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.

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.

WSBK: A Point Proven During Superpole at Monza

05/06/2011 @ 6:36 pm, by Victoria Reid2 COMMENTS

WSBK: A Point Proven During Superpole at Monza Max Biaggi Superole Monza WSBK 635x338

Racing for some redemption, Max Biaggi (1:41.745) proved a point in winning pole for the 2011 World Superbike round at Monza, returning to the track to best his own qualifying time after most riders had returned to their garages. Biaggi also bested his record top speed (334.8 kph/208.035 mph) from an earlier practice session in qualifying. He will be joined on the front row for his home race by Eugene Laverty, Jonathon Rea, and Troy Corser. Meanwhile, points leader Carlos Checa was knocked out in Superpole 2 and will start eleventh. Most riders fell afoul of the Monza chicane at least once, having their lap times ruined and deleted by cutting across the feature.

Rea (1:43.712) was the first to go fastest for the weekend, leading Corser, Badovini, and Biaggi in the first free practice on Friday morning. Haslam (1:42.934) took his turn to put the quick BMW on provisional pole in the afternoon qualifying practice, though it was Biaggi breaking the WSBK speed record that garnered more attention for the Italian in front of the home crowd. Laverty and Badovini, who was again quick Friday afternoon, completed the provisional front row. Meanwhile, James Toseland, Badovini’s returning teammate, was only twenty-first quickest in QP. Also recovering Chris Vermeulen did not ride in the afternoon session, after an off in the morning required a visit to the medical center and stitches on his elbow.

Nor did Vermeulen ride on Saturday, due to that injury. His participation in Sunday’s races is possible but undetermined as yet. Corser was quickest in the second qualifying practice Saturday morning, though Haslam’s time remained as provisional pole. The session was delayed after oil dropped during the WSS required cleanup, then red flagged to clear oil spewed across the track after Fabrizio Lai’s engine decided to give up the ghost. Haslam, Biaggi, Corser, Lascorz, and Badovini were the overall fastest five in the two qualifying practices. Biaggi finally took the lap time lead (1:42.589) for the weekend in the final free practice, again breaking the top speed record with a 334.8 kph (208.035 mph) fastest speed.  Knocked Out in Qualifying Practice: 17. Ruben Xaus, 18. Roberto Rolfo, 19. James Toseland, 20. Mark Aitchison, 21. Fabrizio Lai.

Superpole 1:
Superpole 1 got underway on a bright and sunny Monza sky, with Haslam tweeting moments before the session, “Just about to start superpole. Onit.” When ten minutes remained in the fourteen minute session, only six riders had posted a time. At that point, Lascorz (1:43.090) was quickest, followed by Haslam, Guintoli, Haga, Berger, and Smrz. Just a couple of minutes later, Laverty led (1:42.645), with Smrz, Biaggi, Berger, and Camier in the relegation zone. As usually happens in the ever-changing Superpole, Biaggi took the provisional pole soon thereafter, dropping Sykes into the knockout zone.

The Italian led Laverty, Rea, Corser, and Melandri as the fastest five in a session where the point was not to be one of the slowest four. While most of the faster riders went back into the garage, those in the bottom half of the pack made their way out for faster lap times as the minutes ticked away. Interestingly, Camier was slowest of all while teammate Biaggi was quickest, with just over two minutes remaining. He soon joined the Italian with a third quickest lap. Biaggi remained fastest at the end of the session, with Haslam, Fabrizio, Camier, and Laverty the top five. Knocked Out in Superpole 1: 13. Joan Lascorz, 14. Tom Sykes, 15. Jakub Smrz, 16. Maxime Berger.

Superpole 2:
Things were again quickly underway in the ten minute long Superpole 2. Rea had moved forward while using a race tire and still had two qualifying tires remaining for the final two sessions, a tire which put him quickly in provisional pole. He was quickly eclipsed by Laverty as times continued to drop. Soon, Yamaha teammate Melandri (1:42.201) took charge, leaving Guintoli, Fabrizio, Badovini, and Checa, who had not yet set a time in S3, in the relegation zone.

At the halfway point, Melandri led Laverty, Biaggi, Rea, and Corser as the fastest five as the knockout zone remained half populated by Italians. Guintoli’s efforts to move up and out were hampered by cutting the chicane and losing his lap time. Meanwhile, sixth fastest Haslam was an unhappy rider in the garage, asking for a race tire. Checa’s first time put him ninth fastest, only to have his next lap deleted with yet another bit of chicanery. With a minute remaining, Haslam, Camier, Checa, and Guintoli were in danger of being left behind. Haslam soon moved up to fifth fastest, only to slip down a position after a fast lap from Fabrizio. The session ended with Melandri leading Laverty, Biaggi, Rea, Fabrizio, Haslam, Corser, and Haga as the top eight. Points leader Checa would not advance to fight for pole. Knocked Out in Superpole 2: 9. Ayrton Badovini, 10. Leon Camier, 11. Carlos Checa, 12. Sylvain Guintoli.

Superpole 3:
Times were not set until halfway though the session, with Biaggi (1:42.319) taking an early lead, follwed by Rea, Melandri, and Fabrizio. Corser, Laverty and Haga remained in the garage a bit longer, with Haslam cutting the chicane and wasting his first lap. Soon, Laverty was just under eight hundredths off Biaggi’s time, with Rea and Corser completeing the provisional front row.

That order remained the same with just two minutes to go, as Corser also lost a promising lap time. Most of the riders seemed content with their times as the seconds ticked down, choosing to end the session in the garage. Biaggi, though, had a point to prove and bettered his own fastest time by nearly six tenths.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Monza, Italy:

Pos.No.RiderTeamTimeDiff.
1.1Max BiaggiAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:41.745-
2.58Eugene LavertyYamaha WSBK Team1:42.3930.648
3.4Jonathon ReaCastrol Honda1:42.6140.869
4.11Troy CorserBMW Motorrad1:42.6880.943
5.33Marco MelandriYamaha WSBK Team1:42.7140.969
6.91Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad1:42.7230.978
7.84Michel FabrizioTeam Suzuki Alstare1:42.9541.209
8.41Noriyuki HagaPATA Racing Team Aprilia1:43.0431.298
Out After Superpole 2
9.86Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia1:42. 8860.685
10.2Leon CamierAprilia Alitalia Racing Team1:42.9950.794
11.7Carlos ChecaAlthea Racing Ducati1:43.1160.915
12.50Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:43.1460.945
Out After Superpole 1
13.17Joan LascorzPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:43.0900.953
14.66Tom SykesPaul Bird Kawasaki Racing1:43.4371.300
15.96Jakub SmrzTeam Effenbert-Liberty Ducati1:43.9931.856
16.121Maxime BergerSupersonic Racing Ducati1:44.0051.868
Not qualified for Superpole
17.111Ruben XausCastrol Honda1:44.2161.216
18.44Roberto RolfoTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:44.5151.515
19.52James ToselandBMW Motorrad Italia1:44.9892.989
20.8Mark AitchisonTeam Pedercini Kawasaki1:45.0222.088
21.32Fabrizio LaiEcho Sport Racing Co. Honda1:45.7392.805

Source: WSBK; Photo: Pirelli

Comment:

  1. Mike J says:

    The only point he proved here is that fastest bike maters at Monza.