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: Race Results for Race 1 at Silverstone

08/05/2013 @ 3:15 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race Results for Race 1 at Silverstone jonathan rea wsbk silverstone pata honda 635x422

Race Results from World Superbike Race 1 at Silverstone, UK:

1Jonathan ReaPata Honda World SuperbikeHonda CBR1000RR37’16.058-
2Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory37’19.131+3.073
3Leon CamierFixi Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100037’19.538+3.48
4Sylvain GuintoliAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory37’19.666+3.608
5Loris BazKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R37’20.198+4.14
6Jules CluzelFixi Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100037’21.717+5.659
7Leon HaslamPata Honda World SuperbikeHonda CBR1000RR37’22.501+6.443
8Ayrton BadoviniTeam Ducati AlstareDucati 1199 Panigale R37’26.602+10.544
9Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad GoldBet SBKBMW S1000 RR37’30.075+14.017
10Chaz DaviesBMW Motorrad GoldBet SBKBMW S1000 RR37’30.225+14.167
11Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R37’30.238+14.18
12Max NeukirchnerMR-RacingDucati 1199 Panigale R37’42.594+26.536
13Carlos ChecaTeam Ducati AlstareDucati 1199 Panigale R37’59.619+43.561
14Michel FabrizioRed Devils RomaAprilia RSV4 Factory38’02.431+46.373
15Mark AitchisonTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R38’49.682+93.624
16Federico SandiTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R39’26.0331 Lap
17Vittorio IannuzzoGrillini Dentalmatic SBKBMW S1000 RR38’38.5842 Laps
RETDavide GiuglianoAlthea RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory26’04.504

Source: World SBK; Photo: Pata Honda


  1. kaliber says:

    Why is there always a spoiler in the picture (race winner) from WSBK?

  2. Because we’re a news site.

  3. frod04 says:

    @ kaliber: why are you posting a nonsense comment?

  4. Gutterslob says:

    Nice way to bounce back from the Suzuka 8hr disappointment.

    If you asked me to pick just one rider (SBK and GP combined) that clearly deserves a better bike under him, my choice would be Rae. Not saying Honda need to release that RC that’s been rumored about since forever, but they should at least send some proper HRC tech his way.

  5. Max says:

    So sad to see the fields of empty seats at Silverstone… I hope WSBK is making money seeing as it’s the most fun on two wheels at the moment….

  6. kaliber says:

    I do know that. Not only it is a news site but a great motorcycle blog (mine favorite).

    I didn’t mean to be rude or some ‘”behind keyboard” hater.

    Since in some countries not all cable networks have a channel with WSBK transmission on it and since not all of us have a TV (me for example), some of us have to rely solely on internet to see that great racing. In case of MotoGP you have to wait about several hours after race to get it, with WSBK on the other hand you hate to wait 3 days average.

    3 days is a lot of time to be missing A&R (missing not only news here but great articles). I tend to enjoy less a race if results are known, so I try to stay away from most news sites during those days.

    The post title doesn’t contain spoilers so it would be nice if the title picture also would not (I’m pretty sure there will be always some awesome photo from the race which wouldn’t show the winner in a obvious way).
    I don’t know way it has spoiler in the first place when there are some news which are made free of them e.g.

    Sorry for complaining, hope You could consider some changes :)

  7. Will says:

    Well said…but I’m afraid your comments will fall on deaf ears.

  8. I’ve weighed this issue out for a while, and talked to some of my colleagues about it, and my basic idea is this:

    I feel the plight of the person getting race results spoiled. Once you know who wins, the racing experience is the lesser for it. I have been this person, on more than one occasion. I get it.

    While I hope A&R distinguishes itself because of the insights and knowledge of its authors, we are at the end of a day a “news” site, so not reporting the news is sort of a silly request…and asking the internet as a whole to refrain from discussing something that you haven’t already seen, well frankly I find that to be selfish request.

    But again, I come back to readers such as yourself kaliber, because well…I aim to please. We have started using generic titles for race results, and all the results are found after the jump. When the story is sent to Facebook and Twitter, 99% of the time we’ve stripped out the summary info too. In essence, we’ve gone to great lengths to prevent “accidental” spoilers on these posts (i.e. you have to come to A&R to spoil the race), but at some point we’ve got to, you know, report the news.

    9 times out of 10, the photo used is the race winner, but sometimes it is someone I think deserves some photo-love (case in point, I almost put up a photo of Jules Cluzel for the Race 2 results, since when was the last time Crescent Suzuki was on the podium? But then, I realized that would be robbing Loris Baz of his great accomplishment and thus we have another race winner in the photo for that article). Some of this too comes down to the photography I have to work with, especially in regards to WSBK, a series where A&R doesn’t work with any paddock regulars, e.g. both Pirelli and WSBK sent out HORRIBLE photos for this weekend.

    So I come back to the notion that at some point we have to be able to talk about the race. Should A&R refrain all this week then from discussing the actions of the WSBK Race Direction and the controversial decisions they made this week? Because that will certainly spoil the result for you. However, how could we possibly talk about those decisions without talking about the cause and effect, i.e. the results.

    When is it ok for us to talk about that, next week perhaps, when surely everyone has had a chance to DVR or download the race? Of course by that point, we will have collectively moved on from the race in Silverstone and onto the next round. Do you begin to see the rabbit hole this creates?

    Between choosing to report the news, and not report the news, I’m going to take the prior every time. Our job after all is to tell you about something you don’t already know…which unfortunately includes race results for some readers.

    Right now, you can’t have your cake and eat it to, and while I feel your pain on this one…I’m not really inclined to change things. Not the answer you were hoping for, I’m sure, but I’ll leave you with this: there is something in the works to fix the spoiler issue, which will make everyone very happy, and wonder why we didn’t think of this earlier. It probably won’t do much good this racing season, but next season for sure it will be in place. That’s all I can say at this point.

  9. kaliber says:

    Thanks for the lengthy answer Jensen.

    I do get most of your points and think you are right about being selfish in request to stop discussing what have not yet been seen. As I said I try to not visit motorcycle news sites until I see a race (there is plus side to that – you have more to read on them afterwards). I simply forgot about Silverstone this weekend which is of course my problem and there isn’t anybody else to blame.

    The publication of the news shouldn’t wait for anybody, it should be as fast as possible – no doubt about that.
    It didn’t occur to me at first about news regarding race direction incidents etc, and for sure they should come first before spoiler free functionality. But the point wasn’t to stop these type of news and it’s not so often when something dramatic happens.

    However if the ratio of 9 out 10 would go down a little I don’t think it would hurt anybody.
    Maybe show the second photo with race winner “after the jump”? (though that might
    aesthetically look bad come to think of it)
    Maybe I’m overreacting a bit about such small inconvenience on otherwise great site, but it hurts a little when you see a nice spoiler-free title just to see a race winner few pixels below.

    Anyway, I’m now waiting for this new fix you talked about, hope it will make everybody happy as you said :)

  10. Will says:

    Is this a hint of a subscription based WSBK website? Now that Dorna owns the series is it gonna turn into a clone of Motogp.con?