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: Dry & Sunny Brno Brings Dominance to Superpole

07/09/2011 @ 7:18 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Dry & Sunny Brno Brings Dominance to Superpole Biaggi 635x406

Max Biaggi (1:58.580) ended the Superpole qualifying sessions for the 2011 World Superbike round at Brno essentially untouchable. Though he continued to lap at the end of the final session, his closest rivals either remained in the garage or were unable to find the speed to catch him on the track. He will be joined by Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa, and Eugene Laverty on the front row for Sunday’s races. Despite a crash late in S1, Biaggi’s teammate Leon Camier managed to get back out and move forward, qualifying on the second row.

Smrz was the first fastest rider in Friday morning’s free practice session at the Czech rider’s home circuit, barely beating Biaggi’s best time as the session ended. The Italian was second fastest, with Melandri, Fabrizio, and Smrz’s teammate Guintoli (set to replace the injured Loris Capirossi in MotoGP for at least one race this season) the fastest five. In the first qualifying session, it was Checa’s turn to be the fastest Ducati again, though Smrz was just a couple of tenths slower for a provisional front row start. Melandri, Laverty, and Biaggi completed the fastest five in that afternoon session.

Though James Toseland participated in the morning free practice, he relinquished his racing duties back to Lorenzo Lanzi with continued troubles in his wrist. The Briton is hoping to be fully healed for his second home round at Silverstone, the end of this month. He was joined on the injured roster by Troy Corser, who was not replaced for this round at the factory BMW team, and Jonathan Rea. The Ulsterman has been replaced for his possibly long-term recovery by Alex Lowes at Castrol Honda.

After the final qualifying practice Checa remained on the provisional pole, though he had not improved his time. Smrz and Melandri also remained on the provisional front row, as Biaggi improved to join them. It was a generally uneventful session, though both Castrol Honda riders did not move forward to Superpole, nor did three of the five Kawasaki riders. Laverty took control in the final free practice, leading Checa, Biaggi, Badovini, and Melandri as the fastest five. Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Ruben Xaus, 18. Roberto Rolfo, 19. Joan Lascorz, 20. Chris Vermeulen, 21. Alex Lowes, 22. Victor Kispataki.

Superpole 1:
Melandri took an early lead over Badovini, Haga, Guintoli, and Haslam in the early stages of the first session of Superpole, though Checa, Biaggi, and Laverty soon slid in ahead of Badovini. It was a fairly standard session until Camier crashed out with just over five minutes remaining. He had set no time and would likely be knocked out in S1. At that point, Melandri led Checa, Biaggi, and Laverty as the provisional front row, with Fabrizio, Sykes, Camier, and Baiocco in the knockout zone.

Fabrizio jumped from fourteenth to tenth on his next lap, but the big surprise near the end of the session was Camier’s reappearance. He managed to go seventh fastest and move on to S2. In the end, Melandri (1:59.379) was quickest, with Checa, Smrz, and Biaggi completing the provisional front row. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Leon Haslam, 14. Noriyuki Haga, 15. Lorenzo Lanzi, 16. Matteo Baiocco.

Superpole 2:
Halfway through the twelve minute session, Checa led Laverty, Biagi, and Smrz, with Aitchison, Fabrizio, Berger, and Camier in the knockout zone. The latter had yet to set a time. Though Biaggi had taken an early lead, Checa was the rider to first post a lap in the 1:58s range for the weekend. Quickly, Camier again pulled himself out of the knockout zone, jumping from no time to sixth with a couple of minutes remaining. That fast lap dropped Guintoli into the relegation zone. As the seconds ticked away, Sykes posted a blistering lap to come within a hundredth of Checa’s time, leaving Badovini, Guintoli, Aitchison, and Berger in danger. In the end, Checa (1:58.930) remained fastest, with Sykes, Laverty, and Biaggi on the provisional front row. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Ayrton Badovini, 10. Sylvain Guintoli, 11. Mark Aitchison, 12. Maxime Berger.

Superpole 3:
Biaggi took the provisional pole early in the session, leading Melandri and Camier. However, Smrz snuck into second fastest position with five minutes remaining. Soon, only Checa and Fabrizio had yet to set a lap time, with Biaggi leading Melandri, Laverty, Smrz, Camier, and Sykes. On his first lap, Checa went third fastest, though Biaggi’s 1:58.580 looked hard to beat. In the final moments, Biaggi went back out on a second qualifying tire, though both factory Yamaha riders had given up for the day. Sykes, despite his earlier speed, was down in eighth with Smrz, Fabrizio, and Camier joining him on the provisional second row. At the end of S3, there was simply no one who could beat Biaggi to pole at Brno.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Brno, Czech Republic:

1.1Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:58.580-
2.33Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1:58.8010.221
3.7Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati1:38.9080.328
4.58Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team1:59.0550.475
5.96Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:59.5410.961
6.84Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare1:59.9081.328
7.2Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:59.9251.345
8.66Tom SykesPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki2:00.3031.723
Out After Superpole 2
9.86Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia1:59.6840.754
10.50Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:59.8000.870
11.8Mark AitchisonTeam Pedericini Kawasaki2:00.3621.432
12.121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati2:01.0112.081
Out After Superpole 1
13.91Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad2:00.2520.873
14.41Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia2:00.3740.995
15.57Lorenzo LanziBMW Motorrad Italia2:00.6191.240
16.15Matteo BaioccoBarni Racing Team Ducati2:00.8641.485
Not qualified for Superpole
17.111Ruben XausCastrol Honda2:00.6811.359
18.44Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki2:00.7101.388
19.17Joan LascorzPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki2:00.9801.658
20.77Chris VermeulenPaul Bird Racing Kawasaki2:01.4472.125
21.22Alex LowesCastrol Honda2:01.7242.402
22.13Victor KispatakiProp-tech ltd. Honda2:02.7213.399

Source: WSBK; Photo: Max Biaggi Official Website

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