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 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.

FIM Announces 27 Riders in World Superbike for 2014

01/30/2014 @ 2:22 pm, by David Emmett13 COMMENTS

FIM Announces 27 Riders in World Superbike for 2014 tom sykes kawasaki racing wsbk 635x422

The addition of the EVO category to the World Superbike class has had the hoped-for effect on the grid. From a modest entry list of 19 riders last year, the grid is up to a healthy 27 entries for 2014.

The number of manufacturers has increased as well, up to 9, with MV Agusta, EBR (Erik Buell’s latest venture), and Bimota all taking part, racing this year under the EVO banner. Bimota’s entry is still provisional, subject to homologation of the BMW-based BB3 being approved.

The gamble of introducing a cheaper, lower-spec form of racing appears to have paid off, with 12 riders entered in the EVO category. Like the CRT class in MotoGP, the EVO category makes competing cheaper, with tuning restrictions closer to Superstock levels on engines, while chassis regulations remain the same as for the full SBK class entries.

The expansion in the World Superbike class has been partially at the expense of World Supersport, with teams such as Team Toth and Yakhnich using the opportunity to move up to WSBK. The World Supersport field is down to 23 entries, after years of fields of 30+ riders.

The list of manufacturers in WSS is shorter, with just Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and MV Agusta represented. The World Superbike and World Supersport entry lists are shown below.

The 2014 World Superbike rider line up. The latest, updated list can be found here.

RiderNat.MotorcycleClassTeam Name
33Marco MelandriITAAprilia RSV4 FactorySBKAprilia Racing Team
50Sylvain GuintoliFRAAprilia RSV4 FactorySBKAprilia Racing Team
52Sylvain BarrierFRABMW S1000 RRSBK EVOBMW Motorrad Italia SBK
1Tom SykesGBRKawasaki ZX-10RSBKKawasaki Racing Team
44David SalomESPKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOKawasaki Racing Team
76Loris BazFRAKawasaki ZX-10RSBKKawasaki Racing Team
22Alex LowesGBRSuzuki GSX-R1000SBKVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
58Eugene LavertyIRLSuzuki GSX-R1000SBKVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
65Jonathan ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RRSBKPATA Honda World Superbike
91Leon HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RRSBKPATA Honda World Superbike
2Christian IddonGBRBimota BB3 *SBK EVOTeam ALSTARE
86Ayrton BadoviniITABimota BB3 *SBK EVOTeam ALSTARE
24Toni EliasESPAprilia RSV4  FactorySBKRed Devils Roma
59Niccolò CanepaITADucati Panigale 1199 RSBK EVOAlthea Racing
21Alessandro AndreozziITAKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOTeam Pedercini
23Luca ScassaITAKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOTeam Pedercini
32Sheridan MoraisRSAKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOIRON BRAIN Kawasaki SBK
84Michel FabrizioITAKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOIRON BRAIN Kawasaki SBK
10Imre TothHUNBMW S1000 RRSBKBMW Team Toth
56Peter SebestyenHUNBMW S1000 RRSBK EVOBMW Team Toth
7Chaz DaviesGBRDucati Panigale 1199RSBKDucati Superbike Team
34Davide GiuglianoITADucati Panigale 1199RSBKDucati Superbike Team
9Fabien ForetFRAKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOMAHI Racing Team India
11Jeremy GuarnoniFRAKawasaki ZX-10RSBK EVOMRS Kawasaki
71Claudio CortiITAMV Agusta F4 RRSBKMV Agusta RC-Yakhnich
20Aaron YatesUSAEBR 1190 RXSBKTeam Hero EBR
99Geoff MayUSAEBR 1190 RXSBKTeam Hero EBR

STH: Subject to homologation

The 2014 World Supersport rider line up. The latest, updated list can be found here.

RiderNat.MotorcycleTeam Name
54Kenan SofuogluTURKawasaki ZX-6RMAHI Racing Team India
16Jules CluzelFRAMV Agusta F3 675MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport
65Vladimir LeonovRUSMV Agusta F3 675MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport
26Lorenzo ZanettiITAHonda CBR600RRPATA Honda World Supersport Team
60Michael van der MarkNEDHonda CBR600RRPATA Honda World Supersport Team
21Florian MarinoFRAKawasaki ZX-6RKawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
99Patrick JacobsenUSAKawasaki ZX-6RKawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
88Kev CoghlanGBRYamaha YZF R6DMC Panavto-Yamaha
161Alexey IvanovRUSYamaha YZF R6DMC Panavto-Yamaha
11Christian GamarinoITAKawasaki ZX-6RTeam GO Eleven
44Roberto RolfoITAKawasaki ZX-6RTeam GO Eleven
24Marco BussolottiITAHonda CBR600RRTeam Lorini
84Riccardo RussoITAHonda CBR600RRTeam Lorini
4Jack KennedyIRLHonda CBR600RRCIA Insurance Honda
7Nacho CaleroESPHonda CBR600RRCIA Insurance Honda
5Roberto TamburiniITAKawasaki ZX-6RSan Carlo Puccetti Racing
61Fabio Menghi *TBCITAYamaha YZF R6VFT Racing
14Ratthapark WilairotTHAHonda CBR600RRCore PTR Honda
TBA **Honda CBR600RRCore PTR Honda
89Fraser RogersGBRHonda CBR600RRCom Plus South Tyneside College SMS
9Tony CoveñaNEDKawasaki ZX-6RKawasaki Ponyexpres Intermoto
TBA **Honda CBR600RRLorini Racing Team
19Kevin WahrGERYamaha YZF R6Team Wahr by Kraus Racing

*TBC: To be confirmed
**TBA: To be announced

Source: FIM; Photo: Kawasaki Racing

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

Comment:

  1. DeadMic says:

    this seems a little too NASCAR for me

  2. buellracerx says:

    @DeadMic then watch GP.

    To each his own, I like racing for the competition.

  3. chris says:

    foret’s in the wrong category

  4. Gritboy says:

    Cool. Now if only they had proper TV coverage in the U.S.A., cuz beIN won’t cut it.

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “Cool. Now if only they had proper TV coverage in the U.S.A., cuz beIN won’t cut it.”

    for $20 bucks i’ll tell you a secret.

  6. smiler says:

    Soooo much better than the shambles in MotoGP.

  7. Bluey says:

    i thought EBR were running EVO bikes?

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “i thought EBR were running EVO bikes?”

    barring typo, i think they might be giving themselves the option to get a year of modding within the rules under their belt…?

    if they went EVO now they wouldnt be able to touch the engine, so think of it as a year long test session to finalize the spec of the actual EVO bike (i hope). pretty sure they know that what they’ve got ain’t ready. well, if the got eyes they do.

  9. Conrice says:

    re: “I think they might be giving themselves the option to get a year of modding within the rules under their brit…?”

    - And that would explain why they chose Geoff May and Aaron Yates (development riders at best nowadays)

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “And that would explain why they chose Geoff May and Aaron Yates (development riders at best nowadays)”

    correct. NATCORK.

  11. frankie says:

    What happened to Max Neukirchner……..still injured?

  12. Norm G. says:

    ATTENTION ON DECK…!!!

    EB had his date with destiny. says “destiny’s” cute and they’ve got good chemistry. online dating can be such a mind field, but they’ve agreed to go out a second time…

    http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2014/Jan/140130serg.htm

  13. Norm G. says:

    mine field… mine field.