Colin Edwards Breaks Collarbone At Barcelona, Doubtful For Silverstone

Colin Edwards is to miss the Barcelona round of MotoGP after crashing during the second session of free practice and breaking his collarbone. The Texan crashed on an out lap while the conditions were most treacherous: just as the track was starting to dry, but before it dried completely. Edwards was taken to the medical center, where he was diagnosed with a broken collarbone.

Edwards had the option of having surgery at a general hospital in Barcelona, or being treated by the Spanish surgeon Dr Xavier Mir. Mir is a renowned specialist in Barcelona who has treated several motorcycle racers over the years, most recently performing both surgeries on Dani Pedrosa's broken collarbones. Edwards elected to have Dr Mir plate his collarbone, and is now recuperating in the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona.

With Edwards out, along with Dani Pedrosa, the grid is now down to just 15 riders for Sunday's race. And with Silverstone just 7 days away, that race too is likely to take place with just 15 riders. Replacements for either rider will be hard to find, as the World Superbike series is racing at Misano next weekend as well. Both Edwards and Pedrosa are likely to return at the Dutch round of MotoGP at Assen in three weeks' time.

Below is the Tech 3 press release:


Crutchlow learning fast, Edwards injured in Catalunya

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team started the Catalunya MotoGP round in Spain with a day of contrasting fortunes for Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards.

Crutchlow once again demonstrated his expert skill at learning new tracks fast to finish seventh fastest on the combined timesheets, the British rider producing another impressive performance on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team YZR-M1 machine on a circuit he's never ridden at before in his career.

He set a best time of 1.44.797 to finish less than 0.2s away from the top five, the 25-year-old setting a competitive pace on a dry and damp track as the first day of action was disrupted by rain showers.

The fifth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship ended in premature and painful fashion for team-mate Edwards though after he was diagnosed with a broken right collarbone following a heavy crash in this afternoon's second free practice session.

The day had started full of promise for Edwards and the experienced American was sixth fastest this morning with a best time of 1.44.768. The opening day of action saw frequent rain showers dampen the Montmelo circuit and a cloudburst during the early 125cc practice session meant the second MotoGP session got underway on a damp track.

The track dried rapidly and with just over 15 minutes remaining, the field switched to slick tyres as lap times significantly improved with the better conditions. Edwards had completed one run on slick rubber when he switched bikes and was an out lap when he crashed at Turn 5. He landed heavily and was immediately attended to by trackside m arshals before being transferred to the Medical Centre, where further checks revealed he'd suffered a broken right collarbone.

Edwards was later taken to the Dexeus Institute Hospital in Barcelona where he will undergo surgery performed by Dr Xavier Mir, who has previously treated Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.

Cal Crutchlow 7th:

"I really like the track. It seems to suit my riding style and it turned to be a positive first day for me. I used the same set of slick tyres all day and I ran the hard rear tyre, so I'm sure I could have gone quicker if I'd used the softer option. I did a few laps in the wet but it wasn't really wet conditions and it was a bit of a waste of time. Learning the braking markers is one of the biggest challenges and in the first corner, I was losing 0.4s on the brakes just at that point. I could m ake up time in other places but you can't afford to lose that much time in just one corner. I followed Valentino for a little bit and that was nice because you can learn stuff really quickly. He is smooth as silk and it is incredible to be learning off somebody who is my hero, but if I keep improving there is no reason why I can't have a good qualifying and be fighting for the top ten again in the race. I'm really sad that Colin has got injured. He's been riding brilliantly all season and everybody at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 wishes him a speedy recovery."

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:

"Unfortunately Colin has broken his right collarbone and this is a big shame for him and for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because we were confident he was going to be very strong and competitive this weekend. Colin has been superb so far this season and he has shown that even when the competition is probably stronger than ever in MotoGP, he is still one of the fastest out there. It looks like he paid a heavy price for a very small mistake. He landed heavily on his shoulder and it was clear from the TV pictures that he was in a lot of pain. He will have an operation tonight, so we should have a clearer idea of how long the recovery process will be later this weekend. The important thing now is that he rests and recovers as quickly as he possibly can. We wish him a fast recovery and hope that it is not too long before we see him back in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team garage."

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Comments

If it's so easy to score points?

