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: 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.RiderCountryBikeDiff
165J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR-
284M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R0.063
341N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R0.457
496J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R3.635
57C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR4.460
667S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R4.538
766T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R112.679
891L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR12.763
919B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R113.237
103M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory14.412
1171Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K920.073
1210F. NietoESPSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K920.239
1356S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV4 Factory22.351
149R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR24.547
1536G. LavillaESPDucati 1098R24.696
16111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR25.615
1723B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R31.887
1857L. LanziITADucati 1098R34.751
1911T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR38.061
2099L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R47.717
2114M. LagriveFRAHonda CBR1000RR48.973
222J. HackingUSAKawasaki ZX 10R51.027
2353A. PolitaITASuzuki GSX-R 1000 K952.526
2477V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR57.589
2588R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’36.359
RET25D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R5 Laps
RET94D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R19 Laps
RET15M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R19 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. 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.