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.

WSBK: Battle to the Finish in Race 2 at Assen

04/17/2011 @ 11:04 am, by Victoria Reid1 COMMENT

WSBK: Battle to the Finish in Race 2 at Assen World Superbike Assen 2011 635x364

Carlos Checa started the second World Superbike race at Assen in pole position, after wise tire management left him the only rider in Superpole 3 on Saturday with an unused qualifying tire. He was joined on the front row by Jakub Smrz, Eugene Laverty, and Noriyuki Haga. It was the first front row start (other than that for Race 1) for the Irish rider in his WSBK rookie season.

Laverty’s teammate Marco Melandri had worse luck, crashing on his final lap in Superpole 3 and only qualifying eighth. The second WSBK race at Assen got off to a late start after the Supersport race had multiple red flags. It had become somewhat cloudier as the afternoon progressed, but hampered the racing little.

Haga got a brilliant start, going straight to the front into Turn 1, with Biaggi and Checa following him. Haga managed a neat gap early on in the first lap, leaving Biaggi and Checa to scrap over second. By the end of the first lap, Haga led Biaggi, Checa, Laverty, Rea, Melandri, Haslam, Corser, Sykes, and Xaus as the top ten.

Soon, Haga, Biaggi, and Checa were away at the front, with a fighting Laverty, Rea, Melandri, and Haslam catching up to them. Checa, looking to get away on the soft rear tire, made his way around Biaggi, then Haga for the lead. Haga seemed to simply slip back, dropping down to fifth within a few turns. By the end of the fifth lap, Checa and Biaggi were gaining some space on Rea and Melandri, who had their own small gap on the rest of the field. Haga was sixth, with Laverty well back in eighth.

At the front, Biaggi would not let Checa get away. Though Camier, Haslam, Fabrizio, and Laverty were dueling for fifth, the top four seemed to settle in. By the halfway point of the twenty-two lap race, Checa still led Biaggi, with Rea finally having broken free from Melandri in third. Camier, Haslam, Haga, Fabrizio, Laverty and Sykes completed the top ten, as Corser had crashed out a few laps earlier.

Soon, Biaggi began losing a bit of time to Checa, with Rea gaining on the reigning champion. Melandri was coming with him, as the top three were covered by one second. Watching the top four became something of a waiting game as the laps ticked down, with the gap close enough for any rider to win, but noone jousting for position. With five laps left, Melandri crashed while pushing to stay ahead of Camier and catch Rea. At that point, Camier moved up to fourth, with Haslam, Laverty, Fabrizio, Haga, Guintoli, and Smrz rounding out the top ten.

Biaggi continued to close on Checa, but kept his head, sliding neatly through on Checa. The Championship leader had run a bit wide at the final chicane, leaving room for Biaggi to take the lead with two laps remaining. Still, Checa remained right on Biaggi’s rear wheel, decisively taking the lead back up the inside of Biaggi on the final lap, and keeping it across the finish. Rea comfortably finished third, with Camier and Haslam rounding out the top five.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 2 at Assen:

17Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati-
21Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team0.524
34Jonathon ReaCastrol Honda3.584
42Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team5.913
591Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad Motorsport16.916
658Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team17.375
784Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare17.740
841Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia18.329
996Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati18.378
1050Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati18.404
1166Tom SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing26.284
1217Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing27.053
13121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati38.614
14111Ruben XausCastrol Honda40.824
1586Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia40.953
1644Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki40.982
1737Barry VenemanBMW Motorrad Italia45.423
188Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki3 Laps
Not Classified
33Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team6 Laps
11Troy CorserBMW Motorrad Motorsport15 Laps

Source: WSBK


  1. s2upid says:

    man i love the look of that castrol honda