Colin Edwards will contest only three more MotoGP rounds in the 2014 season. The Texan is to race at Indianapolis, Silverstone and Valencia, before hanging up his helmet. From Brno, Alex De Angelis will take Edwards' place, and Edwards will race as a third rider for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team in the UK and at the last race of the year.
Edwards' final year in MotoGP has not gone according to plan. The Texas Tornado had hoped that the arrival of the Yamaha Open class bike at Forward, to replace the Kawasaki-powered CRT machine would spark a revival in his fortunes. When Edwards finally got to ride the Open class Yamaha, however, he found to his dismay that he could not get on with the Yamaha chassis, and was unable to get the bike to turn. He had pinned his hopes on the arrival of a chassis from FTR, but financial problems for the British chassis manufacturer meant he was left to struggle with the Yamaha frame until Mugello. When a new chassis did arrive, fresh from the drawing board of now ex-FTR designer Mark Taylor, it did not see Edwards drastically improve his pace.
Long before the new chassis arrived, Edwards had already made the decision to retire. At Austin, Edwards told the media that 2014 would be his last season in World Championship motorcycle racing. His plan, he said, was to see out the year, and then retire, possibly taking up some kind of testing role. That everything might not proceed to plan became apparent a few races later, when rumors emerged at Jerez that Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari was considering replacing Edwards early. Cuzari denied those rumors, but as the season proceeded, it was clear that the Texan was not scoring the results which he and the team had expected. Further rumors emerged over the summer break, that Colin Edwards would not finish all of the races left in 2014, with De Angelis taking his place. Edwards denied those rumors, but the situation remained very unclear.
It had confused even the two principal players involved. Over a series of meetings between Edwards and Forward boss Cuzari, the pair have been involved in thrashing out some form of resolution. The picture that emerges is that at the moment, Edwards will race at Indianapolis on Sunday, and be replaced for the remainder of the season by De Angelis. Edwards will race at Silverstone and Valencia, but on a third bike alongside Aleix Espargaro and De Angelis. Those two races are important to Edwards, as the Texan is massively popular with British fans, and regards the UK round as his third home race.
In an interview with the MotoGP.com website, Edwards clarified what he could. "We're still figuring it out," Edwards said. "Honestly, I won't be in Brno, but for sure that I know of, [I will be at] Silverstone and Valencia, 100%. Other than that, we're just playing it by ear, we'll see what happens." He was still committed to the Forward Racing team, and was focused on developing the new chassis built by Forward. "[I'm] still working with the guys, still trying to get this new chassis to work," Edwards said.
Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari explained that the idea was to give Edwards a new role in the team. "We are looking to make a new kind of job with Colin," Cuzari told MotoGP.com. That meant replacing Edwards at the next round at Brno, but it did not mean the team was abandoning Edwards. "I am for sure not leaving the rider, because I can never forget what Colin do for me in these three seasons, and also I can never forget that Colin has a lot of experience that we need for our team and for our future."
In the future, Edwards could turn his hand to developing young American talent. With both Edwards and Hayden absent at Brno, the MotoGP grid will be without an American rider for the first time since the 1980s, the period when the US dominated Grand Prix racing. The US is currently desperately short of talent, and with the domestic series in disarray, it is not clear where fresh young blood is to come from. The situation is so dire that Dorna are in talks with the FIM and Wayne Rainey to set up a North American championship, and open up a new series to develop US talent. With Edwards already running his Texas Tornado Boot Camp dirt track school, there would be an obvious place for Edwards to play a role.
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The US is not "desperately
The US is not "desperately short of talent", it's desperately short of a training ground to develop that talent.
In reply to The US is not "desperately by Mike Walt
The US has some great talent: Cameron Beaubier, JD Beach, Joe Roberts, PJ Jacobsen, Jake Gagne to name but a few. But the list feels finite when compared to Marquez, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Viñales, Salom, Alex Rins, Alex Marquez, Tito Rabat, and on and on and on. The talent in the US has come on despite the AMA, not because of it. And much talent is being lost because of the shambles the DMG has made of the AMA.
So while I agree that the US is desperately short of a training ground, I would still contend that the US is also short of talent, precisely because it is short of a training ground. Things have the potential to improve, but it had better happen soon.
In reply to US talent by David Emmett
Bummed Colin's last year didn't go as planned, would have been nice seeing him in the top 10 for his final season, but really hoping he can do some good back in the states with the next generation.
