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.

Video: Yamaha Welcomes Back Valentino Rossi

01/03/2013 @ 12:43 pm, by David Emmett24 COMMENTS

Video: Yamaha Welcomes Back Valentino Rossi yamaha welcome home vale 635x356

There is no real mystery to why Yamaha signed Valentino Rossi. His seven MotoGP titles are a sign of his undisputed talent, and despite two years in the wilderness at Ducati, he is expected to be competitive from the start of the 2013 MotoGP season.

But with the reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo already signed, there was more to Yamaha’s decision than the need for a competitive rider. Marketing also played a massive role in the decision to sign the Italian, with reports that the decision came mainly after pressure from the marketing department, and in face of resistance from the people inside Yamaha’s racing department.

Whatever the truth of the matter, Yamaha will be sure to maximize their return on investment in Valentino Rossi. Rossi’s massive popularity in key markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and India mean that he could be a significant factor in expanding market share and sales in those regions, as well as consolidating Yamaha’s position in contracting sports bike markets such as Europe and the US.

Today, Yamaha took advantage of the first opportunity to use the selling power of Valentino Rossi to their advantage. The factory posted a video on Youtube welcoming Rossi back to the fold. The video runs through the highlights of Rossi’s career, ending with photo highlights of his return to Yamaha at the Valencia test in November 2012. It will be a fascinating time for both Yamaha and Valentino Rossi.

Source: Yamaha (YouTube)

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.


  1. Sixty7 says:

    Lets not beat around the bush here but it was his decision and money loads of money to quit yamaha so why are they welcoming the ***b back…???

  2. Fafpak says:

    @Sixty7 I don’t care about the reasons he left. I don’t care about the reasons he came back. All I care about and hope is that his return to Yamaha should add some spice to the GP races. Looking forward to good battles in 2013.

  3. 1198freak says:

    Well said Fafpak, the history with Yamaha doesn’t matter, all that matters is if he is competitive on the bike or not.. MotoGP needs competitive rider/bike packages more than anything else. For me, Rossi getting back on the Yamaha and how Spies does on the Ducati are going to be the most interesting things about MotoGP this year.

  4. tyler says:

    1:30.. “Where reunited”


  5. Mark says:

    1198freak Rossi and Spies will be the most interesting things about MotoGP in 2013? Each to their own I guess but I’m more interested in Marquez causing trouble for the established stars. Rossi will be competitive – there’s no question in my mind.

  6. Sixty7 says:


    Well lets hope he gets his arse kicked big time…..wake up people he’s a has been (and don’t bang on about titles that he’s won…thats wearing very thin these days) that much has been proven for the last 2 seasons…..must have been embarrassing to go back to Yamaha and ask if he could have a contract…lol JB is embarrassed to go back to Yamaha….2yrs to retirement can’t wait.

  7. Damo says:


    I can see you don’t know a whole lot about racing, motorcycle or high level riding, do you?

  8. FernandoARG says:

    I would love and give everything I’ve ever done and accomplished to be as embarrassed as VR and or JB.

  9. Sixty7 says:


    I do know a bit, but do believe the series would survive without #46 theres enough talent in the series with the up and coming young riders…..the trouble is theres to much BS that go’s with #46, when he was at Ducati he was more or less out of the championship and the racing just got on with it and was great racing (apart from if ur a fanboy that is…lol) I’m a Stoner fan, and Bayliss before that and Doohan before that I like my racers to be racers and not there for all the BS that go’s with u know who…..u catch my drift..???

  10. Halfie30 says:

    After Rossi’s desperate move on Sete in the first race of ’05, I really didn’t care much for Rossi. However, now I would like to see him show these kids one last time what the “old schoolers” can do. Now that he’s the under dog… Go Vale!!!!!

  11. smiler says:

    Well we will see how Lorenzo works under pressure. With Marquez, Rossi and finally Dani becoming a more mature and consistent rider. With Dovi on the Ducati and a few others making possible interesting viewing it might just be another mediocre season.
    67 likes his aussie racers. Stoner has gone prematurely. I really loved Bayliss in WSB but he had one good race in motogp and Doohan was just a machine. Presumably you don’t like Sheene, Simoncelli, Schwantz, Rainey who as well, like Rossi could race and had personalities. I would take capability and personality everytime.
    Off to WSB fulltime and one eye on motoGP.

