Edwards Close to Re-Upping

Henny Ray Abrams | July 15, 2008

Texan Colin Edwards is about to be rewarded for his best season in MotoGP with a new contract with the Tech 3 Yamaha team. After qualifying third for last Sunday’s Germany Grand Prix, Edwards said he was “confident” that he’d be back with the team. At the time, he was riding a string of five consecutive top five finishes in a row, his most consistent stretch since moving to GP’s following the second of his two World Superbike Championships in 2002. The streak ended when Edwards crashed out of fifth place in the first wet race of the season at the Sachsenring. “Just details and wording and all that,” Edwards said about the delay. “Am I confident that I’ll be here? Yeah, pretty confident. Have I signed anything? No. I’d love to. This is really what I want to do. It’s just a matter of dollars and cents and getting everything sorted out.” As to other opportunities, Edwards admitted that Kawasaki was no longer an option. “There’s a couple more options out there,” he said. “At the moment, this, I believe, looks like the best option. I’m riding well, the team’s working good.” Edwards’ consistency is a function of the veteran having a strong hand in the development of both the Yamaha YZF-M1 and the Michelin tires. As Valentino Rossi’s teammate last year, Edwards was always the second option. The tires Rossi used were too stiff for Edwards and most everyone else. But with Rossi sidelined for the winter testing season, Edwards stepped to the fore, using his considerable experience to develop a motorcycle that suits a wide variety of riders. Not only have Rossi and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo won on the bike, but Edwards is having his best season. And his teammate, James Toseland, started out well before hitting trouble in the past several races. The resurgence has given Edwards second thoughts about returning to the U.S. to finish in career in the AMA Superbike Championship, a notion he floated last year. “I would say this time last year I was thinking about going back to the U.S. and doing a couple of years and finishing out,” he began, “but at the moment, the way I’m riding, the way I feel…I feel good. I feel like I did in ’99,” the year of his first World Superbike Championship. “I’m just there, I’m just there. One more little tiny step and we’ll have it. Weird. History repeats itself.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.