Colin Edwards Extends Tech 3 Deal For 2011

The question of who would be partnering Cal Crutchlow at Herve Poncharal's Monster Tech 3 Yamaha squad next season has been exercising several minds, not least that of Poncharal himself. As was demonstrated so vividly during the search for a replacement for Valentino Rossi during his absence through injury, there are worryingly few candidates to come into MotoGP and be competitive quickly. With Cal Crutchlow joining the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team for 2011 as a rookie from World Superbikes, having someone who knows both the tracks and preferably the bikes is imperative for Poncharal's team.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that Colin Edwards has renewed his deal with the Tech 3 team for one more year. Edwards had earlier been linked to a Xerox Ducati ride in World Superbikes, but after the factory Ducati decided to pull out of WSBK for next season, Edwards' options were quickly limited. Interests collided, leaving Edwards and Tech 3 as each other's best options for 2011. Below is the text of the press release announcing the deal, for what is likely to be Colin Edwards' last season in MotoGP:

Colin Edwards signs 2011 Monster Yamaha Tech3 contract

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team is delighted to announce that Colin Edwards has signed a new one-year contract to ride for the French-based squad in the 2011 MotoGP world championship.

Next year's Monster Yamaha Tech3 line-up will feature a blend of vast experience and young potential with Edwards partnering highly-rated British rider Cal Crutchlow.

The 36-year-old has raced for Herve Poncharal's Tech3 squad since 2008 and during that period the popular American has produced his best form in the MotoGP class. He finished top non-factory rider last season by finishing fifth in the overall stangings and is currently 11th in the 2010 rankings with a best result of seventh position in Laguna Seca, Brno and Misano.

Edwards, who made his 100th appearance for Yamaha in today's inaugural Motorland Aragon race, has been a key figure in establishing the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team as the leading non-factory squad in MotoGP in the 800cc four-stroke era.

And his wealth of experience will be an invaluable asset in helping new Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Crutchlow adapt to MotoGP next season.

Colin Edwards: "I am delighted to have signed a new one-year contract with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. I want to say a big thanks to Yamaha and to Tech3 for their unwavering support. I am honoured to continue my long and successful relationship with Yamaha, Herve Poncharal and all at Tech3. I love the team and feel like part of a big family and I'm thrilled that our adventure together is continuing next year. I'm excited at the challenge of competing in the MotoGP world championship again and still being competitive in probably the strongest field in history is an achievement I'm proud of. I am also looking forward to working with and helping out Cal Crutchlow next season. I'd like to think I helped James Toseland and Ben Spies adapt when they arrived in MotoGP, and I will be doing my utmost to do the same for Cal if he needs any advice. I think all of us can look forward to an exciting 2011 together."

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager: "I am thrilled to have reached a new agreement with Colin for the 2011 MotoGP world championship. His appetite and passion for racing is stronger than ever and he has been an incredible asset for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. He is a great character but he has consistently proven that he remains one of the fastest riders in the world and I am glad that the Tech3 story with Colin will go on for one more year. I believe with Colin's experience and boundless enthusiasm and Cal's hunger and desire to succeed in MotoGP that the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team can already look forward to 2011 with tremendous optimism."

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gee i like the guy but move over get a young gun on it
this seems a money brought to the team signing
Colin will be wasting his ride at the back of the field

that there is no one better for the ride. But by christ I would've liked to see Marquez, Pol Espargaro or Ianonne have a crack. It's almost like the CE11 is just there to be a kindly guiding Uncle giving advice to the young buck in the team. Which is odd because surely the team has ample experience here. There are plenty of other riders in the paddock to pick the brains of. And Edwards hasn't been able to find a comfortable workable set-up of his own M1 since he first got on the thing six years ago!

I'm glad to see Colin have a good ride for next year, but I don't know if it's the best thing for him and/or what he really wants.

I was glad to hear that he wanted to go back to WSB and be (hopefully) more competitive. And I think he would be competitive. He's obviously been having a rough time in MotoGP and I'd like to see him end his career on some high notes. Doesn't look that will happen in 2011 on a Tech3.

Too bad the Ducati deal was a bust. I have to think that there were no other offers from any factory teams, which is why he has chose to stay on with Tech3. I could be wrong.

No matter what, Colin's a character and you have to like his off-the-cuff comments. I remember once reading an article once where he was comparing an old engine to a newer one (a few years back) and he said something to the effect of "shifting into 6th on the old engine was like pouring ice water on a hard cock." Does this ring a bell to anyone? I tried googling for it but no luck.

Right now Yamaha need a little stability. They're losing Rossi, Burgess, Furuzawa and Brivio. Edwards isn't a top five rider, but he's top 10, does his job, knows the tracks - he'll help Crutch like he's helped Spies. Yamaha could be in for a tough year next season, CE will quietly help keep it from being a disaster.

...everyone has to be disappointed in Edwards' season so far (including Colin himself of course), even without making the comparison to Spies -- clearly he's slipped from last year, which was admittedly a very good one for him, one which perhaps raised expectations too high given his overall mediocre record in MotoGP.

