As COVID-19 continues to spread to alarming levels around the world, it’s no surprise to hear that the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas has been postponed until November 15, 2020. The American round will now be the penultimate race of the season ahead of Valencia which has been pushed to November 20-22. This, of course, comes after the first race of the season in Qatar was run without the MotoGP paddock while both Moto3 and Moto2 were able to race due to the riders having already been in the country for testing prior to the first round.
Austin, Texas, that is, where the annual Handbuilt show coincided with the US MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas. I didn’t make it out to the GP, but I did make it to the unveiling of an exciting new BMW, onto a tour of Revival Cycles and into their shop on Congress St. (above), into the Handbuilt show, and all over some delicious cuts of Texas cow at a couple of swanky restaurants. Austin is everything you’ve heard. If you live in California and are considering the move, I recommend you do it immediately.
Our collective love for the Aprilia RSV4 engine is well documented here at MO, so pardon us for a second as we indulge in car news. However, this isn’t just any car news – we’re talking single-seater racecars. More to the point, a single-seater powered by an Aprilia RSV4 engine. The car is called the G1, and it comes from Israeli company Griiip. Over in Europe there’s a dedicated racing class for these cars, but here in the U.S. the G1 is eligible for the Formula 1000 class specifically for racecars powered by 1,000cc motorcycle engines.
By now you already know what happened at the snooze fest that was Austin MotoGP (and if you don’t, I highly suggest you read Mr. Allen’s always wonderful MotoGP recap). Marc Marquez stole the show for the sixth straight year, leaving some fans disappointed with the day’s racing. To be fair, Moto2 and MotoAmerica Superbike provided some good racing; the former with the interesting battle for the lead, and the latter with a tight fight for the podium.
Aprilia took advantage of the third round of MotoGP, making its sole appearance on North American soil to introduce a very exclusive machine. At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, key members of Aprilia’s MotoGP staff, including Aprilia Racing team manager Romano Albesiano and team riders Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding, took the covers off the latest evolution of the company’s flagship production sportbike, the RSV4.
If you’re a fan of high-performance sportbikes, BMW’s new HP4 Race should be at or near the top of your must-ride list. This carbon-framed and -wheeled ultra-sportbike achieves new levels of what’s possible from a production superbike. Imagine about 200 horsepower in a bike weighing less than a Ninja 300!
Yo, I made a video! Actually Matt Francis made the video while I walked around with a microphone and interrupted people, since I was already in Texas for the introduction of Dunlop’s new Q3+ Sportmax tire anyway. The MO wheel grinds slow but fine; this took place in April, before the MotoAmerica race season even got started. But I guess you could already sort of tell how things were going to go – much the way they’ve been going since Monster Yamaha and Yoshimura Suzuki became the only serious factory teams. Still fun to watch.
After a half-decade of sitting second chair to BMW’s S1000RR ( Honorable Mention 2010, and again in 2015) Aprilia’s RSV4 finally, deservedly, secured Motorcycle.com’s 2016 Sportbike of the year award. Subjectively, the RSV and its V-Four engine have been a staff favorite every year since its introduction, but where does one go after having ascended the throne? For the 2017 RSV4 RR and RF, the answer is improved electronics.
The run-up to the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas set the stage for a much-anticipated cage match between Yamaha phenom Maverick Viñales and Honda triple world champion Marc Marquez. All day long, the British announcing crew was breathlessly prancing about the broadcast booth, pondering the sheer wonder of it all, going absolutely hyperbolic. Showing no sense of the moment, Viñales crashed out of fourth place on Lap 2, letting the air out of the balloon and ceding, at least for the moment, the lead in the world championship to teammate Valentino Rossi, with Marquez suddenly back in the game.
As the checkered flag fell in Argentina, the shape of the 2017 season changed. Suddenly, Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales and partner Valentino Rossi, the Boys in Blue, sit on top of the world looking down. Those looking up, WAY up, include defending champion Marc Marquez of Honda and the factory Ducati team, currently residing on the other side of the proverbial tracks. Marquez has never lost, deep in the heart of Texas, which makes Sunday’s contest what my wife (eyebrows raised) refers to as “critical?”
In just four short years the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show has grown leaps and bounds. Put on by the folks at Revival Cycles, an Austin, Texas-based moto shop, the creations it has pumped out are enough for a show in its own right. However, the Revival folks team up with some of the most innovative and creative talents in the motorcycle customizing business to display their talents each year at the Handbuilt Show. Scheduled for the same weekend as the MotoGP race at the neighboring Circuit of the Americas, the crowd for the show has been steadily climbing as word of mouth spreads year after year.
As the pinnacles of technology and performance in their respective fields, you can’t get any more advanced than MotoGP and Formula 1 in the motorcycle and automotive worlds, respectively. And when pitted against each other, a Formula 1 car will smoke a MotoGP machine. Interestingly, there are only two circuits that play host to both series – the Sepang circuit in Malaysia and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Information provided by Brembo – brake provider for both MotoGP and Formula 1 – gives us some interesting insights into the dynamics at play during a lap of COTA for both machines.
On a nice spring afternoon outside Austin, Texas, Repsol Honda supernova Marc Marquez, looking much the way he did in 2013 and 2014, put on another clinic, winning the Grand Prix of the Americas from pole for the fourth consecutive year. The win makes Captain America 10 for 10 in premier class tilts run in the United States.