Edwards Still Not Sure Of Seat At Tech 3
Colin Edwards' season started with a bang, starting on the front row of the grid, and kept on improving, bagging the Texan two podiums at Le Mans and Assen. But almost by magic, once Edwards had signed his new contract, his results took a nosedive, his best finish a 7th place at Motegi.
This performance, much remarked upon by MotoGP fans all around the world, has not escaped the notice of the bosses of Yamaha's racing division either. Various sources are reporting that Colin Edwards has been brought in and given a stiff talking to by Yamaha's bosses, and told that if his results don't improve, he could find himself riding an R1 rather than an M1. If Edwards' doesn't get his act together, Yamaha may decide to swap one Texan for another, pushing Edwards into World Superbikes, and bringing Ben Spies, already signed to race for Yamaha Motor Italia in World Superbikes, up into MotoGP to ride alongside British superstar James Toseland.
Though the move may be a little harsh, there is plenty of reason to believe this could actually take place. With Michelin now out of MotoGP, Edwards' role as a test rider for the French tire company has disappeared, and his long experience with the Michelins is no longer a reason to keep the Texan in MotoGP. What's more, with all of the Yamahas in MotoGP now on the same tires, and Jorge Lorenzo and James Toseland both heading into their second year in the series, development can be shared out between four riders, rather than leaning heavily on Edwards for data from the Michelins.
And Edwards' long years of experience testing may well be more useful in World Superbikes than in MotoGP. The World Superbike team currently has Ben Spies and Tom Sykes signed, two class rookies, neither of whom has much familiarity with the tracks to be used, in addition to fielding a brand new motorcycle with a revised 'long bang' firing order. There's a lot of development work to be done, and at least one experienced hand on the team may help speed the process along. So Edwards has a few more worrying days ahead of him before he will be sure where he'll be riding next year.