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: Valencia Race 2 Results

04/06/2009 @ 2:39 am, by Jensen BeelerComments Off

WSBK: Valencia Race 2 Results valencia race 2 biaggi aprilia 560x371

After his poor start in the first race, further pressure was put on Spies who now stood 35 points behind Noriyuki Haga because of his crash out in Race 2. Surely Haga felt the pressure too, knowing that the American wouldn’t make the same mistakes a second time. With the Championship already playing out in the third stop of the WSBK tour, Race 2 already had more than just a purpose. Continue reading for spoilers from Race 2 of the Valencia World Superbike Races, and to see how Race 2 sorted itself out.


Trying to get a better start than before, Spies still had difficulty launching the Yamaha from the front of the pack. Instead, it was Regis Laconi again who held the lead going into Turn 1 of the Spanish circuit. Running wide on the exit however, Laconi allowed Max Neukirchner and Michel Fabrizio to get by and take the first and second place positions.

To make matters worse, Laconi also had Noriyuki Haga all over his tail section. Haga would later pass the Frenchman by the end of lap one. Seeing Haga pass Laconi, Spies followed suit, diving underneath the DFX Corse Ducati into Turn 6 to take fourth place. Haga made his way through the competition, passing teammate Michel Fabrizio, with Spies following doing the same. As the front runners entered the long left handed Turn 13, Haga was pushing Neukirchner hard for the lead, finally passed him going into Turn 1. Spies coming along a lap later.

Despite his efforts, the American could not touch the show that Haga was putting on for the Spanish crowd. Noriyuki Haga increased his lead lap by lap, to take his second win of the day, and third win of the Championship, by over 5 seconds. This included time lost in a big standup wheelie across the line to cap the day off. 

Spies was lucky the race was not longer. After giving up on chasing Haga, the Texan spent the last few laps nervously watching Michel Fabrizio and Regis Laconi approach. Conversely, if the race had been three laps shorter, John Hopkins would have taken a very respectable eighth place finish. But Hopper had used up his tires in the early running, and was forced to allow first Max Biaggi, then Ryuichi Kiyonari, Tom Sykes, and finally even Shakey Byrne past, finishing the race in twelfth.

Results from Race 2 of the World Superbike Stop at Valencia:

PosNo.RiderCountryBikeFastest LapDiffLaps
141N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R1’34.618 23
219B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R11’35.0045.10523
384M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R1’35.3016.38623
455R. LaconiFRADucati 1098R1’35.0856.57323
591L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR1’35.62414.07523
67C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR1’35.33717.33323
776M. NeukirchnerGERSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’35.33619.20723
83M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV4 Factory1’35.67420.69723
99R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR1’35.51921.01523
1066T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R11’35.92822.58123
1167S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R1’35.93822.60423
12121J. HopkinsUSAHonda CBR1000RR1’35.88923.95223
1365J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR1’36.09829.08223
1496J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R1’35.96329.27723
1511T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR1’36.03032.38423
16111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR1’36.38135.12523
1723B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R1’36.24438.34423
1824B. RobertsAUSDucati 1098R1’36.98639.16123
1931K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’36.50739.37423
2094D. ChecaESPYamaha YZF R11’36.78849.90423
2125D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R1’36.97552.63123
2233T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR1’37.02152.96623
2377V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR1’37.01653.19623
2499L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’37.10753.49123
2588R. ReschAUTSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’37.2971’19.94623
RET71Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K91’35.4612 Laps21
RET15M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’37.2643 Laps20
RET100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R1’36.67412 Laps11
RET86A. BadoviniITAKawasaki ZX 10R1’37.07016 Laps7

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