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 2 at Monza

05/12/2013 @ 2:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race Results for Race 2 at Monza eugene laverty aprilia racing wsbk monza 635x428

Race Results from World Superbike Race 2 at Monza, Italy:

1.Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory30’59.653-
2.Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad GoldBet SBKBMW S1000 RR30’59.7960.143
3.Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R31’00.3780.725
4.Sylvain GuintoliAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory31’01.2721.619
5.Michel FabrizioRed Devils RomaAprilia RSV4 Factory31’09.6189.965
6.Davide GiuglianoAlthea RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory31’09.71910.066
7.Leon CamierFixi Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100031’11.89412.241
8.Loris BazKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R31’29.42429.771
9.Ayrton BadoviniTeam Ducati AlstareDucati 1199 Panigale R31’34.65835.005
10.Max NeukirchnerMR-RacingDucati 1199 Panigale R31’41.41041.757
11.Fabrizio LaiTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R31’52.23252.579
12.Vittorio IannuzzoGrillini Dentalmatic SBKBMW S1000 RR32’28.42588.772
13.Federico SandiTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R31’06.5721 LAP
RETChaz DaviesBMW Motorrad GoldBet SBKBMW S1000 RR19’01.771
RETJonathan ReaPata Honda World SuperbikeHonda CBR1000RR11’20.596
RETKosuke AkiyoshiPata Honda World SuperbikeHonda CBR1000RR7’06.643
RETMark AitchisonTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R5’31.798
RETJules CluzelFixi Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’47.465

Source: WorldSBK; Photo: Aprilia Racing


  1. Bruce says:

    Your results need updating. Other surces report that Race direction decided after the race that Sykes finished fourth, Guintoli third.

  2. That decision was reversed on appeal.

  3. Mormont says:

    The reversal may still be reversed though.

    “Their race result is still provisional, as after the chequered flag the Aprilia Racing Team requested the Race Direction to analyse last Tom Sykes’ lap, who ran off track, while entering Turn 5 – using the run off area – and rejoined by maintaining his 3rd position and same pace. The appeal by Aprilia was upheld and after Sykes was penalised with one position place penalty, the Kawasaki Racing Team appealed to the FIM Stewards’ Panel. Following an analysis of race footage and sector times by Sykes, preceding rider Melandri and following rider Guintoli, decided to reinstate Tom Sykes third in classification. Therefore, this could not be the final verdict, as a further appeal could be lodged by the works Aprilia Team, this time to the International Disciplinary Court (within 5 days), that will eventually take the final decision on it.”

  4. Faust says:

    I don’t think it should have been reversed the first time, but Sykes finished third according to SBK as of now. Aprilia has been drama queens from the start of the RSV4 program by getting it homologated before the required number of units were sold, with the whole gear driven cam nonsense, and all their drama with BMW. If it was anyone else, perhaps I’d have more sympathy, but not for Aprilia. The same guys who won the championship after a wet race got called for rain, robbing Sykes of the points he needed to lock up the championship? No, I don’t feel sorry for them.

  5. dc4go says:

    Sykes is a true racer through and through but I have to say if a rider goes through a section of the track he must give up the spot.. Guintoli should be 3rd and Sykes 4th. Can’t go trough a chicane and maintain or advance your place on the track, Sykes is lucky he didn’t get DQ’d. Didn’t Biaggi get a ride through penalty for crossing the white line re-entering the track last year?

  6. SBPilot says:

    No one is asking you to feel sorry for Aprilia as a manufacture, but plain and simple, Sykes got a far better drive than Guintoli by taking that escape route. Yes, Sykes did not impeded, block or endanger Guintoli, but he had an advantage on the drive out, so much so he could check his shoulder 3 or 4 times and still remain ahead of Guintoli who was full tuck WOT on a faster bike.

    Great races either way, especially Race 1 which went down to the wire.

  7. BBQdog says:

    WSBK was boring. The SuperSport 600 class you saw start 4 times this weekend (just kidding, except for the amount of SS starts, what a circus).

  8. BBQdog says:

    Had time to watch the second race and I think Aprilia is right, Sykes had to re-enter after Guintoli.

  9. Damo says:

    Aside from the massive CF that was WSS, I though the races were great and all went down to the wire.

    I am sure aprilia are going to re-appeal the decision, especially after last year’s championship got decided by 1/2 a point.

    I wouldn’t give and inch either.

  10. Faust says:


    Ok, I went back and watched it again, and I agree with you. Looked like Sykes ran it too deep and had to check up or crash. That’s a mistake and he shouldn’t have benefitted from it. He was trying to explain to Guinters after the race when he pulled into the winners circle that he could have made that turn easily…. If you look at it a few times, I think that statement is debatable at best. It looked in the video that Guinters wasn’t buying it at all.

  11. dc4go says:

    Taking the escape road should be a 10 second penalty in the future to avoid all this non sense. A lot better and safer than crashing but a penalty for using it..

  12. hoyt says:

    I’ve been out of touch with WSB, so I need a bit of help…

    According to those standings, the Panigale’s best finish between the 2 races is 9th? Considering all the hype that bike is getting in the press, why are these finishes not making news like the GP woes are making?

  13. Because it has more to do with the air-restrictor plate in the rules than with something wrong with the bike itself, and arguing about the WSBK bike-balancing formula is sooooo passé.

  14. hoyt says:

    Thanks. I thought these results would get the talk going again about the rules, regardless.

    If everyone can forget about the brand names involved and discuss the tremendous value of sporting twins, triples, fours, etc. racing against one another, then maybe we’ll get somewhere with better rules? (the rules should encourage development of all engine configurations)

    It’s not just the clever development of the Ducati motor that is being held back but their willingness to push chassis development to drastically reduce weight.

    Admittedly, I am a fan of twins (and triples) but I’m not a Ducati fan. I also like the BMW effort and the v4 Ape.

  15. Claudio Domenicali had some interesting things to say about that when I interviewed him last month…

  16. buellracerx says:

    At the risk of getting TOO far off-topic, bike balancing attempted by WSBK and others is intrinsically flawed – should be hp and combined bike + rider weight. Quarantine the top 10 finishers, weigh the bikes + riders, then compare corrected hp on the dyno. The only reason THAT wouldn’t work is if the team programmed the ecm to switch maps after the race…damn electrons…

    I like Sykes and am NOT a fan of Guintoli, but he should give up that spot out of good sportsmanship. He knows what he did should have gotten him 4th. Have some class, Sykes.