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.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

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:

Pos. Num. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 19 B. Spies USA Yamaha YZF R1 -
2 67 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 7.931
3 84 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 11.836
4 96 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 11.886
5 41 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 31.670
6 71 Y. Kagayama JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 33.241
7 65 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR 35.772
8 66 T. Sykes GBR Yamaha YZF R1 41.931
9 56 S. Nakano JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory 51.507
10 14 M. Lagrive FRA Honda CBR1000RR 59.921
11 7 C. Checa ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1’04.285
12 91 L. Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1’04.313
13 3 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’19.822
14 111 R. Xaus ESP BMW S1000 RR 1’22.412
15 53 A. Polita ITA Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’31.635
16 2 J. Hacking USA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’39.830
17 23 B. Parkes AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’42.964
18 10 F. Nieto ESP Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’43.303
19 57 L. Lanzi ITA Ducati 1098R 1 Lap
20 77 V. Iannuzzo ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1 Lap
21 94 D. Checa ESP Yamaha YZF R1 1 Lap
22 36 G. Lavilla ESP Ducati 1098R 1 Lap
23 25 D. Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1 Lap
RET 99 L. Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 4 Laps
RET 15 M. Baiocco ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 9 Laps
RET 11 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR
RET 9 R. Kiyonari JPN Honda CBR1000RR
NS 121 J. Hopkins USA Honda CBR1000RR
EX 88 R. Resch AUT Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9

Comment:

  1. Aaron Jarmon says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: WSBK: Results from Race 1 at Misano, Italy – http://tinyurl.com/l26paq #motorcycle

  2. WSBK: Results from Race 1 at Misano, Italy – http://tinyurl.com/l26paq #motorcycle

  3. Chris Black says:

    WSBK: Results from Race 1 at Misano, Italy – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/JKDPJ