Colin Edwards On CRT Teams: "There'll Be Tracks Where CRT Teams Will Surprise Some People"

Colin Edwards' future in MotoGP has been uncertain for some time now, and rumors about what comes next have been circulating continuously. As late as Mugello, there appeared to be a good chance that Edwards could remain with Tech 3, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis hinting to that Edwards' long experience in MotoGP and his unquestionable development skills could play a key role in helping to develop Yamaha's 2012 MotoGP bike, especially important as MotoGP reverts to a 1000cc formula.

Since then, Edwards' star has waned with Yamaha, and the Texan has been linked with rides in World Superbikes and elsewhere. The latest rumor - first published by Britain's MCN, and today confirmed by - is that Edwards could end up on a CRT bike. The Texan has been linked with the Forward Racing team, currently racing with Jules Cluzel and Raffaele de Rosa (who replaced Alex Baldolini) in Moto2. The Forward team is one of the teams whose entry as a CRT has been accepted by IRTA, and is expected to field a BMW-powered Suter in 2012. At a pre-event conference call ahead of this weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Edwards refused to talk about his future, saying he expected to make an announcement at Misano.

Jensen Beeler (who is helping out with our coverage of Indy) of the excellent motorcycle website Asphalt & Rubber went to quiz Edwards about his future, and though the Texan remained coy about making any announcements, he told Beeler that a CRT bike was definitely an option. "Could be a possibility. I can't say yes, no or maybe to anything right now," Edwards said. "Man, I've got so many pieces of the puzzle, we've just got to converge everything and put all the pieces together. Right now, I can't say yes or no."

When asked about other options he had, Edwards said he had had plenty of offers. "You know, I had an offer, a really good offer to go to World Superbikes, but you know with Yamaha pulling out over there, and with rumors floating around these guys [Dorna] buying the Superbike thing, I just didn't feel like it was the right decision. And obviously there are folks here that are interested in having me ride a motorcycle." But MotoGP remained where he wanted to be, Edwards said. "This is the top, the world stage, the one to be on, and yeah, I'd like to stick around for a few more years."

The main objection that had been made to the CRT teams was that the bikes would be nowhere near competitive. The Suter-BMW test at Mugello seemed to confirm this, with Mika Kallio posting times over 6 seconds slower than Casey Stoner on Honda's 800cc MotoGP machine. A month later, and much had been improved: At Brno, Kallio had cut the deficit to under 4 seconds, and more importantly, the comparison was with Honda's 2012 MotoGP bike, competing under the 1000cc rules. The Suter had made a huge step forward, and clearly, there was still some potential in the CRT concept.

The test had clearly intrigued Edwards, and the Texan could also see the potential. Beeler asked Edwards if he thought CRT bikes could be competitive against the factory bikes, and Edwards' answer was illuminating. "I don't think we know," Edwards replied. "You know, the formula is, especially with the fuel we can run, 3 liters more I think, it's, there's an advantage there. As far as weight, and bike and some other things, there's definitely a disadvantage. You know, you're using a production engine. So, there will be tracks I think where a CRT bike will get its doors blown off: Mugello, Barcelona; you get on the straightaway and it'll be hasta la vista. And then there are tracks - Laguna, Sachsenring, and possibly Assen - where we're already clipping so much power it's just ridiculous, and we're only on 800s. So, there'll be tracks where, is it going to compete for a win? Maybe not. But I think there'll be tracks where it's going to surprise some people."

At Brno, rumors had also emerged that Herve Poncharal's team were also developing a CRT bike, as a possible - cheaper - alternative to continuing as a satellite team. The bike - rumored to be a Yamaha R1 engine in a frame built and designed by Tech 3 crew chief and resident engineering genius Guy Coulon - would have been an alternative to a Yamaha M1, but Tech 3 boss denied to Beeler that the team was pursuing that option. "At the moment, we are busy enough," he said. "The same team that is going to all the races is building the Moto2 bike, and this is enough. As a manager, you have to realize what you can and cannot do."