  12. Mike Lewis says:

    @Sixty7; Casey? That you?

  13. crash test says:

    if you can stick out the propaganda video until the end, there is a more interesting video of Rossi testing the “2013 M1″ in what amounts to a very wet day.

  14. I respect Rossi for his riding talent and his past accomplishments. But, I lost all respect for the man when he felt so threatened by the arrival of a new teammate (Lorenzo), that he put a wall between the two of them, and refused to share any technical data.

    I lost all respect for Jeremy Burgess when he pontificated that he would walk into Ducati, and fix the Desmosedici in “80 seconds”, dismissing the super-human talent of Casey Stoner. How’d that work out for ya’ Jeremy?

    Rossi’s got his work cut out for him this year. Lorenzo has shown what the Yamaha will do. Rossi, back on the exact same bike, will have to “put up, or shut up.”

  15. Faust says:

    I’m so sick of all the Rossi hate, it’s really old. Sixty7… really? What a loser. The guy is good for the sport, and that’s just a fact. Of course this makes sense for Yamaha. Have you seen the mostly blank race livery they’ve been running since Vale left? What happened to the Fiat money when he left Yamaha? The absence of sponsors is bad for their race program, and that’s that. I like Lorenzo too, but the man has almost no personality. The fact of the matter is that the only person who figured out how to ride the Ducati GP bikes is Stoner and that’s it. It doesn’t make Rossi or Hayden poor riders, but rather is a testament to just how special of a talent Stoner was. I really don’t understand all the hate being aimed at Vale. If he’s guilty of anything, it’s that his (and Jeremy Burgess’) ego fooled him into thinking he could fix the inherent flaws in Ducati’s GP program. End of the day, Rossi is not Stoner and that’s ok. Colin Edwards says Vale gets his vote for Greatest Of All Time, and that is a bmore important endorsement than what any of the internet morons say.

  16. Snickerty says:

    Here here…
    Nicely put Faust.

    Even people who know nothing about bikes or bike racing know Rossi.
    His power lies in his universal popularity with the masses.

    Only bike riders with tall poppy syndrome would have the gall to knock one who has done so much for the sport we all love.
    Sad really….

  17. TexusTim says:

    I think there are more than a feww racess left in the tank for 46..these friggin hater’s that are spouting the hopes for failure must have just started riding then finaly got speed chanel ya know.cuz if you have been following the doctor and seen most races either on tv or on moto gp would not be embarassing yourselves so much right now.
    anyone notice as rossi gets older he looks more and more like steve mcqueen?

  18. Sixty7 says:


    Less of the name calling “theres a name for people like urself Keyboard warriors a bit of a big man behind the key board people like urself just make me laugh…..

  19. Sixty7 says:


    We all love…..I DON@T F**kin think so m8…..typical rossi fanboy BS…lol

  20. Sixty7 says:


    I’ve been riding for over 20yrs I’ll have u know…….crawl back under ur rock….

  21. Westward says:

    I see a tenth title for Rossi and a more competitive and title threatening Spies…
    I also see Pedrosa talking yet another backseat to another more talented pilot…

    I hope Dovizioso does well and Ianonne too.

    Would also like to see Depuniet and Edwards on a factory ride in the future, be it a BMW, Aprilia, or Suzuki. Those two should be teammates…

  22. L2C says:

    Sixty7 probably hates Micheal Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer and all the other greatest champions in the history of their sports.

    He also must not like having fun. Except to troll, of course.

  23. L2C says:

    (Grammar Nazis, please don’t hurt me.)

  24. Michael says:

    Moto GP has become soooo boring since they got rid of the 500′s and the potential for high sides. If they are going to stick to these neutered traction control cycles only have riders who can stick together through every turn, if the pack can’t stay together where’s the race. It just turns into watching 20 indivual riders getting around the track at their pace. BORING BORING BORING.