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 2 at Nürburgring Continues to Show Championship Plagued by Crashes

09/06/2009 @ 8:53 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Race 2 at Nürburgring Continues to Show Championship Plagued by Crashes WSBK Race 2 Nurburgring 560x409

Race 2 continues World Superbike’s tour of Germany and the Nürburgring. With the balance of the Championship standings still tipping precariously after Race 1, Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga were both looking for a victory that would give them a sure lead in the Championship points.

With another strong start by Noriyuki Haga, while Ben Spies wallowing away in 7th place after the start, it seemed that the Ducati rider would have the day in Race 2. However, Haga would have to contend with Johnny Rea, Troy Corser, and Carlos Checa, who all had a bead on the Japanese rider. As Rea made his way past Checa and Haga on lap 4, Haga felt the pressure from the new adversary, and passed the Ten Kate rider back on lap 5.

However running wide on his exit, this effort meant Haga left the door open to wide to be retaken, and Johnny Rea made his counter strike on Haga. Coming underneath Haga, Rea’s Honda collided with Haga’s Ducati as Haga tightened up his line. With no where to go but down onto the asphalt, Haga effectively handed Spies as many points as the American could muster, and Rea was left alone at the top of the pack.

With Haga no longer a factor, Spies picked off riders one-by-one, climbing all the way back to the front. Rea posed too much of a challenge for the Texan, and Spies was willing to call it a good days work, taking second place in Race 2 and an 18 point lead over Haga in the Championship.

Leon Haslam might have some issue with the finish though, as the Stiggy Honda racer was pushed off his line by Spies and into the gravel. He would finish the race in 5th place, behind Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa, respectively. Troy Corser put his BMW S1000RR behind Haslam, giving the BMW a strong showing at their home track.

With Spies now in the lead of the World Superbike Championship, there seems to be a growing momentum of sentiment that he will win the series outright, having already overcome an 88 point deficit.

Results from Race 2 of World Superbike at Nürburgring, Germany:

165J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR-
219B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R10.786
37C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR4.993
43M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory8.191
591L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR10.907
611T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR17.152
79R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR19.473
866T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R119.721
984M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R22.981
1071Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K924.161
1196J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R29.367
1210F. NietoESPDucati 1098R30.007
1323B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R37.281
1499L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R47.883
1577V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR49.549
1615M. BaioccoITADucati 1098R49.635
1725D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’19.554
1894D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’22.329
RET47R. CooperGBRBMW S1000 RR4 Laps
RET31K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K97 Laps
RET88R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K97 Laps
RET67S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R11 Laps
RET41N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R16 Laps
RET14M. LagriveFRAHonda CBR1000RR19 Laps
NS56S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory

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