PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREA WILSON
AUSTIN, TEXAS, APR. 10 – The biggest news today to come out of the Circuit of The Americas was the announcement of Colin Edwards’ retirement at the end of the 2014 MotoGP season. Edwards is not only a fan favorite, but is also well liked among his peers in the paddock. Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Nicky Hayden – who were also present at the press conference – were asked to share their thoughts on Edwards and any memories.
The first to speak was Rossi, Edwards’ former teammate at Factory Yamaha from 2005-2007 and a longtime friend.
“Seriously I am very, very sad about the news because Colin [Edwards] is one of my best friends in the paddock between all the riders,” Rossi said. “We share the bike together in the [Suzuka] 8 hours in 2001 and also in 2000… I think this is the best memory that we have together because we enjoy a lot and we won also.
“And also we were teammates for a long, long time in a great moment of my career, a great season for me with the Yamaha. And always we stay together in the box, try to work together, but especially we enjoy a lot. And Colin always come in Tavulia [Rossi’s hometown] with motocross bike at my track now at the ranch, but also before where we trained before.
“So I’m sad because he’s a great guy, a great rider. And so we will miss him. But anyway like he said it’s a long season to stay together and I hope that Colin will remain also in the future in some other work on some other things.”
If you needed perspective on the duration of Edwards career at the World Championship level, youngster Marquez was there to share it.
“He started in the world championship when I was two years old,” Marquez said, which had the whole room laughing, including Edwards himself. “So just what I can say of him is that from when I was 15, when I come here in the first year he already know me and that is a big surprise for a young rider because you can tell he’s a real fan of motorbikes. So congratulations for your career.”
But among the three, perhaps no one has followed Edwards career more than fellow American Hayden who made it to the world stage eight years later.
“I watched Colin [Edwards] probably before these guys,” Hayden said. “As he was the young hot American. I remember when he started in AMA [Superbike], he took it by storm, he made a huge splash and was fast immediately on the 250 and then Superbike. We started in GP together, we were rookies together and even sometimes now we be flying back to America and I think, ‘wow, man that guy’s got a lot of energy’ because he already had… I don’t know a 10-year head start or something in Superbike, putting in a lot of big miles.
“He’s given a lot to this sport so I think like everybody said he can really be proud of his career. It’s clear he’s got a lot to look forward to. As a fellow American it’s a shame because they’re ticking away. You know, they’re getting fewer and fewer around here and I hope soon we can see another wave of young Americans come in and keep carrying the flag. And say [to Edwards], good luck and take it easy the rest of the year and make it easy on us.”