With 3 of the 4 Yamaha seats for 2008 already filled, the only question remaining was who would ride the 4th Yamaha next year. With Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo taking the official factory Yamaha seats, and James Toseland signing for Tech 3 Yamaha, the list for the final Tech 3 seat seemed terribly long.
Now, that list has been reduced to just one name: Motorcycle News is reporting that Colin Edwards has agreed to join Tech 3 for 2008. Edwards, like Toseland, has been promised that the equipment he'll have at his disposal will be the same as he is getting this year, which implies that the Tech 3 Yamaha team will be receiving full factory support for 2008.
It's unclear what tires Edwards and Toseland will be on next year, but it is looking less and less likely that the Tech 3 team will be running Dunlops, despite the progress the tire maker has made this year. Edwards has a long relationship with Michelins, which would point to the French rubber being used, but speculation is rife in the paddock that one of the Yamaha teams could switch to Bridgestone for 2008.
One last interesting tidbit: The story also quotes Edwards as saying that 2008 will be his last season in MotoGP, and that after that, he'll return to the US to compete in the AMA superbike championship. Dean Adams over at Superbikeplanet.com had speculated that this might happen in a recent Soupkast, and Adams' words are starting to look prophetic.
This move leaves the current Tech 3 riders out of a job. While the end of Makoto Tamada's career has been coming for a very long time, Sylvain Guintoli has surprised everyone in the paddock, doing a far better job than anyone expected. Guintoli's fastest time during FP2 yesterday just reinforced this impression. Although the chances are high that Guintoli will be forced out of MotoGP at the end of the season, there is every chance that a wily team manager could pick him up, as the Frenchman is likely to be excellent value for money.