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 2 at Misano, Italy

06/22/2009 @ 1:57 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

WSBK: Results from Race 2 at Misano, Italy Johnny Rea WSBK Misano Italy 560x373

World Superbike would see sunnier skies off the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and a Misano track almost completely devoid of any sign of prior rain for Race 2. Slicks would now be the order of the day, which probably came as a relief to a few riders who were less than graceful in their bike swapping in Race 1. With the change in conditions came a complete change in the racing order. Continue reading to see how Race 2 went down under the Italian sun.

At the start of Race 2 it was another Ducati fastest off the line, this time the red and white bike of Noriyuki Haga, which we have grown accustomed to seeing at the front of the pack, but was sort of a no-show in Race 1. Haga was followed by Ben Spies and Johnny Rea going into the first few turns of the race. Spies, who needed desperately to best Haga in Race 2 in order to chip away further points from the Japanese rider in the World Superbike Championship, would not be able to keep in contact with the front-runners for long.

Falling behind Rea, Smrz, and then Fabrizio, Spies was clearly having issues with his Yamaha R1. Fiddling with his controls, it became apparent the American was having clutch problems. He crossed the line to start lap 2 in 6th lace, but had dropped down to 17th by the end of the lap. After making repairs while riding the bike, it appeared Spies had fixed his slipping clutch, and was back in the hunt. Unfortunately, the front pack was long gone, and all the American could do was perform damage control.

The action of Race 2 centered around the now four bikes that had now broken away from the peloton of other competitors. Haga, Rea, Fabrizizo, Smrz, all seemed to have an equal chance of claiming Race 2 as theirs.

Haga led at first, followed by Rea, Fabrizio and Smrz, but Johnny Rea was on a charge and went past Haga at Quercia on lap 4. Each rider had a go at passing on another, but none of them seemed able to breakaway from the group. At the brink of their limits, it was finally Jakub Smrz who buckled under pressure, and fell by the wayside.

On lap 15, Fabrizio took the first shot at Rea, diving underneath him in the Carro corner, which follows the Curvone right handers, but Rea answered back on the exit of the turn. It didn’t take but another lap to see Fabrizio make another move on Rea, this time cutting inside at the second part of the Variante del Parco chicane.

With no quick retort, Rea showed his wheel a few more times before a pass at Curvone briefly succeeded. The pair danced back and forth, one passing the other in an endless string of turns over several laps. On the second to last lap, Rea closed on Fabrizio through Tramonto and round Curvone, and waited his chance to pass into Turn 1 on the final lap. Knowing time was of the essence, Fabrizio looked for every opportunity the Czech rider would give him, prodding the Honda CBR at every corner for a chance to take back the lead.

With some masterful defensive riding, Johnny Rea went on to win his first World Superbike race, in his rookie year in the championship. Michel Fabrizio would finish second, in a well lost race, while Noriyuki Haga took the final podium spot.

Spies finished the day in 9th place, after making progress through the field after repairing his clutch. He would gain 5 points on Haga in the Championship standings, making the outing at Misano a successful one, but surely not as good of an outcome as he had hoped.

World Superbike heads to Donington next week, before taking a Summer siesta. Haga has traditionally done well at Donington Park, and Spies has raced the track as well, on the Suzuki MotoGP bike. Hopefully, this will mean more good WSBK action for us.

Results from Race 2 of World Superbike at Misano, Italy:

Pos. Num. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 65 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR -
2 84 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 0.063
3 41 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 0.457
4 96 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 3.635
5 7 C. Checa ESP Honda CBR1000RR 4.460
6 67 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 4.538
7 66 T. Sykes GBR Yamaha YZF R1 12.679
8 91 L. Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR 12.763
9 19 B. Spies USA Yamaha YZF R1 13.237
10 3 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 14.412
11 71 Y. Kagayama JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 20.073
12 10 F. Nieto ESP Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 20.239
13 56 S. Nakano JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory 22.351
14 9 R. Kiyonari JPN Honda CBR1000RR 24.547
15 36 G. Lavilla ESP Ducati 1098R 24.696
16 111 R. Xaus ESP BMW S1000 RR 25.615
17 23 B. Parkes AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 31.887
18 57 L. Lanzi ITA Ducati 1098R 34.751
19 11 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR 38.061
20 99 L. Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 47.717
21 14 M. Lagrive FRA Honda CBR1000RR 48.973
22 2 J. Hacking USA Kawasaki ZX 10R 51.027
23 53 A. Polita ITA Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 52.526
24 77 V. Iannuzzo ITA Honda CBR1000RR 57.589
25 88 R. Resch AUT Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’36.359
RET 25 D. Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 5 Laps
RET 94 D. Checa ESP Yamaha YZF R1 9 Laps
RET 15 M. Baiocco ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 19 Laps

Comment:

  1. http://bit.ly/ZR1fz WSBK: Results from Race 2 at Misano, Italy – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/12PgpA

  2. WSBK: Results from Race 2 at Misano, Italy – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/15b0Lw

  3. WSBK: Results from Race 2 at Misano, Italy – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/9TZwd

  4. WSBK: Results from Race 2 at Misano, Italy – Asphalt & Rubber http://bit.ly/6lcGT

  5. Motor Fan says:

  6. hjworton says:

    Johnny rode like a demon. Fully deserved his win. The Ohlins made a difference. Can he be right at the front at every race from now on ? Maybe. He is fast but is a little inconsistent. I also think he needs to stay in the same team for more than one season.