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 MotoGP.com 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 Phillip Island

02/26/2012 @ 5:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

WSBK: Race Results for Race 2 at Phillip Island Carlos Checa WSBK Phillip Island 2 635x409

As is the custom with World Supebike racing and with Race 1 out of the way, the WSBK grid lined up to it all again. Treating fans to a double-dose of motorcycle racing, you would think that the second race would be a repeat of the previous, but it was anything but that. Exciting from the first lap to the very last, the 2012 World Superbike Championship was off to a great start with its season-opener at Phillip Island, Australia. Continue on for results.

Mimicking the first race, Tom Sykes got off to a great start to take his Kawasaki from the pole position to the head of the pack at the start of Race 2. Hot on his heels though was Max Biaggi, who immediately got the crowd on its feet as he ran off the race course at Turn 1. Able to keep his Aprilia upright, Biaggi rejoined the race, and made one of the most stellar comebacks possible in the sport. While Biaggi worked his way through the WSBK field, the race was on with Rea and Checa getting past Sykes. Several laps later, Checa took over from the Englishman and broke away from the rest of the field uncontested. With the Kawasaki’s now holding fourth and fifth, Sykes would end up being the lone bannerman for Team Green, as Lascorz crashed out from the race.

Seemingly set to take the third step on the podium, Sykes had to contest with a charging Biaggi. Holding the Roman Emperor off for several laps, Sykes finally succumbed to Biaggi’s superior speed, and fell again to fourth place. Though unable to catch Carlos Checa, Biaggi was able to get past Johnny Rea — completing his comeback from last to second place over the 22 lap race distance. That battle put a carrot in front of Sykes, who was able to regain contact with Rea as well, and finally pass his fellow countryman as the two came onto the straightaway for the final time. Checa, Biaggi, and Skyes —  three very different ways to get on a WSBK podium.

Race Results from World Superbike Race 2 at Phillip Island, Australia:

Pos.No.RiderCountryBikeDiff.
17C. CHECAESPDucati 1098R -
23M. BIAGGIITAAprilia RSV4 Factory5.707
366T. SYKESGBRKawasaki ZX-10R12.521
465J. REAGBRHonda CBR1000RR12.655
591L. HASLAMGBRBMW S1000 RR18.179
633M. MELANDRIITABMW S1000 RR18.831
7121M. BERGERFRADucati 1098R18.939
858E. LAVERTYIRLAprilia RSV4 Factory19.478
94H. AOYAMAJPNHonda CBR1000RR19.554
1059N. CANEPAITADucati 1098R26.289
1196J. SMRZCZEDucati 1098R26.479
122L. CAMIERGBRSuzuki GSX-R100029.145
1334D. GIUGLIANOITADucati 1098R36.482
1487L. ZANETTIITADucati 1098R38.113
1525J. BROOKESAUSSuzuki GSX-R100043.234
1667B. STARINGAUSKawasaki ZX-10R43.526
1735R. DE ROSAITAHonda CBR1000RR53.929
RET86A. BADOVINIITABMW S1000 RR11 Laps
RET17J. LASCORZESPKawasaki ZX-10R12 Laps
RET50S. GUINTOLIFRADucati 1098R13 Laps
RET44D. SALOMESPKawasaki ZX-10R14 Laps
RET84M. FABRIZIOITABMW S1000 RR18 Laps
RET20D. JOHNSONAUSBMW S1000 RR18 Laps
RET18M. AITCHISONAUSBMW S1000 RR21 Laps

Source: WSBK

Comment:

  1. SBPilot says:

    Incredible performance by Checa, simply class act. To win the second race after the high side he had is some serious mental focus and strength. Not to mention pain tolerance, all at his ripe age of what is it now, 39?

    WSBK looks like it’s gonna be killer this year though. Too much awesome in the first round to even speak of!

  2. Dc4go says:

    Great races today loved watching Rea trying to stay on the podium!!! Great job Checa and Biaggi for making a spectacular comeback in race two!!! Can’t wait for the Imola!!!!!!!!

  3. MikeD says:

    Ducati: Not bad at all for “a vintage bike and jockey”, is it now ? Can’t wait to see the 1199 race.
    Aprilia: It still have plenty of go it seems, they sure made their homework with this one. Can’t wait to see the next RSV4.
    Kawasaki: Looks like they got the SHIT together…or getting there. (^_^)

    And of course, mad props to the pilots, w/out them there would be no race happening.

  4. BBQdog says:

    Looks the RSV4 is by far out the best bike in the field. Stable cornering, nimble, enough top speed. If Biaggi doesn’t do stupid things like last year Checa is going to get a hard season. It was not by accident he flew off the first race.

  5. Lumengrid says:

    What a great session it was!

    Thumbs up for Melandri, race 1 was awesome, race 2 not bad either. Its nice to see that he can pull it togheter :)

  6. "@Asphalt_Rubber: WSBK: Race Results for Race 2 at Phillip Island – http://t.co/5kShViXR #motorcycle"

  7. Damo says:

    @BBQDog

    Have to agree, that RSV4 was in beast mode on Sunday.

    I am not a huge Biaggi fan at all, but no one can deny that comeback from last to 2nd was beyond brilliant. First race of the season and I am already pumped.

  8. Bryan says:

    Loved both races! It’s nice watching racing where multiple riders/manufacturers are competitive. There is parody in WSBK that MotoGP only dreams of. Checa had guts to come back from that highside to win in race two. I wish they would take the 6kg of extra weight off of the Ducati’s though. Checa didn’t win last year due to a power or top speed advantage, he won by being smart and smooth and preserving tires better than the other guys. To add 6kg to a bike that already had a disadvantage on the straights and is the oldest design in the field seems a little unfair.

  9. AK says:

    Biaggi was on fire… Love that RSV4

  10. Keith says:

    Hopefully, I say HOPEFULLY the rest of the season is just as exciting.

  11. John says:

    Parody or parity? Either way, the racing in Worldsupers is simply great. I hope MotoGP can produce half the excitement.

  12. Westward says:

    Biaggi was on fire, only because Checa exploded… As long as Checa and his Ducati can keep the rubber on the asphalt, Biaggi and his Aprilia have not a chance, race 2 reveals that…