My business helps support an up and coming AMA Super Sport racer, Wyatt Farris, and I would love nothing more than to see the US get some Dorna and FIM help to bring a new series in. The past many years have been pretty rough and it's a bummer to talk to Wyatt about how getting to Europe is really the only way to make it in the sport currently.
"The talent in the US has
"The talent in the US has come on despite the AMA, not because of it. And much talent is being lost because of the shambles the DMG has made of the AMA."
This. Its a long pipeline and this one has been sucked dry. Better off to start a new organization. It won't be quick but it can't be worse.
In reply to "The talent in the US has by azkiwi
>>but it can't be worse.
That's what everyone (me included) said when the AMA sold the racing division to DMG. I also seem to remember the teams in BSB not having too fun a time when Dorna was in charge there.
With the state of the AMA I wonder if WERA is thinking 'this is our chance for the big time again' or 'I don't want to touch that with a 10 foot pole'?
He's still riding?
Thought he'd retired years ago, and was playing golf at Leisure World.
More seriously, he seems like a good guy, but half the MotoGP field serves as decoration, circulating a minute or so behind the sharp end - and that's where CE has been located for some time. When the TV cameras feel obliged to show these back-markers near the end of the race, it's usually a distraction to watch them scrapping for morsels of publicity.
Personally I think it's a pity that he didn't go back to Superbikes, but maybe it's more glamorous at the back of MotoGP than the front of WorldSBK.
Sad to see Edwards go
I have been following Edwards' career from the time that he entered WSBK on a Yamaha. I remember him being pointed out as the hot new talent and now he is retiring, which is sad. It feels like the in between years were very few. The sight of Edwards man handling the Yamaha to catch up with Scot Russel and Carl Fogerty is still fresh and clearly imprinted in my mind.
Colin Edwards has been disappointing on the Forward Yamaha, but how does it help to replace him with De Angelis? Edwards may not have a won a MotoGP race but that does not devalue his worth. It is like saying Bjorn Borg is poor tennis player because he has never won the US Open. He did make it to the finals, and not just once. Edwards has been on the podium and is a two time WSBK Champion. De Angelis? Seriously how many more years will we have to see him on various bikes in various classes looking absolutely pedestrian? There are people who complain that there are too many Spaniards in GP. I think a more pressing concern is the number of people in Moto2 who do not deserve to be racing any more. De Angelis is top but there are others such as Julian Simon, Mattea Pasini, Randy Krummenacher etc who are just adding to the numbers generally and on a good day figure in the top ten or something. The selection of Alex De Angelis is disappointing. He seems to be on the way to becoming the Andrea De Ceasaris of MotoGP. Too bad.
In reply to Sad to see Edwards go by avsatishchandra
everybody can't be number one....
In reply to @avsatishchandra by TimGP20
Colin vs. Alex, really ?
I agree that there are better MotoGP drivers than Alex De Angelis. Not that he is not up to MotoGp level but certainly you can find riders with more speed/talent. His position in Moto2 ranks for the last few years speak clearly.
Anyway, the same could be said and could have been said for Colin. From the first years in MotoGp he has always been #2 in the team he raced for, at least in my opinion. He has raced for many years and never got close to be a championship contender, he has never won races.
I am sure there are USA young talents that can do better than Colin and Axel if we give them a chance and some time to learn MotoGp (or Moto2/3). Or from other countries but pls. let us skip Spain we have already too many Spaniards.
In reply to Sad to see Edwards go by avsatishchandra
Edwards v Bayliss
That season and their battle for the WSB title was monumental. There was some amazing racing between them! I need to go find some good highlights on Youtube. One of the greatest championship battles in motorcycle racing ever.
Edwards has had a great MotoGP career too. He was a great team-mate to Vale for several years. He's had podiums and placed well in the championship. It's very rare for a WSB rider to do well in MotoGP. Many have tried, to date none have done anywhere as well consistently well in MotoGP as Colin has.
He's been an awesome motorcycle racer for an amazingly long number of years. Thanks Colin!
Also, linking threads,
you cannot fast track guys from Moto3 and then expect riders in the later stages of their career to be around for you.
Unless of course we have 30 or 40 riders in MGP with bikes at $5M apiece (2 per rider). That would be enough for everyone with the talent to shine until they 35/40, I should think. Might be a shortage of tech guys to make those beasts perform though........