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: Results from Race 1 at Misano, Italy

06/21/2009 @ 8:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

WSBK: Results from Race 1 at Misano, Italy Ben Spies WSBK Misano Italy 560x372

World Superbike riders at Misano, Italy today were greated to a damp track, courtesy of the on-and-off rain showers that have been plaguing the race course the whole weekend. With the track wet, but the sun out, tire selection would again be key.

Would the track dry out enough to run intermediates? Would some teams dry and run rains? Could there possibly be a chance to run slicks? Who would make the right choice by the start of the race? With WSBK adopting the flag-to-flag rules of MotoGP, riders would have a chance to come into the pits and swap for a new bike as the track conditions changed, making the racing all the more interesting, as many riders in the field had never performed such a swap before. Continue reading to see who got it right.

Misano had rain all Sunday morning, but as Race 1 was about to start, the weather had improved with the rain all but stopping completely. Before spectators would be treated to their first flag-to-flag race in WSBK, the drama was raised with pre-race hiccups.

On the sighting lap, Johnny Rea’s Ten Kate Honda developed a fueling glitch, which caused him to abandon his bike, and get a ride back to the pits from teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari. This act would cost both riders a ride-through penalty later on in Race 1, and also caused Rea to start from pit lane. Later on during the warm-up lap, an electronics glitch caused Troy Corser to flip his BMW S1000RR, causing him to be out of Race 1 before it even began.

All the other teams made it to the starting line without much fanfare, and Race 1 was off in Misano, Italy. Taking the early lead was Shane Byrne, who had Superpole winner Jakub Smrz and Ben Spies right behind him. Byrne seemed unphased by the damp conditions, and by the second lap had a 2 second advantage over Smrz, at the halfway point of the race, he lead by 17 seconds.

Smrz, like Byrne, was also at ease in the wet, but still could not match the former British Superbike Champion’s pace. Spies on the other hand, proved himself to be a more fair weather rider, and would not be as much of a threat until the race line on the track dried out.

By lap 9, a dry line was starting to form and Shinya Nakano came into pit lane to pick up a slick-shod Aprilia RSV4. Nakano’s experience with flag-to-flag races in MotoGP made him the perfect guinea pig for WSBK’s first bike swap, and he was in and out of the pits quickly and smoothly.

The same, however, could not be said for the other riders in the field. This first attempt at bike swapping caught several teams off guard, with riders coming in, parking the bikes awkwardly and looking most ungainly leaping from one bike to another. Johnny Rea came off worst in his pit stop, leaping off his Honda CBR1000RR bike only to stall the new one as he attempted to ride out of the pits. Forced to wait a couple of seconds while the electronics reset, Rea finally got his bike restarted with a push from his crew and he was back out again.

In the course of swapping bikes, Ruben Xaus found himself at one point the race leader, thus marking BMW’s first time in front of the WSBK pack. This would not last long however as Xaus, still on wet tires, was setting times nearly 10 seconds slower than the riders who were on slicks, and coming up to full temperature.

At home in the dry, Spies was the first man to pass Xaus and take the lead. There’s was no looking back after that. Comfortable in the dry conditions, and with warm tires, the Texan took a pace that no other rider could match, and also took Race 1 at Misano.

Results from Race 1 of World Superbike at Misano, Italy:

119B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R1-
267S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R7.931
384M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R11.836
496J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R11.886
541N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R31.670
671Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K933.241
765J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR35.772
866T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R141.931
956S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory51.507
1014M. LagriveFRAHonda CBR1000RR59.921
117C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR1’04.285
1291L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR1’04.313
133M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory1’19.822
14111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR1’22.412
1553A. PolitaITASuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’31.635
162J. HackingUSAKawasaki ZX 10R1’39.830
1723B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R1’42.964
1810F. NietoESPSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’43.303
1957L. LanziITADucati 1098R1 Lap
2077V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR1 Lap
2194D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11 Lap
2236G. LavillaESPDucati 1098R1 Lap
2325D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1 Lap
RET99L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R4 Laps
RET15M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R9 Laps
RET11T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR
RET9R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR
NS121J. HopkinsUSAHonda CBR1000RR
EX88R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K9


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