It seems the rumors out of Indianapolis were true, as Colin Edwards’ role at the NGM Forward team has come to awkward end. Officially “retiring early” Edwards will continue to ride for the team by “doing some wild cards,” according to the team press release. The only round confirmed by the team is Silverstone, though Edwards says he will ride at Valencia as well.
“It has been a great weekend here at Indy with lots of support from the family, the friends and the team,” said Edwards. “I’m not 100% certain about how many races I will do till the end of the season but for sure I will be in Silverstone, weather [sic] I will be racing or not.”
“I have a big fans support there and I cannot miss this appointment. I am thinking about my future, the different possibilities. I’m happy and I look forward to the second part of my life,” concluded the Texas Tornado.
Taking Edwards’ place as a full-time rider is Alex de Angelis, who will begin his riding duties on the Open Class Forward Yamaha starting at the Brno round.
“It’s a dream come true for me to return in MotoGP. I was working on this project last year, when I was racing with this team. Racing the second part of the championship with the NGM Forward Racing Team on board of a Forward Yamaha it’s a great occasion and I’d like to thank Giovanni Cuzari for this opportunity as well as the Tasca Racing Team that released me,” said De Angelis.
“I know that it won’t be easy for me to be competitive from the beginning as we have no time test the bike before Brno, but we will give my best. I can count on a very good team and competitive package so I really look forward to it.”
With Edwards loved greatly by British fans, Silverstone is like a second home for the Texan, and serves as a final stop on his farewell tour. Edwards is still one of the fastest and most respected test riders in the GP paddock though, and his presence at the Valencia round, and subsequent post-race test, makes a tremendous amount of sense.
The news confirms rumors that started as far back as Jerez, and were confirmed in part at Austin when Colin shocked the press conference with his retirement announcement. With rumors persisting through the season, Edwards and NGM Boss Giovanni Cuzari had been cagey at Indianapolis about the American’s future in the team, and now we can see the reasons why.
Having already experience with Bridgestone tires and MotoGP racing, Alex de Angelis is a strong addition to the NMG Forward Racing team, and we can expect similar results from him as we’ve seen from Aleix Espargaro.
That perhaps has been the biggest criticism of Edwards’, as the American has been near the rear of the open class pack this season, while Espargaro has been impressing many in the paddock with his factory-class pace.
Source: NGM Forward; Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved