video, maybe they are still dropping onto 2.

  8. ljblkjb says:

    I think the camerman had one hand elsewhere.

    Whilst a brilliant sound, those seemless shifts interesting in noise change. No autobox surge as the gear changes.
    Dorna’s new machine in overdrive. Honda did not mention why Stoner was testing until very close to the test. Because their other tester is injured. So who else were Honda going to use. Now they have let it go that he will not be riding wildcard but Honda have now said he will be testing the production racer.
    Actually it would be interesting to see Stacey on the Suzuki, if he did come back.

  9. texustim says:

    we all want to see..”STACEY” back….bawawawawawahahaha

  10. chaz michael michaels says:

    @minibull–ya, it seemed like the sound would be coming from the honda because it didn’t look like anybody else was on the track at the time… but it certainly didn’t sound like the honda.

    Ya, a motion sickness bag may need to watch the video more than once.

    No way of knowing where Stoner shows up next, what series, cars or bikes, etc… But it seemed like he was bagging on the Australian V8 feeder series awfully quickly. I don’t think these guys realize they’re one-trick ponies. They won’t find success in other forms of racing or other series. I think of Schumacher (tried bikes), Montoya (F1 to nascar), other open wheel racers in NASCAR, NASCAR drivers in road course series’. None of it ever seems to work. Nigel Mansell won in F1 and in CART but I dont see a big departure between the two series.

  11. proudAmerican says:

    Casey riding a Honda motorcycle to its limits. No Carmelo, Dorna, fans, other racers, etc.

    No wonder he’s smiling.

    Enjoy retirement dude, you earned it.

  12. twoversion says:

    Dear HRC, pretend this whole android thing is real and people are using there mobile devices to watch videos. youtube > vimeo

    I wonder why Honda would give factory access to a non factory rider when they need help developing the customer bike still?

  13. Westward says:

    I wonder if HRC is really benefiting from Stoner’s time on the bike or is it more for PR. Cause even when Stoner was a factory rider, Pedrosa was the one HRC use for its base platform.

  14. twoversion says:

    @2ndclass – if you read this article on your smart phone and click the video link it will take you away from the page, where if you embed a youtube video it will play with in the page itself.

    Generally speaking content providers want to keep you on the page as do most people who read these articles.