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.

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.

Alstare Splits with Ducati in World Superbike

10/25/2013 @ 2:20 pm, by David Emmett6 COMMENTS

Alstare Splits with Ducati in World Superbike alstare ducati pit laguna seca jensen beeler 635x421

After just one year of a two-year deal, Alstare and Ducati have agreed to terminate the contract between the Belgian Alstare team and the Italian Ducati Corse World Superbike effort. Today, the two parties made it known that they would not be continuing their collaboration, citing financial problems at Alstare and the loss of a major sponsor as the reason.

The split has long been expected, as Alstare team boss Francis Batta had made no secret of his unhappiness with the collaboration between his team and Ducati, not to mention the performance of the Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13.

During the 2013 season, Alstare had former WSBK champion Carlos Checa and highly rated Italian Ayrton Badovini in its ranks, and the team managed a pole-position qualifying at Phillip Island, however further results after Australia had been very poor for Alstare. Ultimately, Ducati ended the season without a win in World Superbikes for the first time in the history of the series.

Batta had asked Ducati many times throughout the year to be allowed to do more development work, but Ducati had rejected his requests, citing the fact that technology had advanced to such a point that it had become almost impossible for a private team to have the resources to be successful, and that it was now the task of the manufacturer to do the development of a racing motorcycle.

There is a good chance that Alstare have left Ducati to fall straight into the arms of another Italian manufacturer, as  There have been rumors for some time now that Alstare has been flirting with Aprilia, and that Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Abesiano was keen to work with Batta and the team. Stealing Alstare away would deal a sensitive blow to Aprilia’s rival Ducati, after former Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’Igna was poached by Ducati Corse.

Having Batta on board would also solve one of Aprilia’s problems: what to do with Eugene Laverty. Albesiano is keen to keep Laverty on an Aprilia, according to Bikesportnews.com, and by offering a third factory-backed Aprilia to Alstare, Aprilia could retain the services of the man who finished second in the 2013 World Superbike championship — a move that would also allow Alstare to run a rider at limited expense.

Aprilia will have to make an offer soon, however, as Laverty also has an offer from the FIXI Crescent Suzuki World Superbike team for 2014. Toni Elias has been linked with the role of second rider at Alstare.

The matter of who will be running Ducati’s WSBK effort next year is still open. The two main options are Feel Racing, who ran BMW’s WSBK effort last year, and have a long and glorious association with Ducati, or the ParkinGO effort, who are currently running MV Agusta machinery in World Supersport, after a brief foray into WSBK with Chaz Davies.

Below is the official press release issued by Ducati on the split:

Ducati and Alstare to terminate partnership

The decision was taken in common agreement after a meeting in Borgo Panigale, Bologna

Early partnership termination due to global economic downturn challenging Team Alstare’s 2014 expenses

Ducati confirms its participation in the 2014 World Superbike Championship with plans and riders to be confirmed in the coming days

Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy), 25 October 2013 – By common agreement, Ducati and Alstare have decided to terminate their partnership, which started in November 2012. Ducati and Team Alstare have reached the end of a very difficult season unable to achieve the desired results, despite the effort, commitment and resources applied by both parties.

The partnership between the Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer and Team Alstare was expected to continue in 2014, however, the current economic climate and subsequent withdrawal of support by one of Alstare’s main partners, has dictated that the Belgian team must downsize its future plans.

In a meeting held at the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale, Bologna, Francis Batta and the Ducati management decided the best course of action would be an early termination of the agreement before the start of the 2014 season.

“I am extremely sorry that an operation that had started on such a positive note had to be concluded before its time without achieving the results we were aiming for,” said Ernesto Marinelli, Ducati SBK Project Manager. “This was a very difficult year in terms of sports performance, but I am convinced that it nevertheless made us both grow and lay solid foundations for our future development and improvement. In these months together, I experienced the constant professionalism and expertise of everyone at Team Alstare, and I hope to be able to work with them again in the future. My special thanks, both in my personal capacity and on behalf of the whole company, go to Francis for the effort he has put in this year – as he always has throughout his career.”

“I am very sad because this challenge, which began last November, was very important for me as a fresh start after missing one year,” said Francis Batta Owner of Team Alstare. “Working with Ducati was incredibly thrilling, although unfortunately, we failed to achieve the results we had set ourselves. The 2013 racing season has been incredibly hard for us, and being unable to start from a solid position in 2014, I would rather not take risks that might compromise our ability to complete the season. I would like to thank Ducati for trusting me and I wish them all the success that they deserve.”

Ducati has confirmed that it will take part in the Superbike World Championship next season, with 2014 riders and racing plans to be announced in the coming days.

Source: Alstare Ducati; Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

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

Comment:

  1. smiler says:

    Alstare have server their purpose. This was the first time Ducati have had a non-factory team leading their effort in WSBK. So time for a full factoty team again next year, with 2 young riders and focused engineering.

  2. TwoWheelLoo says:

    “Batta had asked Ducati many times throughout the year to be allowed to do more development work, but Ducati had rejected his requests, citing the fact that technology had advanced to such a point that it had become almost impossible for a private team to have the resources to be successful…” etc etc… When will Ducati Corse get their heads outta their asses??? The general concensus among factory riders is the lack of being heard by Ducati in developing bikes…. I think in MCN’s latest issue they mention that the problem isn’t the bike but leadership within Ducati Corse… look at all the changes. .. I like Ducati as a brand, not much as of Ducati Corse/GP/SBK… Hope Gi Gi can square it away.

  3. Loose rider says:

    Batta put all the money in the image , new hospi new trucks and new Box.
    You wont be a world champ by serving the best pastas in the paddock

  4. Bicho says:

    Trellis rear subframe?!,really interesting!Now make the front half too Ducati………maybe it works,for 2014.

  5. A.D. says:

    Heading back to Suzuki, where they belong.

  6. Jaybond says:

    That is one ugly looking pipe routing! I mean the KTM RC8R is also a V-Twin and has underbody exhaust (which could have inspired the Panigale), but the aesthetics side is much better than the Duc. Everything seems to have gone wrong with the new Ducati WSBK bike. They better return with their trellis frame & twin underseat exhaust!