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: Another Nail-Biter for Race 2 at Phillip Island

02/28/2010 @ 9:39 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

WSBK: Another Nail Biter for Race 2 at Phillip Island WSBK Race 2 Phillip Island Checa 560x351

Phillip Island served up another nail-biter for WSBK fans this Sunday. With the race winner making a last lap pass, no one could have guessed the top four finishers in this race. With a few familiar faces, along with a few new hopefuls, wrapping up the first stop on the World Superbike Championship only wets the appetite further for the rest of the WSBK season. Rider quotes, video highlights, and race standings after the jump.

Starting the race out early was the surprise duo of Alstare Suzuki’s Haslam and Guintoli. Haslam has been the surprise entry this weekend at Phillip Island, winning not only the Superpole qualifying event, but also Race 1. Even more surprising was the Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli’s presence up front throughout the race. Despite his terrific run, Guintoli finished under half a second behind Michel Fabrizio, who finished third.

Talking about his top-form result, Guintoli said the following:

I have really enjoyed today and it’s been great fun. I can’t remember the last time I was leading a world championship race, so to lead quite a lot of race two was a great feeling and now I want to do it again. When I was in front, I felt comfortable and I knew I could keep up a good pace. Everything felt very smooth and it was all going to plan until I made a small mistake and Leon and then Carlos went through…My pace was good, but I was too far off the leaders, but I am learning about WSBK race pace and also the fact that the races are longer than what I have been used to. I am very happy with all the work we’ve done and am enjoying riding this bike so much. It was nice to get a trophy and I hope that it will just be the start of many to come. I am looking forward to Portimao and my next trophy.

Perhaps the only thing that could overshadow the good results from Astare Suzuki is the Race 2 win by privateer Carlos Checa. Checa, who has an impressive racing resume, had a great week at Phillip Island, and showed strong times during the practice and qualifying events. The Ducati’s were in top form throughout the weekend, but Checa took the lead on the last lap from Leon Haslam, and drove it home to the finish line. The private team upset certainly should wake up the factory supported teams, namely Xerox Ducati. Talking about his surprise win, Checa said the following:

”The second race was perfect. In race one we chose a tyre that was perhaps too hard for the conditions and I found it hard to brake. In race two we selected a better tyre and I could brake much more strongly, I also had a very good pace and was able to pass riders fairly easily. My style of riding actually seemed to mean that tyre wear was less of a problem for me than for some other riders. By the last lap I was up in second and I could finally get pass Haslam. I wanted to pass him earlier but it was impossible and he didn’t leave me space to pass until the very end. I am of course extremely happy with the result, it is my first race with the Althea team and on the Ducati 1198 and we have a good package with which to fight this season. My thanks go to the entire team for their hard work and dedication.”

World Superbike makes its next stop at Portimao, Portugal on March 28th. Check out below for race highlights (see Vermeulen’s scary crash into the tire barriers!), and race standings for Race 2 at Phillip Island.

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

17C. ChecaESPDucati 1098R-
291L. HaslamGBRSuzuki GSX-R10000.307
384M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R0.434
450S. GuintoliFRASuzuki GSX-R10000.837
541N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R3.453
665J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR11.530
711T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR12.026
83M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 1000 F.13.068
935C. CrutchlowGBRYamaha YZF R114.401
1052J. ToselandGBRYamaha YZF R114.707
112L. CamierGBRAprilia RSV4 1000 F.14.743
1267S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R14.851
1357L. LanziITADucati 1098R15.143
1425J. BrookesAUSHonda CBR1000RR30.947
1588A. PittAUSBMW S1000 RR41.855
1676M. NeukirchnerGERHonda CBR1000RR48.844
1731V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR1’06.866
1895R. HaydenUSAKawasaki ZX 10R1’07.751
RET15M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R5 Laps
RET66T. SykesGBRKawasaki ZX 10R9 Laps
RET77C. VermeulenAUSKawasaki ZX 10R15 Laps
RET96J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R16 Laps


  1. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: WSBK: Another Nail-Biter for Race 2 at Phillip Island – #motorcycle <They were both GREAT races!

  2. WSBK: Another Nail-Biter for Race 2 at Phillip Island

  3. WSBK: Another Nail-Biter for Race 2 at Phillip Island: Motorcycle news, Industry Rumors, MotoG…

  4. WSBK: Another Nail-Biter for Race 2 at Phillip Island

  5. Will says:

    Real good stuff!, a pair of fabulous races to start the year off correctly.

  6. Harumph says:

    I was totally pulling for Guintoli, he really pulled it out for a while. Checa’s pass was pretty satisfying though.
    Both great races, agreed.

  7. CBR600RR 09 says:

    Looking at this table and nothing more, the Kwaka’s SUCK!

    And bloody hell Chris get it together! Learn to ride, not crash! (From an Aussie)

  8. marty says:

    chris was riding the arse off that Kwaka until he crashed out in race 2.

    he was up to 4th after the start and really looked in a good groove. crash looked really bad.

  9. Smith says:

    Phillip Island, i like this sircuit.