If I was managing an up-n-comer I'd get him on a GP bike as a replacement. A lot of riders probably don't want to look bad by appearing to be way off the pace, but with the grid so small, if they can qualify, and just finish race and score a few points.

Even at five seconds off Toni Elias, if the rider could keep it upright, they would score a few points, because there's always a few crashers every race.

Just by scoring a couple of points, the replacement would get his name on TV every week when the championship rankings graphic comes up. That's got to be worth something for a rider trying to catch a break.

It's shameful that the "best" bike in the paddock doesn't have a rider on it, even though it's been known for weeks that the current pilot is being rebuilt by HRC and a surgical team.

What does that say about the future of the championship?

Total votes: 49

It might not be so easy, else there would be a line of hopeful managers lingering the paddocks every sessions. Probably the first considerations the team asked is "How much are you willing to pay for the lease of this MotoGP bike and the pit support?"

Surely when a replacement rider is drafted in, it needs some sort of approval from all sponsors involved and whatever marketing rights in the future?

It's Friday and probably lots of offices are closed for the weekends.

To Colin Edwards:

Get well soon!!!! Don't quite remember when you last had an injury and it seems you don't get hurt easy. Bummer! Speedy recovery and see you at Laguna Seca!

Hil.

Total votes: 66

Get well soon Colin!

Total votes: 61

I'm gutted for Colin, but the big issue for me is just how much can the starting grid shrink before the race is no longer considered worthwhile. The nature of the beast is that often in crashes more than one bike / rider are involved. Let's say two more competitors join Colin and pedrosa as 'off games' ahead of silvesttone...
Motogp is never slow to revise its rules. As much as the fiddling is unhelpful, changes need to be made to keep bikes racing.
1) relax engine rules so that engines are associated with riders not bikes, ie sub rider doesn't take engines from allowance. This would actually give returning riders a small advantage (fewer meetings per engine)
2) compel teams to bring a full complement of riders to each meeting. Surely a good moto2 rider would benefit from a run out on a big bike?

Total votes: 55

That's 141 consecutive starts in MotoGP.

Total votes: 59

What is the big fascination with getting a bunch of bikes on the grid that have no shot at competing in a race? How does putting three or four extra bikes on the grid, that have no chance of winning add legitimacy to a race? I personally don't see a difference between a field of 12 or seventeen when only a handful really have a shot of competing and the rest are just filler anyway. I don't see a real need to rush to fill the grid with back markers because I really have no interest in watching the "test rider cup".

Heal up soon Colin. Still pulling for you to get that premier class win!

Total votes: 59

watching Stoner lead by 5 seconds after the 3rd lap is boring. Sometimes some of the best racing to watch takes place farther down the order. And the term "wildcard" is literal when it comes to racing, you never know what could happen at a track that a replacement is extremely familiar with, even a top 10 finish for a wildcard is exciting. Granted, the last couple of wildcards haven't been that impressive, but let us not forget what Bayliss did not so long ago.

I also agree with the poster who suggested wildcard riders not having to use an engine allocation. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest reasons that teams are not providing wildcard riders! With only 6 engines to last all year why on earth would you take a chance of wildcard rider crashing an engine, blowing up an engine, or even putting mileage on an engine? There needs to be a reduction in negative "side-effects" to running a wildcard rider.

And I really don't understand the marketing aspect of the wildcard rider. Why does it matter if the rider isn't the best rider and doesn't finish as well as Dani would? At least you have another bike out there with logos getting SOME coverage, and some coverage is better than no coverage. Period. That's like saying I don't think Spidi makes a vastly superior leather suit because CS wears A*stars and CEIII wears Spidi. Exposure at this level of racing is good regardless of being first or last. This is the premier class. Even the lowest riders in the class can still go to Moto2 or WSBK and be extremely competitive, Ie Checa, Elias, Biaggi, Melandri...

Total votes: 59

"In any race where there are fewer than 16 riders taking the starting grid, points shall only be awarded down to tenth place, following the usual scoring pattern of 25 points for a win, 20 points for second etc. with the last remaining scoring place being tenth place, earning the rider five points."

Adds a little spice for the battle for the top ten too!

Wishing speedy recoveries to Colin and Danny.

Total votes: 57