For the second consecutive year, the 2014 MotoGP Championship headed to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA) – a 3.426-mile circuit that hosts Formula 1.
During the track’s debut last season, then-rookie Marc Marquez took his first premier-class win. The Repsol Honda rider continued his winning ways throughout the season, and eventually became the 2013 MotoGP Champion.
And in 2014, Marquez, now 21-years old in his sophomore year in the premier class, is showing nothing but dominance. He won the opening round at Qatar six weeks after breaking his right femur, and dominated this past weekend’s round at COTA.
Marquez led all four practice sessions, qualified on pole, led warm up, and led all 21 laps en route to the victory over teammate Dani Pedrosa and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, the later finishing over 20 seconds behind.
Ultimate MotorCycling contributor Ara Ashjian was at COTA, shooting the on-track and behind-the-scenes pit action. Here’s a photo gallery of images shot by Ashjian.
This week we have a couple of unusual chats for you. In the first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena talks to Arthur Coldwells about the new Ohvale GP2 mini bike. This is a full race machine that is scaled down to work on kart tracks, and yet it is designed to give a rider the full racebike experience. The Ohvale is not a toy and many, many professional racers use one to enhance their skillset and help with their training.
The second segment comes to you from the recent Barber Vintage Festival, held annually at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds Alabama. George Barber himself was kind enough to spare a few minutes to chat about the new Advanced Design Center project that has been created on the top floor of the museum. Ably headed up by Brian Case of Motus Motorcycles fame, George Barber’s Design Center is there to encourage and explore design. He has generously outfitted the center with every type of creative and production tool you can imagine, including a couple of high end 3D printing machines, and full clay-modelling capability. Brian Case has already collaborated with ex-Ducati designer Pierre Terblanche and their first project—done remotely with Pierre residing at home in South Africa I might add—is a modern take on the exquisite early 90s Ducati Super Mono, designed at the time by Pierre. The Advanced Design Center is a heck of a project and George Barber is justifiably proud of it. It is there to encourage and explore design, especially with young people who perhaps do not have the means to really explore their ideas or turn them into reality. If you’re a designer with some ideas, please feel free to contact Brian Case at the Barber Advanced Design Center and talk to him about perhaps starting you off, or taking you to the next step in your career. His contact information is below.