Colin Edwards thought that a Yamaha R1 in a custom chassis would be a great option for a CRT bike, however. Asked if he thought that a Yamaha engine in a CRT chassis could compete with the Suter BMWs and FTR Aprilias that the other CRT teams will be running, Edwards was emphatic. "Easy. 100%," Edwards said. "For me, the weapon of choice if you were going to go CRT would be that."

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After seeing the MASSIVE line that was leading into the pit walk we decided to head over to the Red Bull Stage for yamaha Rider Q&A with Jorge, Spies Colin and Cal. The past 3 yrs the pit walk was very early fri morn and there was plenty of room, this yr they moved it to after the racing on Sat night and the line was LOOONG. Colin shot was some Texas Tornado boot camp shirts Jorge shot some shirts and shot Colin a few times with the t-shirt gun. The most interesting point during the Q&A was Colin said he will NOT be with Tech 3 next yr, but he will be in MotoGP.

Other points of interest: Just walking around the infield after Qualifying you see DeAngelis just checking things out, Barbera just strolling through the mass of people going to his rental car. A bit different then a Euro round. The marketplace area gets fewer and fewer vendors every yr. And why they hell is there no Sic shirts for sale?! No Dirt track tonight. Looks like were heading downtown. We did however run into Jorges crew at the Colots/Packer game last night. No Jorge though.

I saw a tweet that said no colin at tech3 next year. I was really hoping he was headed to WSBK and end his career with a championship. I guess one year on a CRT couldn't hurt him that bad.

it would be great to see colin go back to the superbikes and revive the struggling Castrol Honda... the bike on which he won the championship. if he revives it and wins the championship, that'll be a KILLER!

Does anyone know why Colin has fallen out of favour with Yamaha?

At the Brno test, Yamaha's 2012 bike proved to be unexpectedly close to Honda's bike. Is it possible that Yamaha decided they can develop their bike without Colin?

O.K he's no Alien but on his day he's a podium possibility still. The man has vast experience which can only be a huge advantage to any CRT, even if he has continually appeared to chase his set-up tail on the M1 for the last six years.

I disagree with his assessment on where the CRT's could be competitive though. I believe that the tight naggery tracks will be the very ones that the factory bikes really display the dominance of their superior electronic programming in controlling power delivery and engine braking. A track like Phillip Island could be a good one for CRT's. Remember McWilliams on the Proton and all the two strokes heading up the hairy chested four strokes? And with 24 litres to play with using the same 81mm max bore as the factories why can't breathed upon CRT engines make the horsepower to compete on the straights? Imagine a 2012 version of the doomed WCM Harris.

Ultimately with Colin I believe it comes down to Euro's. Especially given the - frankly fair - dismissive comments he's made about the uncertain future of WSBK right now. Is any team prepared to fork out the salary demands that the CE11 requires to keep himself and family in the life style to which they've become accustomed?

I Think Colon enjoys development work. In and Ideal world Tec III would come out with a M1 powered CRT bike that would keep him in Yamaha and he could develope the bike his last couple years before retirement.

Herve has always praised Edwards so I think theres alot of respect both ways there.

Jarvis want's his seat at Tec III opened up for a young rider is why he's headed out from what I gather?

I suppose it's possible for him to go to a Sat. Duc. team to help get the Ducati going in the right direction. Lord knows they need direction there!

I'd seen Edwards salary posted last year. It was mostly covered by sponsor monies and endorsements. It was quite abit less than I thought it would be.

I can't remember the number but it was'nt earth shattering for sure!

Personally i think Edwards would be better off going to a satellite Ducati team rather than a CRT, that is if he gets the option. Surely by next year Ducati would
of got their bikes far more competitive?? At least that way it would keep Colins dream of wining a Motogp more of a reality in the right conditions.
That opens up the question of who will replace him at Tech3 [if he is pushed out], i would like to see Eugene Laverty given the chance, but it seems to me that unless you are Italian or Spanish, sponsors do not like two riders of the same nationality in the same team [though Laverty does hold a Republic of Ireland licence]

Seems to be all but officially confirmed now that Colin Edwards will run a BMW/Suter CRT bike with FWD racing next year.

I just read that also, along with him say'n he would'nt be at Tec III next year.

I guess someone got wind of it today at Indy.