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.

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: 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:

Pos No. Rider Country Bike Fastest Lap Diff Laps
1 41 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 1’34.618   23
2 19 B. Spies USA Yamaha YZF R1 1’35.004 5.105 23
3 84 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 1’35.301 6.386 23
4 55 R. Laconi FRA Ducati 1098R 1’35.085 6.573 23
5 91 L. Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.624 14.075 23
6 7 C. Checa ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.337 17.333 23
7 76 M. Neukirchner GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’35.336 19.207 23
8 3 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’35.674 20.697 23
9 9 R. Kiyonari JPN Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.519 21.015 23
10 66 T. Sykes GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1’35.928 22.581 23
11 67 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 1’35.938 22.604 23
12 121 J. Hopkins USA Honda CBR1000RR 1’35.889 23.952 23
13 65 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1’36.098 29.082 23
14 96 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 1’35.963 29.277 23
15 11 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR 1’36.030 32.384 23
16 111 R. Xaus ESP BMW S1000 RR 1’36.381 35.125 23
17 23 B. Parkes AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.244 38.344 23
18 24 B. Roberts AUS Ducati 1098R 1’36.986 39.161 23
19 31 K. Muggeridge AUS Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’36.507 39.374 23
20 94 D. Checa ESP Yamaha YZF R1 1’36.788 49.904 23
21 25 D. Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.975 52.631 23
22 33 T. Hill GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1’37.021 52.966 23
23 77 V. Iannuzzo ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1’37.016 53.196 23
24 99 L. Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’37.107 53.491 23
25 88 R. Resch AUT Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’37.297 1’19.946 23
RET 71 Y. Kagayama JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’35.461 2 Laps 21
RET 15 M. Baiocco ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’37.264 3 Laps 20
RET 100 M. Tamada JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.674 12 Laps 11
RET 86 A. Badovini ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’37.070 16 Laps 7

Comments are closed.