But thinking about next year, realistically one would normally expect (at a minimum) Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Spies, and now Hayden to finish ahead of him (who knows what will happen with the factory Suzukis). That leaves 8th place. So to finish consistently in the top 10 should be the first goal, and as high as possible after that.

Anyway, hope he can turn it around next season; he still has a few races this year to start on that.

I think Yamaha decided to keep CE as a development rider. CE has a high reputation for it, and Yam should know better about his ability.

Tech3 is still a privateer team, right? How could CE develop a bike from there?
I love Colin as a personality but I, too, wonder if this is the best decision for him. Still chasing his first MotoGP win - does he really think this will still happen? Is being the MotoGP uncle going to make him happy?

NEVER has a rider performed so poorly on good machinery for so long and kept riding in Motogp or 500cc GP's.

You cannot name one can you!

He may be bringing cash to the table and he is a great U.S personality but he is wasting a ride.

Okay, so he won races and a championship. But for a guy who wasn't known for bike development, and purportedly stole Mick's fast lines, he was on the factory team a long time.

This is good for Colin in that he is still with the big show but bad for the sport in general.

I think the reason he is still there is mainly because Monster Energy wanted an American on the team but they would have been better off to move Josh Hayes into that position for the excitement factor. Most world fans don't know Josh but he is as good as any non MotoGP rider in the world and most definetly would have finished as high or higher than Cal will next year.

I am a Colin fan and am happy for him but too much emphasis has been put on his (or anybody elses) mentoring impact. Ben did, and Cal will, perform just as well without a so called mentor.

Just my opinion.

edwards wants to leave motogp. but when his ride dried up in wsb, he took a job offered to him. every one of us would have done the same thing. he probably wont win a race in gp, and he prob wont finish in the top 5 every weekend, but a wasted ride, i dont really think so. he'll prob beat half the fireld next year. capirossi has had more success victory wise than collin, but their end of year results are relatively similar i think. i think each of them would be better off elsewhere, but i guess its just not that easy to find people to fill these seats while making manufacturers, sponsors, and teams happy.

quick stat after 13 rounds last year JT was in 13th but had 78 points
CE11 whilst in 11th has only 70 points! this season jt would be 9th i know toseland had a poor year last year and lost the ride because of it but, CE11 although technically worse off is rewarded with another contract. I don't dislike CE but i personally think its time to move over (i also think capirossi should be going as well) there are plenty of other good riders who never get the chance in the top class because of mid pack hangers on, they should go to superbike and try and win some races its got to be more fun than been soundly beaten week in week out.

Jezza90, you beat me to it I had been running a comparison between CE this year and JT last year and was surprised at the results.

I think this was Colins only chance at running at World level in any class.

comparing points from year to year doesnt really tell us anything. thats like saying jt finished '08 in 11th and '09 in 14th, so he would be 17th this year. it just doesnt work out that way. im all for fresh blood in the class. and even as a big ce2 fan, i agree he should make way for younger riders who could be better than he is. but there are people making the decisions that prob know better than we do who feel he would be the best fit. im no jt basher, but the difference between him and colin is, both have had their shot, and neither has done a stellar job, but colin is asked to return. why jt keeps popping up in discussions doesnt make sense to me. he is gone. motogp has moved on. hopefully he can find a suitable ride in wsb next year

I know I keep saying this, Colin is having the same sort of year that Toseland had in his tenure, Guintoli in his and James Ellison in his with Tech3!
I mentioned this when Rossi had his accident and I thought JT was a suitable stand in, most people seemed to think he was his own executioner at Tech3, I don't think so!
The team seems unable to run two riders effectively for some reason and I imagine that it is a rescource problem. Not the personel but somehow parts, tyres, engine specs or something just doesn't get to the number two rider!

I felt that Toseland and Ellison were badly let down by the team, I am worried about Cal Crutchlow going there. As for Colin, he's a superb rider with a bit of a donkey under him, when he deserves a thoroughbred!

Colin Edwards finished the championship 5th last year, and that definitely merited him the renewal. Definitely there are other riders that could take his seat (nobody has mentioned Elias) in 2011, but his experience and sponsorship value are still hard to beat.

Lets face it, apart from the 5 Aliens (Spies is not one fully yet but he is on his way) the rest of the riders are not title or even race contenders. Even Rossi and Stoner have only 1 race apiece this year.

When you move down from this Tier 1 level, then the scope of riders that have a sufficient skill level to "survive" in MotoGP broadens. Couldn't Bayliss, Biaggi or Mladin still ride at middle of the pack pace in MotoGP?

Again, we expect that new talent has to be given a chance, which I agree with, but new talent has to prove that they are better than old talent, not just younger to merit a go. When you get to MotoGP many more factors come into play. Technical knowledge, bike set-up, race-craft, consistency...

The difference, ofcourse, is that we think young riders are on their way up, and 'veterans' on their way down. But you certainly have some valid points.