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.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

WSBK: Sunshine & Motorbikes for Race 1 at MMP

05/29/2012 @ 5:21 am, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Sunshine & Motorbikes for Race 1 at MMP Memorial Day Miller Motorsports Park 635x423

Memorial Day was finally greeted with some proper racing weather at Miller Motorsports Park, and World Superbike racing was underway Monday at WSBK’s only stop in the USA. With the Ducatis lacking speed on Miller’s long front straight, the Italain contingency made up for its horsepower deficit in MMP’s many curves. Surprisingly, this lead to Jakub Smrz taking the Superpole on Sunday, and with Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano sitting on the front row, only Tom Sykes could mix things up with his #3 spot on the grid.

As the lights went out, it was Sykes who took the lead into the first turns, followed closely by Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri. Sykes’ lead would be short-lived though, as the Englishman slowly drifted back through the field. As Carlos Checa yoyo’d himself to the lead, making ground on the technical bends of Miller, and then losing pace on the track’s longer straights, the Spaniard on his Ducati 1098R finally bested Marco Melandri’s BMW S1000RRR.

Once able to get some space from Melandri, Checa rode his own race, and finished over two seconds ahead of the Italian, who had as similar gap back to third. Battling for the final podium spot was Max Biaggi and Jonathan Rea, and the pair had a good battle to the finish, which saw the former-WSBK Champion overcoming Rea’s valiant efforts.

For the American contingency, it was a forgettable race, as Jake Holden, Shane Turpin, and John Hopkins all found the gravel at their home track.

Race 1 Results from World Superbike at Miller Motorsports Park, USA:

Pos. Rider Team Bike Time Diff.
1. Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 38’21.283 -
2. Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 38’23.596 2.313
3. Max Biaggi Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’26.621 5.338
4. Jonathan Rea Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 38’26.800 5.517
5. Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’33.484 12.201
6. Jakub Smrz Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati 1098R 38’34.545 13.262
7. Chaz Davies ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’40.945 19.662
8. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 38’42.575 21.292
9. Michel Fabrizio BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 38’42.733 21.450
10. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 38’44.716 23.433
11. Davide Giugliano Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 38’44.979 23.696
12. Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 38’46.035 24.752
13. Leon Camier FIXI Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 38’50.683 29.400
14. Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 38’52.505 31.222
15. Loris Baz Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 38’54.249 32.966
16. Maxime Berger Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 38’56.692 35.409
17. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 39’13.436 52.153
18. Shane Turpin Boulder Motor Sports Ducati 1098R 38’49.456 1 LAP
19. Jake Holden Grillini Progea Superbike Team BMW S1000 RR 39’00.843 1 LAP
RET Leandro Mercado Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
RET Lorenzo Zanetti PATA Racing Team Ducati 1098R
RET John Hopkins FIXI Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
RET David Salom Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
RET Niccoló Canepa Red Devils Roma Ducati 1098R

Source: WSBK; Photo: © 2012 Rick Grayston – All Rights Reserved

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