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.

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I wonder what the chances are of this happening?  Are they just trying to light a fire under Edwards to get him more motivated?  Perhaps Spies saw this coming?


This could get interesting...

What a shame.  Colin's results haven't been great since the first part of the season, but he was as much a victim of Michelin's mysteriously poor performance and decision-making as anybody. 

He had pretty good results through round 9, including two podiums and 6 top-five finishes, but from rounds 10 to 14 - the when Michelin was at their worst - his teammate out performed him.  The last two rounds have seen them on more equal footing.

Ironically, Edwards is often the rider first mentioned when Michelin tire development is talked about.  Now it seems that at least some of his lack of performance can be put down to the tires and at least part of the reason his head is on the block is because of the departure from the series of the tire manufacturer.

As much as I'd like to see Spies in MotoGP next season, this seems rather unlikely. Edwards has a signed contract to ride for Tech 3 in 2009 so unless they want to buy him out of his contract AND give him a new contract to ride WSBK, this probably won't happen.

Of course we don't know exactly what his contract says, but I doubt he would have signed if some kind of exceptions were in there. Colin made it clear he wanted to continue in MotoGP. He had an option to ride for Kawasaki had there been any doubts about the strength of his Tech 3 contract.

It just doesn't add up.

Here's how it could be possible. Colin Edwards is believed to have a contract with Yamaha, not Tech 3. I'm sure Yamaha's lawyers are good enough to ensure clauses allowing them to shift Edwards where they like under certain conditions. However, just because it COULD happen does not mean it WILL happen.

Colin being booted down to the World Superbike team seems very unlikely to me.  The closest thing I could see happening going off of his own comments is ending up racing here in America or Retiring from Racing all together.  He has made it clear with a few explecatives that he would prefer to be in Motogp, NOT, World Superbike.  If he were to race Superbikes at all it would be back here in America.  Personally, I would love to see him up there winning again, which I think would be more attainable in World Superbike, or whatever series pops up in America.  I say that because he was one of the greatest Superbike racers, not the best but he won against some hard foes.  The year he and Bayliss went at it was the best finale battle I have seen in Racing.  But he seems to want to stay in Motogp which leads me to believe he probably had any loop holes shut in his contract to have him moved down. 


It is too bad about how Michelin has taken a dive this year in performance and he seems to be one of the people most effected by it.  Hopefully he can stay in Motogp.  Me and a good deal of the Journos would love to see him stay!