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.

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.

WSBK: A Non-Starter Affects the Championship In a Dicey Race 1 at Nurburgring

09/04/2011 @ 3:53 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: A Non Starter Affects the Championship In a Dicey Race 1 at Nurburgring checa nurburgring Althea 2 635x357

Carlos Checa (1:54.144) started on pole after dominating both the Superpole and practices for the 2011 World Superbike round at Nurburgring. No other rider could catch him but Max Biaggi, who led the Friday qualifying practice. However, he sustained injuries to his foot including a possible broken bone and nerve damage, leaving the Italian rider in pain and with a foot too swollen to fit in his normal boot. Still, Biaggi qualified on the front row between Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri, alongside Checa. He did not start Race 1, leaving Checa some measure of comfort in the championship fight.

Other than Biaggi’s foot injuries, no other rider had a major incident during the practice and qualifying sessions. Michel Fabrizio had a crash in Superpole 1, but continued on to qualify twelfth. Nurburgring marked the return of Jonathan Rea to Castrol Honda, though teammate Ruben Xaus was still out and replaced by Makoto Tamada. Perennially injured Chris Vermeulen, despite his protestations that he is fit and ready to sign for 2012, did not participate and was not replaced by Paul Bird Motorsports Kawasaki for this round. In the Sunday morning warm-up, Haslam led Guintoli, Corser, Sykes, and Berger as the fastest five. Checa was thirteenth fastest and Biaggi, who would not race, did not participate.

The race got underway under cloudy skies, with Checa and Haga leading the two Yamhaha riders through the first turn. They still led at the end of the first lap, with Melandri in third ahead of his teammate. Sykes, Rea, Haslam, Guintoli, Aitchison, and Smrz completed the top ten. However, Laverty soon took third from Melandri while Haga was off into the lead around Checa. Both sets of riders continued to fight over positions, with Haga leading Checa, Laverty, Melandri, and Haslam across the line to begin L2. However, it would not last as Checa reclaimed the lead. The fighting at the front allowed the Yamahas to keep the front two well in their sights.

Within a few laps, Checa had managed to make a small gap of nearly a half second on Haga. Well back, Berger was knocked out with a mechanical issue, ending his race. At the front, Checa had managed to had eighth tenths as Melandri slid through to take second from haga with fourteen laps of twenty to go. Laverty had begun to fall back off the charging pace of his teammate, as Sykes completed the top five. Haslam and Laverty both went for an off track excursion, leaving Haslam down in fourteenth. Laverty was able to remain fourth.

On the next time around, Melandri ran wide where his teammate had, leaving Haga to dodge into second. Laverty was the next to capitalize, going third under his own teammate. Melandri fought back to take third again, as Checa led Haga by more than two and a half seconds at the halfway point. Laverty, Fabrizio, Guintoli, Sykes, Rea, Camier, and Lascorz completed the top ten. Checa gained another half second on just the next lap, while Haga had a two and a half second cushion on the dueling Yamaha teammates.

Smrz was the next to end his day, riding into the pit lane. Further back, Camier, Haslam, Sykes, Rea, Guintoli, Lascorz were all fighting over sixth and dicing amongst themselves. Soon Haslam had control of sixth, nearly back where he had been before his off-roading trip. With five laps remaining, Checa had just over four seconds over Haga, who was coming under pressure from Melandri. laverty, Guintoli, Haslam, Camier, Rea, Lascorz, and Sykes completed the top ten.

That order would not remain long and Melandri moved forward to take second again from Haga on the straight. Though Melandri gained a bit on Checa, it did not appear that he would have enough time to bring the nearly five second gap down enough to catch the Spaniard, let alone pass him, before the race was complete. Melandri pushed hard in the final laps, taking a second off the gap on each lap. Further to the back, Haslam had a brave move through on Guintoli to regain fifth on the last lap. In the end, Checa had a comfortable margin to win yet another race in 2011, extending his championship points to 368 as Melandri (292 points) leapfrogged Biaggi (281 points) into second.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 1 at Nurburgring:

17Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati-
233Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1.855
341Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia2.322
458Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team7.789
591Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad9.727
650Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati10.113
717Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki17.226
82Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team17.228
986Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia18.166
104Jonathan ReaCastrol Honda19.457
1166Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki22.136
128Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawaski25.346
1352James ToselandBMW Motorrad Italia31.617
1444Roberto RolfoTeam Pedericini Kawaski31.796
1511Troy CorserBMW Motorrad33.320
1684Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare38.149
17100Makoto TamadaCastrol Honda1:16.143
Not Classified
96Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati8 Laps
121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati16 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo: Althea Ducati

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