If there’s a Cal Ripken Jr. of MotoGP, it would have to be the Texan Tornado himself, Colin Edwards III. For the past 141 MotoGP races, the American has been on the starting line come Sunday morning (and Saturday morning if it’s for the Dutch TT).
This weekend’s race at Catalunya would have been Edwards’ 142nd GP start, but medical officials were not too keen on Colin’s idea of gridding-up with the MotoGP field, and doing a single lap to maintain his streak (CEIII broke his collarbone on Friday). Thus, Edwards’ record for consecutive GP starts will have to stand at 141 races.
Point-in-fact, Colin Edwards has not missed a single race since his MotoGP debut in 2003; and before that in World Superbike, the Texan hadn’t missed a race since 1998. In total, that makes 268 straight race starts for the Texan Tornado, over a 14 year time span…impressive to say the least. Colin Edwards’ streak was ended by what he calls a silly mistake, getting caught out on cold tires during changing conditions during Free Practice on Friday at the Catalunya circuit.
Going in for surgery on Saturday, Edwards hoped to take a lap during Sunday’s race, and then retire. With the British GP just a week away, it’s unlikely we’ll see the gun-slinging, tobacco-chewing, straight-talking American back on the saddle at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 so soon, and like other riders in the GP paddock *cough* Dani Pedrosa *cough*, we’ll have to take his status on a race-by-race basis.
Source: MotoGP & WorldSBK; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved